Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Council takes 'preventive' approach to South Side

Great. Kraus wants to fund another study. He wants more help from others, at our cost, to do his homework. City council funds study after study yet it wants to not be REACTIONARY. To prevent is great. But just do it already. Wellness isn't about being reactionary. Wellness is doing the right things all the time -- because we already know what needs to be done. We don't need to spend money to hire some consultants to tell us.

Rather than pay extra for a night-time building inspector, move the shift of one of the inspectors to evenings. Do we need EXTRA inspectors or do we need the ones we have to work different shifts? I bet that the ICA is going to balk at the extra money for the building inspector. This is something that reasonable people would have done without costing the money. Furthermore, it is not only the evenings when coverage might be required, but also on weekends.

The city has had a series of problems with management with the building inspectors since one was fired, perhaps unjustly. How many have we had since then, six or more? I don't have a score sheet. Anyone?

Council takes 'preventive' approach to South Side

Council takes 'preventive' approach to South Side
Tuesday, December 07, 2010 By Joe Smydo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Insisting it's time to move from "reactionary enforcement" to "preventive measures" in the South Side entertainment district, Pittsburgh City Councilman Bruce Kraus on Monday persuaded his colleagues to earmark money for a nighttime building inspector and hospitality-management study.

Mr. Kraus long has complained about vandalism, violence and other problems associated with South Side nightclubs. His amendments followed a particularly bad weekend.

Travis Isiminger, 23, of Greene County, was charged with drunken driving following a two-vehicle crash Saturday night in the 3300 block of East Carson Street that claimed the life of 7-year-old Lexa Cleland, of South Park. Police said Mr. Isiminger told them he had been drinking at Hofbrauhaus in SouthSide Works.

City police arrested two men Sunday following a double stabbing outside the Jekyl and Hyde bar at South 18th Street and Harcum. The victims said they were ambushed.

Council took up Mr. Kraus' amendments and other proposed spending changes at a budget meeting Monday - a step preceding preliminary and final votes on the budget in coming days. The Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, a state oversight board, will vote on the budget Wednesday.

Mr. Kraus has quarreled with Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office over how to handle South Side problems. Councilman Bill Peduto said Mr. Ravenstahl could use the line-item veto in a bid to block budget amendments.

Mr. Kraus persuaded his colleagues to include $37,180 for a nighttime building inspector. Currently, inspectors work only daylight, weekday hours, an arrangement Mr. Kraus said makes no sense given the need to monitor nightclubs after dark and on weekends.

Council also included $100,000 for a study by the California-based Responsible Hospitality Institute, a group with which Mr. Kraus has been working informally for about a year. The group shows cities how to manage entertainment districts and "nighttime economies."

"I think this is very important for the city of Pittsburgh to have," council President Darlene Harris said.

The money for the study would come from the city's paving budget, something that concerned Councilman Ricky Burgess, who abstained on the amendment. "I want to support this," Mr. Burgess said, suggesting the money be drawn from another source.

Joe Smydo: jsmydo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1548.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10341/1108884-53.stm#ixzz17QxD5Eaf
Money to pay for the study comes from paving. Humm.... I thought we'd want to separate the drunks from the roads. Kraus makes them inter-connected. Highway robbery.... Never mind.

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