Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Gene Ricciardi -- stepping down as City Council President

My council-person, Gene Ricciardi, is about to step down as the President of Pittsburgh's City Council. His time there is about to end by the end of the year (2005). So, he can step down and help with the transition to a new council leader.

But, Gene can NOT step down until there are enough votes (five are needed) among the councilmembers (9 are on council) for the next President. Right now, the five necessary votes for president have not been found for any one individual. So, Gene stays on in the position.

Gene get's a vote in the new leader if he steps down now. If he waits until the end of his term -- the new council president is picked without his influence.

Council president gets to make a few assignments among the members of council for chairs of various duties, i.e., public works, budget, Citiparks.

Being Council President isn't a big deal, generally. It is a feather in one's cap however. That is why there has been some talk about Sala Udin getting the nod to be council president. Sala is being retired from city council due to his loss at the polls in the May 2005 primary. Council could give Sala the title as a resume builder for his entry into the private sector.

I wrote to Sala last night asking him if he would like to get my help in setting up a blog for himself. I think that might help him more, showing he's stayed within the modern era of communications.

Sala would NOT be the first black man to be Pittsburgh's City Council President. That historical feat has been accomplished years ago.

But why stop Sala at the level of Council President?

Sala Udin could be named City Council President as a first step. Then, Mayor Murphy resigns as the second step. Then comes the third step: Sala Udin moved to the mayor's office and Pittsburgh would have the city's first black mayor. The big deal about being city council president is the the migration of roles to mayor should there be an emerengy opening.

What would that do to their pensions?

Bob O'Connor could still go around town calling himself the next mayor.

City officials and VIPs have been playing musical chairs around here for some time now. I should turn this into a contest, play-by-play of the musical chairs among people and spaces.

We've got Valerie McDonald (in the next post) who moved from office to office, just as Lt. Gov, KBN, has done. But there are plenty of others.

Mario went from hockey player to team owner and would-be casino operator.

Neighborhood groups have become builders and developers with their housing projects. Developers then become politicians building department stores (Lazarus).

Land owners (speculators) have become toll road builders for the Mon Valley and big-time political donors.

Casino operators have become political donors and hockey arena builders.

Librarians make expresso. Expresso makers maintain wireless network hubs. Library Board Members move books from historic structures to leases above laundry mats.

You get the point. And there are a lot of better one's yet to be made.

I'm a musical chair kinda guy as well. I've been a journalist, coach, publisher, small businessman, coach, computer guy, dad, community activist, party-jumper, candidate, coach, blogger.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sala Udin is what's wrong with this city.

Murphy crony