Thursday, July 17, 2008

Despite progress, state to still monitor city finances

Despite progress, state to still monitor city finances City Controller Michael Lamb liked the decision.

'There's a lot going on behind the scenes to begin to address those [long-term] issues,' he said, noting a push for statewide municipal pension reform that might steer more aid to distressed cities.
There is a lot going on behind the scenes -- elsewhere. Not here. Nothing is going on in Pittsburgh, either under the spotlight nor behind the scenes, when it comes to real effort to manage the costs of local government.

No wonder Michael Lamb liked the non-decision. We are stuck with more of the do nothing, too little, too late actions from those who have been elected.

Yep. The city lacks a plan.

Here is a my plan, from the past.

While the OVERLORDS are in town, and we've got two sets of them to get rid of some day, we taxpayers have to pay triple the costs of government.

We are paying for Act 47. We are paying for the ICA. We are paying for the regular office holders too.

All of those groups can pass blame and still point to Tom Murphy as well. Nothing gets done. They all have cover. That is just what they want. That is just what the citizens don't need.

Everyone in city hall should have a pay cut by 50% until the overlords depart.

Everyone who is getting state money (our money) to be an OVERLORD should get their contract reduced by 50% as well. The other money that is due to the contract holders and the employees will be put aside into an escrow account and paid to them after their work here is proven to have been completed.

There is no incentive for them to finish their work.

Michael Lamb can be less of a controller because he has the OVERLORDS to lean upon. They do some of his work for him. Same too with the mayor. Same too with the law department. Same too with the state reps and state senators. Everyone is getting paid -- and we are paying for it.

Another example: Of course Pat Ford wants to have a long, drawn out vacation as he is still not working but getting paid to be the head of the Urban Redevelopment Authority. We have been paying his salary for months and he has been doing nothing.

These oversight bodies cost the taxpayers tens of millions of dollars every year. There is no end in sight.

Half of the money can be put aside to pay them when their work is finished -- and when their work has proven to be effective. So, I'd take 1/3 of the held money and give it to them upon the completion of the contract. When they close their offices. I'd take another third and pay them once they've been gone for one year and the city is still not slipped back into a financial slump. And the final third would go to them three years after they've departed and the city is still solvent. Benchmarks should be obtained or else they don't get paid.

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