Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Pittsburgh's embattled mayor keeps quiet, wins support for recovery plan

PG review / coverage The mayor would have to shut up.

'Every day [aides] would remind me not to put my foot in my mouth,' Murphy said recently, laughing at the memory. 'The effort was to stay on message and not have me get people mad.'

The strategy worked when the state Legislature approved the Pittsburgh budget package Nov. 21. It was great news for city government, which was facing bankruptcy in early 2005, but there wasn't exactly a victory parade down Fifth Avenue at the news.

To say the strategy worked is to say Pittsburgh is business friendly -- or -- why not say the Penguins are in first place and we're a city of champions again.

The effort from those aids should have been leveraged to get Murphy to resign. We don't need a leader to zip up for top performances.

In life all moves are either to protect equity or to gain equity. It is offense or defense. So, our city is going down the drain, we are running out of money, we are full of outward migration, our kids are shooting each other --- and the best we can do is sit with a buttoned trap.

Murphy isn't good at playing defense. He isn't good at playing offense either, as his agenda has been a proven failure. And, when he can't play well in either role, the best we can hope for is for him to remove himself and take it to the sideline. That is what should have and still needs to occur.

This is no memory to laugh about and reflect upon as history. This year, 2005, we stay in neutral and keep the back slide in high gear.

Then, what is this bit about Murphy was bluffing? I assume you are talking about his actions in 2000, 2001, 2002. The swim pool closed -- many for good. The kids didn't play baseball. The rec centers still are NOT open. What bluff is that? Is he still pulling the wool over your eyes? Let's not be at odds with the truth. Let's not re-write history so soon and with such absurd stances.

The mayor is still bluffing every second he sits in the Mayor's office. So, perhaps the bluffing from Murphy still in high gear. He isn't leading this city. He hasn't done so in years.

It is one thing to be the one to bluff. It is another to be the one to fall for the bluffing and promote it as reality. Murphy can't be blamed for bluffing as that is all he has left in his inventory. But, those who churn the ink and paper and subscribers with tall tales of the new wardrobe of the old emperor are hardly selling soap.

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