Friday, September 09, 2005


Officials spar over city's rodent funds A proposal to take on the city of Pittsburgh's rodent population had city officials gnawing at each other yesterday.
What a shame and pitty. We can't even get on the same page, from within the same party, to take care of this pressing problem with rats.
Nobody is going to want to keep living in the city with these rats running around.

Flashback quiz: This isn't a rat nor is it a bobcat. Furthermore, it isn't a racoon. What is it? (Click to see comments for answer. Click the image to see a larger version.)

In football, the Ohio University Bobcats play the Pitt Panthers tonight -- in Athens, Ohio. Safe travels to all. Enjoy. Be sure to watch the OU band play pre-game, halftime and post-game. That is well worth the trip. That's what I'll be missing the most.


Mark Rauterkus said...

Officials spar over city's rodent funds
Friday, September 09, 2005

By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A proposal to take on the city of Pittsburgh's rodent population had city officials gnawing at each other yesterday.

City Council Finance Chairman Doug Shields unveiled a proposal to transfer $30,000 from the Police Bureau's internal investigations unit to cover a proposed rodent control contract.

Shields has been a critic of Mayor Tom Murphy's handling of rodent control. The mayor laid off rodent control staff due to budget cuts. An attempt to train animal control workers to distribute rat bait failed when the city and the workers couldn't agree on which would initially pay for a state-mandated baiting test.

"I don't want to hear about it anymore. I want it done," said Shields yesterday, slapping on his office desk proposed legislation to transfer funds to rodent control, a press release, a proposed contract, e-mails from rat-plagued constituents and a prior resolution on the subject.

"I'm providing the mayor with the tools to get the job done."

"There is no way that Pittsburgh can expect to have a surplus with this type of spending behavior," said mayoral spokesman Craig Kwiecinski, in a statement. He noted that Shields also has been a critic of a proposed agreement between the city and nonprofit organizations that Murphy hopes will bring $5 million in charity to city coffers.

Even if the money is available, shifting $30,000 compromises the tight budget council passed, said Kwiecinski.

"Perhaps the finance chair would have had a better understanding of all of this if he hadn't failed to show up for his budget meeting with the mayor this week," Kwiecinski added, saying they were set to meet Wednesday but Shields didn't show.

Shields said he had to leave town for a meeting on community planning, and his staff forgot to reschedule the meeting.

Shields' proposal could come up for a final vote within two weeks.

(Rich Lord can be reached at or 412-263-1542.)

Mark Rauterkus said...

The animal in the photo is a RED PANDA. I took the photo in China at the panda reserve.