Well, things do move fast in and out of the Burghosphere. So the Mayor didn’t attend City Council’s hearing (which they invited him to), won’t rescind the promotions (one daughter already dropped charges), turns out to have been golfing on the hearing day, golfing turns out to be the Mario celebrity thingie, turns out the bill was footed by UPMC, turns out Dan Onorato was there for the first of two days too, also paid for by UPMC, and I think that’s about it. Today’s paper has an article where the Mayor writes the outing off as business meetings, I'm not making this up “"I have discussions with all major stakeholders and business owners and businesses in the city of Pittsburgh, and UPMC is no different in that regard," Mr. Ravenstahl said. "It just so happens that our discussions took place on a golf course, rather than my office."”( http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07187/799709-53.stm).
That’s actually a pretty impressive attempt to explain away an ethical dilemma. The Mayor is ignoring the surrounding circumstances, the $9,000 value. Of course, we really shouldn’t ignore Dan Onorato (on the line for maybe $4,500). I wonder if the county ethics board will take this up.
But, to be fair, UPMC has not benefited too much from this administration. They won on the sign thing but lost their piece of the city contract for health insurance. The thing is, the negotiations on how much UPMC contributes in lieu of property taxes are going to be on-going. Now every deal the administration strikes with UPMC is going to be suspect.
The Mayor needs to tell us of a time when he turned down as offer of something because he thought it inappropriate. After all, he has said he doesn’t remember how much in the way of free sporting event tickets he has accepted. He needs to start letting the voters know he actually has some restraint.