Monday, November 22, 2004

My comments before City Council in OPPOSITION to Act 47's wrath of ordinance changes

Today, Nov. 22, City Council hosted a public hearing at 3 pm that was NOT put onto the city's cable television station, for some unknown reason. The meeting should have been on the government station as it was very important.

Jack Shea spoke just prior to my statement. He finished his statement with a comment about wanting a 9-0 vote, against the Act 47 package.

My name is Mark Rauterkus. My family and I reside at 108 South 12th Street. Pittsburgh's South Side. My home on the internet is at

I have to take exception to Jack Shea's mention of wanting to see a 9-0 vote. The lock-step boosterism is a mentality that got us into this situation. These guys are all of the same party. We need someone around here to break ranks. We need to value dissent.

We need people like Jack and Tom Flaherty, our city controller and leader of the county's Democratic Party, to say Tom Murphy is a big part of the problem and that he should resign.

We don't need a 9-0 vote. Rather, we need to value some disent.

Today I speak more from a parent's perspective. We, the people, are baffled, confused, betrayed and angry. Our public sector is a heavy burden, an anchor, that is pulling us down. We are sinking in our hopes, faith, dreams, and aspirations. We must tell another generation of our kids, and mine are here with me today, that they can't get to where they want to go in life by living here.

We, the people, want to see and need self reliance.

As a parent, an at-home parent, I'm going to take care of my kids. I'm not going to farm out my children's welfare. As an engaged parent, I am not going to choose to stay in a city with absentee elected leaders. I want you to step to do the job and be self-reliant too.

I spoke here a number of months ago and gave away four badminton shuttlecocks as a prop to encourage the ones to vote "no" then and "ruffle feathers."

I spoke four years ago and said "All the king's men and all the king's horses won't be able to put our city together again." We've had a massive fall. Those others have proven that they can't do it on their own. The city needs all the people working together. This plan stinks.

The crossing guards -- they need to write tickets.
The RAD Tax shift -- that antiquated RAD Tax (sarcastic point) is wrong.
The mix tax shift away from schools is bad.
The worst is the deed transfer tax hike.

Ten minutes ago we stepped out of the chambers and I took my son to the bathroom. I told him something that applies here too. You're old enough now. I don't need to wipe. Clean up after yourself.

We teach our kids this. City council is expected to do the same for itself.

We, the people, need to see our city council become more self reliant.

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