Saturday, June 06, 2009

City-county merger spins its wheels

As to the merger:
City-county merger spins its wheels "I would draft [legislation] tomorrow, but the reason that we haven't is because we're trying to work with the Legislature and within their procedures," Mr. Onorato told some 200 attendees at the forum, sponsored by The Pittsburgh Foundation and the University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics and held at the Heinz History Center.
That is an excuse. Might as well say that the dog ate my homework.

It is also exactly how NOT to lead as there is a leadership void.

Frankly, I'm happy to see Dan fumble as such. I don't support a merger. But he does. Onorato also has ambitions for being Governor. That post might require more effort in working with the legislature, something he is proving he can't do on an area that he has strong opinions about.
Mr. Onorato said an effort to develop a compact would be a distraction.
This is like saying that taking the first trips on a long journey is a distraction to getting at the final destination. So, packing the car for a beach vacation is only a distraction for putting your feet in the surf.

I said for nearly a decade that the next thing to merge should be Parks. It is in the parks where we teach and learn with our kids the value of playing well with one another. The parks discussion is a bold discussion that is going to engage thousands. Folks in the burbs care about their parks. Folks in the city care about their parks. There are no viable parks in the city that are county owned. The RAD Parks talk is going to generate heat. We'll need all of that energy at the outset of this long-and-winding road process and journey.

Do you just go the next 10 years trying to [merge] parks and recreation, trying to chip away at [information technology]?" he asked, hypothetically, after the forum. "If you really want to merge all of these departments, merge the governments. ... But if [legislators] are not going to move, obviously you could do the slow change.

Here is a loaded statement:
Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Squirrel Hill, said his gut told him that a referendum, if held soon, would fail, because of public perceptions of city government.
First of all, the public perception of city government, and county, and state government is in the toilet. Frankle helped put it there and his efforts keep it there too.

Furthermore Frankel tells us that he thinks and listens to his gut. He'd rather listen to his gut than listen to the voice of the voters. He is a know-it-all -- where his gut is the priority. The public's voice and the votes of the citizens mean nothing to Dan Frankle. He is royalty and has no cause for a referendum.

Of course the city put poison in the well of our shared democracy. Dan's act with Tom Murphy make him a prime culprit. Dan Frankle has been poisoned and he did much of the poisoning. And, his thinking with the gut to the exclusion of the people is more of the same.

Doug Shields wants full consolidation or nothing, meaning he wants Forrest Hills, Edgewood, Bethel Park, Avalon, and the others to be put into the same pot with Pittsburgh. He wants them all to be merged with Allegheny County. Doug, when pigs fly, you might get your wish. Doug is making another type of excuse.

On two accounts, I agree with Luke Ravenstahl. The position of Doug Shields is a poison pill of sorts. And, let's not fear the referendum by putting the question to a vote of the citizens.

Government consolidations represent the most complex conversation you are ever going to have with the electorate," said Joe Reagan, president and CEO of Louisville Metro Inc.
No way. There is a bit of complexity in the conversation. But, there are dozens of more difficult conversations. Let's talk about war, tourtue, socialized GM, privacy, personal liberties, eminent domain, treaties, UN, the Federal Reserve.

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