Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Press Release for Election Day

May 17, 2005

Contact: Timothy Aldinger, Coro Fellow in Public Affairs &
Media Releations Elect.Rauterkus.com
Tim's cell = xxx-xxx-xxxx @coro.org
Mark's cell = 412 298 3432 Mark@Rauterkus.com

Mark Rauterkus, Libertarian candidate for PA Senate in the Special
Election, Releases Regional Regrets

A public statement from a candidate for PA Senate (42nd) in today's special election is due in the middle of voting activities. But this candidate won't be at the polls, rather he and his sons are headed to a scholastic baseball playoff game.

Mark Rauterkus, 46, Libertarian, is running for Pennsylvania Senate. Throughout the campaign, Rauterkus has promoted a new statewide solution that also addresses city-county consolidation. Rauterkus, a professional swim coach and advocate for wellness and other types of recreational activities, wants to launch a new Pittsburgh Park District.

The state of Illinois uses a different governmental model that leverages Park Districts. These bodies with more than 2,100 elected trustees throughout the state operate under sunshine laws are distinct from city, county and state government. With elected leaders, volunteers and community involvement, the Park Districts work to root citizens in their communities with better programming opportunities and care for facilities and resources.

Rauterkus said, "A Park District is NOT an authority. I desire elections, accountability and teamwork among professionals, such as coaches, community leaders, volunteers and participants."

The WPIAL playoff game between two teams within the PA Senate 42nd district allows the Rauterkus and his two sons, ages 7 and 10, city residents, to enjoy an afternoon at a suburban sandlot, between our visits to polls.

"An iron curtain exists between the city and suburban programs that includes programs and opportunities. We can't keep splitting the cooperation among the region and thrive again," said Rauterkus.

The game is slated for 1 pm at Burkett Field, behind Burkett Elementary School, part of the Montour School District. Beaver Falls and Carlynton meet in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs. Another game is at 3 pm with Brentwood and Northgate at Herb Field in Norht Hills. Gate is $5. Full brackets for AA baseball is at WPIAL.org.

A year ago, Rauterkus released a 100-plus page position paper that called for the formation of park district. He presented the paper to a number of agencies and individuals as well as the ICA Board, Act 47 Coordinators, County, City and School officials. See http://DSL.CLOH.Org/v1/

Rauterkus feels that a position in the PA Senate would empower him to push from within state government to enable Park Districts in Pennsylvania helping everyone's quality of life.

For years, Rauterkus has been a vibrant voice for change in terms of effective government.

In the 1980s Rauterkus was employed as an aquatic manager and head coach of a 200-member community team that operated by the Peoria Park District, the second largest park district in Illinois. Rauterkus understands the advantages of administrative stability with the park district model and regrets that such a system is not in place in Pennsylvania.

Other regrets are expected around the grandstands of today's game and election.

Rauterkus is sorry his participation in the three-way race was not able to quell the negative campaign waged by the heavyweight candidates, Wayne Fontana, Democrat and Michael Diven, Republican. The absurd insults and falsehoods were expected given the mentality from Harrisburg operatives and the individual candidates stances on positions. A third candidate's entry can often have a calming effect on the nasty presentations and mudslinging.

"Civility did not prevail from them, sadly," says Rauterkus. "I wanted to discuss priorities, issues and real solutions for the region. These opponents were most interested in making noise. Power politics and personality attacks are for bullies and don't have a place on the playgrounds, nor chambers of government."

Recap of Rauterkus regrets:
+ Lack of Park District,
+ Lack of Issues-centered campaigns,
+ Overboard negativity from the Democrats and Republican camps.
+ Lack of Assessment Buffering for property tax,
+ Lack of City-County cooperation in sports and park programming.

Rauterkus public campaign efforts are to continue with an open-source wiki, Platform.For-Pgh.org.

As the polls close, Rauterkus is going to claim a victory on various
dimensions. The opponents and their political parties each spent
upwards of $1-million on the campaign. Meanwhile, the
Elect.Rauterkus.com campaign was a frugal operation spending less than
$10,000. If 10,000 votes are obtained, that is less than $1 per vote
as far as expenses and results. The Ds and Rs might be spending at a
rate of $100 to secure each vote.

If Rauterkus is not elected to the PA Senate, Rauterkus is expected to
announce intentions to run again. The next ballot opportunity might be
Pittsburgh's City Council. Rauterkus lives on the South Side in a
district represented by City Council President, Gene Ricciardi.
Ricciardi is a candidate on today as well. Ricciardy is hoping to
leave city council for a new role as District Magistrate.

Rauterkus could mount a campaign for city council soon, getting a head
start on others. Rauterkus could be an Independent or a Libertarian in
that race.

Rauterkus is not expected to enter the City of Pittsburgh mayor's race in 2005. Rauterkus ran for mayor in 2001 in a contested Republican primary.

On the morning of May 18, the day after the election, Rauterkus, his sons and his wife, Catherine V. Palmer, Ph.D., along with two graduate students, are going abroad for four weeks. Palmer, a professor at Pitt and Director of Audiology at UPMC's Eye and Ear Institute, is to teach a course at the second largest medical center in China, in Chengdu, in a southwest provence.

Rauterkus said, "The trip to China is a great experience for all. We'll be playing violin, badminton, swimming, doing art and visiting parks. Meanwhile, the two grad students and my wife teach an intense course to doctors and medical students. The cultural exchange is wonderful, but the medical and healthcare benefits are priceless."

Updates are at Mark Rauterkus and Running Mates blog, http://Rauterkus.blogspot.com

1 comment:

Mark Rauterkus said...

An email from a fellow citizen:

Fascinating observation, Mark. OK, let me expand upon the theme. How does this differ from Allegheny Regional Asset District (other than, of course, the fact that ARAD is appointed by the County Executive, Mayor and a seventh member by fellow RAD board members)? And how would it affect the current lineup of Pittsburgh city parks, Allegheny County parks and (in the City of McKeesport) Renziehausen Park? Pat C. (not Clark, BTW)

My quick reply:

Elected, not appointed.

The RAD parks are very limited (4 in the city) and there is not any
holistic approach. Fight for each entity vs the others. Divided we

No ongoing professionalism with RAD board, as that is more like a
"foundation board." I want coaches, stewards, and people working to
really help matters -- day in and day out.

No volunteerism with RAD board -- just with each entity. So, the
cross-over is weak or absent.

Current Citiparks would exit the city. Citiparks would enter and be a
cornerstone to the new entity. City won't fuss with parks -- just
worry about roads, police, bigger efforts. City does not fuss with
parks now. People don't volunteer with city efforts now.

County would not deal with parks either. County parks join the park district.

A place like McKeesport could choose to join the Pgh Park District --
or NOT. This would be an evolution, starting just in the city and with
existing county parks. Other parks and other entities could join the
network as they wish. For example, I could see the Homestead Carnegie
Librarry joining.