Monday, July 04, 2005

Classic watchdog line in PG about city government

Deep within an article by new PG jouralist, Rich Lord, concerning the City's (mostly Mayor Murphy) effort to privatize the garage that fixes and maintains the trucks and autos of the city one reads this classic line:
The city seems on track to save less than it bargained for.

Excellent summary. Nuff said.

The garage saga seems to be another deal from Mayor Murphy's Administration (and City Council) that won't add up to what was promised. Broken promises. False hopes. Changes that come with pain, but changes that do not impact the bottom-line. The city's position is worse than before.

That bad news has an upside however. This time it isn't the message, it is the messenger. That article, rather long and insightful, was printed in the PG. And, it ran in July, printed before the year-end. The garage is a 'done deal.' But, the article provided 'follow-up coverage' on a newer program. The coverage was on a 'work in progress.' The article delivers real-time news reporting on a technical matter beyond a knife fight or a job promotion at a real estate office in the metro area.

I am more than pleased to see Rich Lord as part of the Post-Gazette's staff. We've got a watchdog at the big city daily, finally.

Articles such as this would never have happened in the Post-Gazette three, five, seven years ago, in terms of city government.

By the way, it seems to me that the two oversight boards are not making any noise. The I.C.A. is going to cost the city's budget $2-million. However, the ICA hasn't held a meeting in a month. The next meeting hasn't even been scheduled, to my knowledge.

The Act 47 Team came to town to watch out and restrict the over-spending by those on Grant Sreet. Are they really watching? Do they really care? They've been here more than a year and their programs have taken root in some quarters. Where is the windfall from those efforts? I hope that the Act 47 team delivers some value on the long list of items still lingering on their to-do list. But I won't be holding my breath.

Pittsburgh is in a sad position when watchdogs are necessary for one's who are on duty to provide oversight. Thankfully, with Rich Lord's arrival at the PG, a spark of a bark has been awakened. This is a great trend that needs to continue and snowball.
Privatized fleet maintenance saving city less than expected Privatized fleet maintenance saving city less than expected
Monday, July 04, 2005, By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

This type of journalism might lead to increased public pressure, accountability, and even controllers who have a grip of control and overlords with the vision for oversight.

No comments: