Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Mayor admits ....

From the Busman’s Holiday’s post on the Mayor’s statement concerning UPMC, the Pittsburgh Promise and City Council:

“The two biggest questions I got asked when I was running for office was, non-profits don't give enough, and you failed on the Pittsburgh Promise. And guess what, I had the answer to those questions in those debates, but I kept my mouth shut. Because I didn't want to jeopardize this program, just like council did yesterday with their actions.”

Actually, Mr. Mayor, you did more than keep your mouth shut. When Dr. DeSantis proposed using the voluntary contributions from non-profits to increase the funding level of the city’s pensions or pay down our debt, you asked Dr. Desantis how he would make up the budget shortfall. You knew then you were going to do the same thing, reduce the city’s revenue to the tune of a million and a half, and now you stand here today and say you kept your mouth shut? You intentionally misled the voters. And you are hiding behind UPMC, saying you keep your mouth shut for their benefit, even though in fact you did much more than keep your mouth shut.

Its actually incredible, we find ourselves right back at January 2007, with the Mayor lying and blaming everyone else. He keeps telling us, month after month, that he has learned so much, and then he turns around and pulls another stunt, tells city council it must do his bidding without question or hesitation. Mind you, someone like Doug Shields doesn’t make council look any too good either, but the Mayor has to bear the bulk of the blame for this one. If he had announced the tax and voluntary contribution component of UPMC’s Pittsburgh Promise donation on December fifth, and asked council to hold hearings shortly and consider the package within a couple of weeks, people might have decided (calmly and deliberately) that 10 million in scholarship dollars is worth the tax or contribution hit the city and school board would take. But to take up the issue on December 17th and demand quick passage of the tax credit resolution guarantees that people will balk.

Ten grand is not going to be enough for the Ethics Board.


Char said...

And January 2007 is where we are going to stay, Ed. The Ravenstahl administration has ripped open a wormhole in Pgh's space-time continuum. It's Groundhog Day. It's gonna be Groundhog Day for a long, long time.

EdHeath said...

I don't know, I suspect the Mayor will find some line to cross that will turn out to be final. He's already admitted to lying to the voters, even if (apparently) he doesn't realize he admitted it. And Dan Onorato made a reference to the (now overdue) Nordenberg report at the Mayor's inauguration, the report by the special committee on whether there should be city/county services mergers, and how much. Could the Mayor be stalling that? I realize there are some things you shouldn’t ask a Mayor (“so you’re saying you lied during the debates?”), but that bar is lowering rapidly, as reporters realize ridiculous rumors might actually be accurate.