Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Give Jim Motznik a BIG GOLD Star! He is the man today

Jim Motznik just stole the thunder from Dan Desey's car expense amendment.

I was working on a new complaint to the ETHICS HEARING BOARD that goes to the heart of the matter of what Motnik put onto the table.

City Council has 'encumbrances' and 'pre-encumbrances.'

I got to get the text of this measure.

Well done Jim!

He is attacking the 'slush fund' of city council.

But, he is pegging the money to public safety.

It is $140k or so.

Rev. Burgess is now a sorry camper. The firestorm is something he caused, so he thinks. Motznik is an instrument of brutality, so says the un-sorry Rev.


Seems that the ghost writers of the new measures from Jim Motznik have been from the same ones that lost their cars. The Rev calls it 'mean spirited.' Another level of antagonistic behaviors is expected.

Rev Burgess said that he won't get a response because it would take an act of 'masculinity.'

Hell yes, the city should live up to what Act 47 says.

They do what Rev. Burgess wanted us to do, says Mr. Motznik.

Bruce Kraus: I was threatened from the mayor at a fundraiser last week. From his lips to my ears.

Mr. Motznik: It isn't a threat, is is reality. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Re-opening the budget is welcomed, in its entirety.

Peduto: Don't be drawn into the muck.

Right on Bill.

Update from the City Clerk, LJW:

The Bill numbers for the two sponsored pieces of legislation introduced by Councilman Motznik are Bill 2008-00238 – Amending the 2008 budget of Council and Clerk’s offices and Bill 2008-0239 – Liquidating certain pre-encumbrances. The bills will be available on the Council Information Center web site of City Council at the end of the day. You will be able to search by bill number to get the legislation in its entirety.


Anonymous said...

PG's early coverage:

Councilman accuses mayor of cutting council budget
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Councilman Jim Motznik introduced legislation today to slash council's staffing and its practice of tapping leftover funds from prior years and transfer $310,000 from its accounts to a public uses. A colleague said it reflects a threat made by the mayor last week.

Mr. Motznik said his resolution would clear out "a slush fund that the president of council and the clerk have been saving over the last couple of years." Council President Doug Shields said unspent funds from prior years do not constitute a slush fund.

Mr. Motznik said his resolutions on staff salaries were consistent with the Act 47 recovery plan approved in 2004, which was used as the basis for legislation passed today that would compel Mayor Luke Ravenstahl to reduce by half the take-home cars allotted to city officials.

Councilman Bruce Kraus said the legislation to cut staff salaries mirrors threats made directly to him by Mr. Ravenstahl at a fundraising event last week. The mayor's office has opposed legislation to cut take-home cars, and Mr. Kraus said that was the context of the threat.

"His exact words to me were, 'We're coming after you,'" Mr. Kraus said. "I said, 'If you feel that best serves the interests of the people of Pittsburgh, to cripple city council, have at it.'"

Mr. Kraus added that the mayor specifically threatened to cut council staff salaries, and said, "'And there's more where that came from.'"

Mr. Motznik, who hosted the fundraiser Mr. Kraus attended, said he heard the conversation. "The mayor simply said that Act 47 is a work in progress, and it's a financial road map," Mr. Motznik said. "He didn't threaten him."

Mr. Kraus challenged that statement.

"Jim Motznik was nowhere near that conversation," said Mr. Kraus. "That's a bold-faced lie."

First published on March 25, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Back to headlines
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Councilman says Ravenstahl issued threat over vehicle policy
By Jeremy Boren
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

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Mayor Luke Ravenstahl threatened Pittsburgh City Council if it voted to reduce the number of take-home vehicles, as it did today, said Councilman Bruce Kraus.

"The mayor came up to me and his exact words to me were, 'We're coming after you,'" Kraus said.

To exact political retribution, Ravenstahl threatened to push legislation that would slash each councilman's budget to $61,000 a year, Kraus said. Each council office currently gets $82,000 annually to pay members' salaries and other expenses.

"The notion that a threat was made was ridiculous," Ravenstahl said.

The mayor said he simply challenged Kraus to curtail council's spending under the provisions of Pittsburgh's five-year financial recovery plan created under state Act 47 -- the same provisions Kraus and other council members used to justify reducing the number of take-home cars from 61 to 29.

"If council members take the position that Act 47 is a binding document then they themselves should live by that," said Ravenstahl. The mayor said he sees Act 47 as a "roadmap" and not a set of rules to be strictly followed.

According to Kraus, Ravenstahl told him, "Try working on $61,000 a year on your council salary budgets."

Kraus said he replied: "If you feel that that best serves the interests of the people of the city of Pittsburgh to cripple council, have at it. That was the extent of the conversation."

The exchange took place Wednesday during a political fundraiser for Councilman Jim Motznik at La Mont restaurant in Mt. Washington.

Motznik, a Ravenstahl ally, introduced the budget-cutting legislation today, and accused Council President Doug Shields of maintaining a $149,000 "slush fund" in various City Council accounts. Shields denied the claim.

Ravenstahl said he was aware of Motznik's intentions and supports the legislation.

Motznik said the cuts to each councilman's office budget are in line with the city's five-year financial recovery plan. The reduction in the number of take-home cars also is part of the recovery plan.

"The reality is if you're going to live by the sword, you're probably going to have to deal with both sides of the sword," Motznik said.

Jeremy Boren can be reached at jboren@tribweb.com or 412-765-2312.

Anonymous said...

Who the heck is scared of Kraus? Do you think Luke Boy King actually feels threatened? He has to be laughing.

Let's start getting to some meat...when are we going to get the issue of the underfunded pension in order? And the HUGE amount of debt that will be here...

Kraus, as well the rest of council needs to get to work on finding solutions to those issues.