Wednesday, February 20, 2008

We are not a rubber stamp. We are the council of the city of Pittsburgh.

Them thar are fighting words from Bruce Kraus.

Gosh. Notes (live blogging) of the city council meeting on Wed, 2-20-08.


Investigation or Conversation?

"I support a hold," says Jim Motznik. Motznik wants to refer it to somewhere else. Let the buck stop elsewhere.

Bill Peduto introduced a bill to begin an investigation. Too bad there are no others on city council with a backbone.

Even Doug Shields made a wish upon a eclipse that the administration make a statement to rescind the sign deal.

Dan Deasy says that they are a long way off from determining if the sign is appropriate or not. That's called being 'out of touch.'

Rev. Burgess thanks Bill Peduto for his leadership on this matter. The process of how the sign got approved is broken. But he'll want to exhaust the powers of council.

Tonya Payne says we may be getting too far out there. She has not heard one thing from anyone on this issue. Does Tonya read the paper? Does Tonya only live for the mob mentality? She doesn't want to do anything that is so political. She doesn't see the remedy. She is without vision. Her good judgement means following the marching orders of the mayor.

Tonya, the URA is a city authority -- not a state authority, by the way.

Tonya, when things get tossed around in a campaign, such as merging the URA and the City Planning Department, they are NOT real. Campaign chatter is just campaign chatter. Campaign ideas do NOT establish laws.

Tonyna thinks, "If you want to keep this clean -- calling for an investigation only sees who is on whos side." -- NO.

An investigation is NOT a political call. A campaign is a political side struggle.

Bill Peduto says last year is last year. Dennis R, Cathy McN, domestic violence. Bill thinks that city council is powerful and it can pummel. Whew. This isn't just about a billboard. City employees and past city employees put this together. The pattern includes the threat that employees would NOT be able to talk to city councilmembers.

Steps: Zoning, planning, conditional use, bid. Investigate now or get pulled into a lawsuit that the city (Ravenstahl bending over for Lamar Advertising) will not win.

Kraus is proud to sit on this body for an important issue. This is never about politics. It is about our sworn duty. Very difficult territory. One must be willing to leave one's comfort zone. Kraus is unsure about public hearings and post agendas. Kraus is worried about spending taxpayer money if council should hire an attorney. Gosh.

Doug said that this is a civil, not criminal matter. The big fear is the fallout of people being put under oath. Then it gives rise to criminal. None are talking about any criminal matters at this time.

It is a fricking sign. It isn't an important issue. And Pat Ford is playing the city like a fiddle. What is the next verse? Dance on or end the tune?

The cure, for Doug Shields, is to have this go through all the normal steps.

I think that the cure is to fire Pat Ford. Nuke the darn sign too. Then, move to liquidate the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

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