Thursday, April 14, 2011

What does the city do well?

One slide in Bill Peduto's presentation says, "Best Practice Review: City does some things well." Really. To speak the concept, even many times, does not make it true.

What, exactly, does the Pittsburgh city government do well? Why not list them in the presentation?

City government does not keep track of its finances well, at all.

City government spends too much, as shown by the pension liability. Perhaps the inverse could be made to be true in that the city is GREAT at over-spending on workers who don't work for the city any longer. The city is great at trading votes for political favors: political paving, jobs and patronage, firefighters contract details, etc.

The city had been really good at giving away TIFs and other tax breaks in super creative ways. Remember how clever they were with the hotel developers at Bakery Square and "air rights" so as to not use the ground floor of buildings to skirt union employees.

To be fair, I do think that the city does a fine job at trash collection.

Here is Bill's slide show:

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