Sunday, December 25, 2005

Murphy looks back at his 12 rocky years

Every dog has its day in the sun. The days of Tom Murphy are just about to go to dusk -- finally. To his credit, he didn't have a "day" in the sun. Tom Murphy got more than a decade.

But the beauty of this news article is within the words of Rich Lord. He is great. I just love the angles he puts into print. And, I really love it that his words are being published in the P-G. That is as much of the magic of these times as anything else.

Make no mistake. I'm am thrilled that we're able to see Tom Murphy move to the private sector. And, I'm thrilled to know that Rich Lord is going to be on assignment with the P-G in the months to come.
Murphy looks back at his 12 rocky years There was little left in Mayor Tom Murphy's office last week but a bike leaning against a desk. That and enough attitude to fill a moving van, plus about a dust bunny's worth of regret.

The man who, at his 1994 inauguration, compared his job to Tom Sawyer, 'who got all of his friends to paint the fence,' is leaving office in a town spattered with his vision. He's unabashed about a dozen years of roller-coaster governance, featuring controversial development efforts, federal oversight of policing and a continuing struggle to fix the city's finances.

'We might have overreached,' he said of his administration. 'One's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?'
We should thank them for turning our once great city into a hell -- because when we die we'll go to heaven. Yeah, right.

The over reaching was classic. To over reach is exactly what should NOT happen now and next. We have to get centered. We have to reach within. We have to be unlike Tom Murphy if we are to have any future in this city.

Not only does Tom Murphy get to be the last mayor this might ever have -- but the same holds true for city council as well. Gene Ricciardi is gone too. Both Gene and Tom are departing Grant Street -- but we have OVERLORDS camped out there now.

This is another classic Tom Murphy thought. I say, 'think again.' He says the consent decree was unnecessary, but helpful in accelerating the changes he was already making.

Humm.... but the changes he was making didn't have room for the citizen police review board. Those were changes demanded by the people's votes. So Tom's changes were Tom's to make and his to ignore if they weren't his.

The same gutter thoughts come when Tom Murphy cheered the arrival of "distressed status." The arrival of the outside forces was something he was quick to roll out the red carpet for. Murphy wanted others to come in and do the bailout. Murphy needed those outside forces because he couldn't manage inside forces. His administration could not coordinate nor execute the right changes with the right people within this town.

How sad for him as a Mayor.

Murphy didn't send the Pirates packing. But Murphy is a marathon runner in a town that does not have a marathon. Murphy's management killed the Pittsburgh Marathon.

We'll just have to restart the Marathon. But, we'll need to do it in a much different way.

Rich Lord even tossed in the word, "lockstep" into the article. That raises another concept that we'll need to crack -- like Humpty Dumpty.

Well, I'm not going to waste any more Christmas minutes on this.

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