Thursday, August 18, 2005

Who wants to be "QUEEN for a day, week, month or even longer?" -- call Bob O'Connor

You could be QUEEN for a DAY too, if you are a woman, of course.

You could be elevated with the "authority status" and lifted above the citizens you'll rule.

Increase your power and get to rain down (pun) with new water authority lines to hither and yarn. Or, help make the unthinkable possible by parking the parking tax where no other less bold city dare to linger. Or, oversee the paper corporation that pulls all the strings with Three Rivers Stadium. Or, help count up the 7K, 8K or 9K of properties owned but sans inventory with the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
Women sought for city posts - O'Connor, 60, has promised that women will make up 50 percent of city boards, authorities and commissions if he becomes mayor. The Squirrel Hill resident and Democratic nominee is the overwhelming favorite against Republican Joe Weinroth. Democrats hold a 5-to-1 advantage over Republicans in registered voters in Pittsburgh, which has not elected a Republican mayor in more than 70 years.

Take your turn at the helm of a sinking ship among a fleet of dispair in a sea of fog. Make it so that the next Pirates won't get blamed for calling the land lovers "wenches" and "naysayers."

Bob O'Connor, Michael Lamb and Bill Peduto all wanted to put more women in authority roles. I don't.

Rather, I want to end all authorities.

Rather, I want to take all the appointed kings and queens of Pittsburgh's tiny, fragmented, unaccountable domains and make them "democratic." That's a small "d" for "democratic" -- as in allow for elections of the people.

You'll only be on the board, given Bob's plan, with a "term limit." Expect to share the time in the spotlight. Mayor Murphy just had his court hog up all the time and slots for themselves. The stated promise is for Bob's group to be better at playing musical chairs.

These folks need to end the authority legacy -- and they are not.

The WATER and SEWER AUTHORITY is more interested in building another mall -- and less interested in taking care of the crumbling sewer lines.

The Parking Authority is more interested in turning the North Side into an entertainment complex and getting a better Greyhound Bus Terminal -- with a T-stop -- than real parking issues. Why take your car to the city and then get onto the T? Why take your car to the city, pay high taxes, then take a Greyhound bus? The bus might save some money -- if the taxes were not so grave.

The Port Authority wants to build a tunnel under the rivers for $400 million, despite bids that are 25% greater than expected. The extension is for 1.2 miles of new track. They don't want to really make a mass transit system work as it should. They are not talking about permanent funding. They are not accountable.

If these are the jobs for you -- then I dare say -- you're not a woman.

Good luck in the recruitment drive.

When there is an effort to build authorities with accountability and real democracy, they won't be called "authorities" and you'll have the world coming to our door to figure out solutions to matters such as hunger, homelessness, recreation, child-care, education and healthcare.

Real, experienced, management, leaders in Pittsburgh who are female know what happens when one puts lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig.

In other news, it's official. Joe Weinroth's glory days are behind him. Notice the kiss of death, the "5-to-1" quote in the Republican daily. That qualifier goes around Weinroth's neck like an anchor.

The women who are demanding fair representation now are not calling for more authority posts. They are calling for an end to authorities. Representation doesn't happen with authorities, period.

My wife, my sisters, my mother-in-law -- all brilliant -- are like ten thousand other Pittsburghers in this regard. Most wouldn't even be motivated to hold their noses for the necessary ten minute return phone call to turn down an offer of consideration for the "privilage."

If Bob was smart, he'd cut the authorities and in turn make ALL THE WOMEN HAPPY, not appoint a couple more and just keep the status quo.

If Bob made an offer -- join the authority and take it apart in six months -- then he'd have a line outside his door of willing and able people.

Keep an eye on the brass ring: freedom, equality, opportunity.

When the tide rises, it lifts all boats. Meanwhile, when the downtown parking garages flood -- it soaks your car. We've got too much of the later and none of the global benefits.


Patrick said...

Does this mean you were opposed to the row office consolidation effort, as it is less democratic (small "d") than having one single Chief Executive controlling the court record keeping offices?

Mark Rauterkus said...

It is correct to say that the row-office reform move was a MOVE away from DEMOCRACY. It is more democratic to elect people than appoint them.

However, I was mostly neutral on the overall Row Office Reform question as it was presented.

I WAS strongly OPPOSED to the presentation of the ROW-OFFICE REFORM question, as it came about. The question was bogus.

A much better method would have been to ask the voters to vote upon each office on the merits of each office, one-by-one. So, elect the TREASURER -- YES -- or -- NO. Elect the DOG CATCHER -- yes or no. (etc.) There were nine offices. The voters had one choice -- a bundle. That bundle vote was bogus.

In the long run, we don't need elected leaders who are NOT policy makers however. We need REAL Accountability.