Monday, May 09, 2005

Pondering Fontana's statement in the PG's voter guide

State Senator, 42nd District: "Wayne D. Fontana, 55, Brookline

Education: Community College of Allegheny County, 1971.

Occupation: Sales manager and associate broker, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services (on leave while running for Senate).

Qualifications: 19th Ward Democratic committeeman, 11 years; Allegheny County Council, five years, served as vice chair, also committee chair of Property Assessment, Economic Development, Executive, Redistricting, Budget and Finance and Property Assessment Oversight.

Answer: I would support and facilitate attempts made by local governments to merge services and departments such as public works. I am a proponent for row office consolidation in Allegheny County that would save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. I also support a joint purchasing program similar to the state program that purchases in bulk at a lower cost. We need to explore tax collection at the regional or county level vs. local tax collection.

Fontana is a proponent for row office consolidation in Allegheny County -- but when he was on the council he didn't support Onorato's plan to drop the row offices to two. Fontana doubled the number to put onto the ballot. Onorato's legislation said two. Fontana and the others on council established a bundle to four.

The claim of saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars is another empty promise. Perhaps that is over the course of two decades. Perhaps the number could be a little less foggy.

Row office consolidation isn't really about saving money. It we really wanted to save money, we'd be voting to elminate the authories, not the row office.

An elected official in the row office has a salary that is established by the charter. An appointed row office official is going to have an increased salary and it won't be subject to the lower limits now in place.

If we really wanted to save taxpayer money -- we would NOT be doing any TIFs. Fontana voted just recently (within the last 3 monts) to give a tax break to the developer for Deer Creek Crossing. That is a tax give-away. That move hurts the taxpayers.

Fontana wants to explore regional tax collectors. That is sure to fix all our problems -- not.

Joint purchases are sure to be a massive windfall too -- hardly.

Would-a, could-a, should-a! Why didn't you do these things while on county council? The city and county don't do joint purchases now. Should-a! Didn't!

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