Second Verse, Same as the First
Local politics: Here we go again.
Let’s talk about local politics, and let’s do it knowing a few things for certain:
- There will be at least a half-dozen comments left in which readers scold me for caring about local politics when I live in Westmoreland County, which might as well be Jupiter as it is so very far, far away.
- All of those comments will be left by readers who refuse to acknowledge that as a downtown business owner, I have a stake in what happens in the ‘Burgh.
- All of those comments and any comments in support of me will be flagged as inappropriate by the Mystery Flagger of Inappropriateness.
So now, let’s talk about the latest in the Parking/Pension Wars.
As you know, the mayor is hoping to lease out the city-owned garages and meters for 50 years to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in the hopes of staving off a state takeover of the city’s pension fund. It is hoped that this lease income will bring the funding level of the pension to around 50 or 60 percent.
It is up to City Council to vote on this matter.
City Council wants pension data.
City Council has subpoenaed Luke Ravenstahl and his administration for the data so that City Council can use it to have an actuarial analysis done before they take a vote.
Luke Ravenstahl’s administration, realizing that 50 years is a long time and that it is important to acquire and evaluate all data before stepping into something as unprecedented as this (so the best decision for Pittsburgh and its people is made), has indicated that he will willingly provide any information City Council requests to assist them in making an informed vote.
HAH! I told a joke.
Of course that’s not what Lukey said.
Ms. Doven said the mayor’s office is studying the legality of the subpoena.
Ugh. WHY?! If there’s nothing to hide—if you truly want this looked at from all angles—if you really want Pittsburgh to feel like a wise decision was made, then why not just find a way to get the data to City Council?
Why the legal maneuvers? Why the smoke and mirrors? Why the veil of secrecy?
What can’t local politics just be straightforward? Like kindergarten?
You want? I have? We share.
You need? I have? I lend.
Just take turns with the red crayon for once, you know?
I honestly don’t know if the parking lease is the best thing for Pittsburgh. But I would feel a lot better about it if I felt that the issue were dissected in every way possible so that before it passes, the mayor and City Council feel that it’s the right thing for Pittsburgh.
This divisiveness only makes me more wary that we’re about to step into something we’ll regret—something that will raise parking rates. Combine that with the dismal state of the Port Authority, and as a downtown business owner, you can see why I’m worried.
I need the customers to get to town and in order for them to do it, they either need affordable parking or reliable, readily available public transportation.
I love Pittsburgh, but right now, neither of those is a sure thing.
I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say, "Asking why politics have to be shady is like asking why the sky is blue. Why the grass is green. It has always been that way, and it will always be that way."
I reject that sentiment. I flag it as inappropriate.
Maybe I am the Mystery Flagger of Inappropriateness.
[Jedi mind-trick hand wave]
I was never here.