Saturday, November 02, 2013

This is why we need more than 2 candidates in our local elections

I'm going to repost a blog comment from Bram's blog. Bram didn't pen the original posting nor this remark.

The insights come from an independent candidate in the race, James Wudarczyk. He lances some of the high flying claims from the D endorsed candidate, Deb Gross.

People have got to read this latest press release from James Wudarczyk about Deb Gross. Love or hate the guy, you have to admit he sure does his homework.

Can the City of Pittsburgh afford Deb Gross? After an extensive review of her failed projects by James Wudarczyk, he strongly believes the answer is NO!

At the Highland Park Community Council forum on October 17, 2013, Wudarczyk revealed startling evidence about the projects that Ms. Gross considers her major accomplishments. In response to his allegations, Ms. Gross repeatedly stuttered in frustration and finger pointed at Mr. Wudarczyk while stammering that he did not understand that there had been a “hiccup” in the budget.

In Wudarczyk’s opinion, projects that succeed in only bleeding the taxpayers of money hardly constitute resourceful leadership. Furthermore, Wudarczyk feels taxpayers money has been thrown into the Allegheny River by projects that Gross believes are misunderstood “hiccups.”

Let’s take a look at these projects.

First, the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Alliance is touted by the Democratic nominee and former executive director, Deb Gross, as a wonderful program and a great achievement. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) records for the ruling year of 2001 showed total revenues of $80,532, while total expenses for the same period were $119,904 (1). The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Alliance merged with another arts group because of financial difficulties. In spite of this evidence, the former executive director never mentions that the project was a financial failure.

Second, the Democratic nominee claims that she knows how to creatively match resources with need. Repeatedly, voters have been told by this candidate that she turned $2 million into $6 million dollars when fundraising for the Community Loan Fund of Southwestern Pennsylvania. When Mr. Wudarczyk initially heard this, he wondered if this candidate held spaghetti dinners, went door-to-door, or had donut sales. An article appearing in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, December 6, 2001, stated that this candidate was an employee at the time of this “fundraising” (2). What the candidate failed to mention was that the money was actually “raised” by the issuing of bonds that paid between 3 and 4.5% (3). It should also be noted that the Community Loan Fund also received $352,186 in direct public support and $370,900 in government grants for a total of $723,086 (4). This is not an example of creative fundraising. This is an example of borrowing money and covering operational expenses via grants from the taxpayers.

The candidate also boasts of a public transportation initiative called the Ultraviolet Loop that ran from 2001 – 2004 (5). Missing from the boast is the fact that this project was funded by a grant. Once the grant expired, so did the program. How can one talk about sustainability if programs are run strictly on grants from the state or federal taxpayers?

Lastly, another of her business claims were related to a company called Percolater. Ask anyone on the street if they ever heard of this company, and they will think you are talking about some kind of coffee pot.

It is apparent here that the voters are paying for programs that they neither need nor wanted. Mr. Wudarczyk believes that it time that we stop funding these types of projects and focus on re-allocating funds to fixing our decaying infrastructure and pothole-ridden streets. Can we afford a progressive Democrat who believes borrowing money is raising funds and a $40,000 loss is a “hiccup” in the budget? Mr. Wudarczyk believes the answer is no and voters have a right to know what the IRS records have to say in regard to these matters.

I remember the Ultra Violet Loop. It was a funky bus thing that cost money and could have been twisted a bit to make it sustainable, perhaps. But, they were not so interested in making changes. I blogged about what I would have done with it back in the day. Made some calls. Oh well. It wasn't anything to hang a hat upon.

But most of all, it is great that there are a few different people in the race. Good research from James too. I imagine it is too close to election day to find a reply. But, the comment box works here too.

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