Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tonya Payne should have been in this chair.

Updated. If the video does not show yet, it is still in process mode at Youtube. Check back soon.

Part 1:

She was a 'no show.'

People at the neighborhood group were disappointed. People in the audience were let down too.

Tonya Payne, we missed you.

Video from the other candidates with the courage and courtesy to appear is going to be uploaded shortly.

The Uptown Partners quarterly community meeting candidate forum, hosted on April 22, 2009, at 6 pm at Miryams Place, 1410 Fifth Ave. The open was with Renee P. Aldrich, Co-President of Uptown Partners. Reports from Jean McNutt, Chair of the Economic and Development Committee of Uptown Partners. Leadership Pittsburgh was there to talk about Pop Up Pittsburgh, slated for May, 30, 2009 around Gist Street.

Moderated by Evan Stoddard, Acting Dead, McNaulty College of Grad Studies at Duquesne.

Candidates Mark Brentley, Sr. and Daniel Lavelle were there.

Reposted (same as above) of opening statements, but via

More to come, still.

Part 2: The pressing need for localized leadership:

Same on Blip.TV (part 2 of 3)

Final segment and highlight from Mark Brentley about crime, via

Final from Blip.TV:


Peaks and Gutters said...

Was any explanation provided for her absence? She was expected to be in attendance, right?

Mark Rauterkus said...

She was expected as they waited an extra 30-min before starting -- left in limbo, I'd say.

The moderator also asked at the outset if there was anyone in the house that was there to represent Tonya at the event. Nothing.

About 45-55 people (soft count) were there.

I left at 7:20, 90-min after it was to begin (6pm).

Anonymous said...

No surprise that Payne was a no show. She has been unaccessible for years.
Actually, as far back as when she 'worked' for the oUptown Community Action Group — what she did was work for herself. When the community group became too time-consuming for the capable and dedicated volunteer founders, that is when Ms. Payne stepped in. It didn’t take long for the residents and those who nurtured the Uptown Community Action Group to recognize that Tonya’s motives were self-serving and that she was not representing the neighborhood. A deal was in the works for a couple of years before Tonya’s appearance on the UCAG scene with Mercy hospital of Pittsburgh to donate Mercy-owned land on Locust Street for the development of new townhomes. When the project finally came to pass, Ms. Payne somehow found a way to obtain one of the handful of homes for herself and her family, despite there being interest from others. Hmmmm — how did that happen? With Tonya at the UCAG helm, the position she assumed suddenly became a paid position. The UCAG leadership were volunteer positions from the time the group was founded in 1990 or 1991 until Payne became the group’s leader. Where the Uptown Community Action Group, it’s activities and finances were open before, after Payne took over, all that was open was now suddenly closed and secretive. A thorough audit of the UCAG finances should be conducted. After UCAG began buying property cheap and selling for much more, lots of cash passed through the group’s coffers. To this day, the whereabouts of proceeds from the sale of property, as well as donations (some very significant) are unknown. Some questions I would like answered: What is the current official status of UCAG? Where are the group’s assets? Even though it appears the group is defunct, UCAG still owns parcels of property and homes and renovated homes were sold by UCAG recently. Where did the money from the sales go? These questions are simple and reasonable. Ms. Payne refuses to broach the subject.

* George Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
May 14, 2009 at 8:15 pm | Reply

The Uptown Comunity has been wondering for years what happened to the Uptown Community Action Group after Payne assumed the leadership role of the group (only because the founders of the group and others who wree active decided to move on, by the way). The UCAG group has absolutely no affiliation with the Uptown Partners group, which is now active in the community. At a few Uptown Partners meetings, I recall residents being vocal about what their options were to find out what happened to the Uptown Community Action Group finances after Tonya took over and expecially ater selling properties for hefty sums and accepting large donations. An audit definitely s in order here. Hopeful someone can take a serious look into this. I hope Lavelle does very well in his attempt to unseat Tonya Payne. She is only for herself — definitely self-serving like the previous comment says — and is an embarassment to the City and District 6. She’s done nothing … and takes, takes, takes. Go Daniel!