For starters, let's not forget that the state reps and state senators made this law and put it into place. The original, initial shame on them can't be ignored. Those folks are too often about power and not about doing the right thing.
The article says that the hand-picked task force, the do-good volunteers, the ad-hoc Murphy boosters -- call em what you want except "legit" -- is going to gain in their power. The bad law was knocked down. Sure. But, the power within the bad law wasn't then granted to a different bad organization without structrual powers.
Murphy's task force gets more muscleUp to this point, the task force had not been considering zoning because 'it wasn't on the table,' Porter said. But he added putting such decisions in the hands of local authorities 'clearly is in the interest of the local community.'
Furthermore, as is the case with most of the efforts on Grant Street, the posse who were working on the matter were given tight guidelines and had to stay within their sandbox. They were not looking at zoning because they were not told to look at zoning. And, nobody noticed that there was a case headed to the state supreme court.
The trend is to wear blinders. We have too many sub-groups going willy-nilly and being quick to ignore the important and fumble on the heavy lifting that is called for.
Has anyone seen the minutes of the task force? Has anyone gone to one of their meetings? Has anyone seen their schedule for future meetings? Who is even on the task force? How did the members get approved to be on the task force? What is the task force budget?
What's the real deal for the task force?
What does Bob O'Connor say about the task force as well?
Okay, so let's say the locals get to set some local rules and have them apply to the gambling establishments -- which are not yet established. Why in the world would the paper-organization of the task force gain in muscle? That's the logic in the article that misses the mark.
Zoning gains in muscle.
But, we know from other encounters that zoning is without anything but skin. No bones, no muscle, no fat -- just skin deep perceptions.
When push comes to shove on an issue, the zoning pit stop is skin deep and combat spills over to Pittsburgh's City Council Chambers. If you want to build a high-rise or a pizza-beer joint in Mt. Washington -- go straight to zoning to burn some incense and drop off your plans. Then go straight to the council members and try to sew up your five votes.
I don't have a lot of respect for the zoning process in Pittsburgh. An overhaul is needed, to say the least.
And, I have NO respect for a hand-picked task force created under the watch of Mayor Tom Murphy.
Thank goodness the law was changed the the judges. The outcome makes city council more important in the placement of the casino -- or is it still just called a parlor with slot machines.