Well, just a quick post. So City Council and the Mayor have made public their disagreements, more or less. Council is looking at implementing elements of the Act 47 five year plan now, even as the clock is running out. The new Council persons – Burgess, Kraus and Dowd – might be trying to fulfill some of their campaign promises. Jim Motznik seemingly makes no secret of his plan to punish his fellow council members (and himself), with a resolution that alternately praises past and current Mayors for exceeding the parameters of the Act 47 plan and then expresses puzzlement that Council is referencing Act 47 in some current legislation (and goes on to reduce the funding for Council staff, and transfer it to public safety equipment).
My sympathies are with the newer members of Council. It is hard to fault attempts to reduce expenses in the city’s budget. That said, it is true, as some blog commenters have noted that the Council is now distracted by this issue, away from crime or potholes or other issues. I’m not sure what daily Council attention to crime would achieve, unless they have some ideas to share with the police on how to prevent or solve crimes (talk about micromanaging the city’s operations).
There is a meeting of the State’s Economic Development people here on April 8th. It was called for by Council, to see if the city could exit distressed status. Personally I would like to see another five year plan, this one addressing the issues of the city’s under-funded pensions and the city’s long term debt, instead of an exit. Here’s hoping someone has the courage to stand up and say something.