Saturday, May 19, 2007

Editorial: Hasta La Vista, Baby!

(Or, Thank God I Guess This Isn’t Cuba After All)

Unbelievable. Who would have thunk it. Incumbents Len Bodack, Twanda Carlisle and Jeff Koch have all been kicked to City Council’s curb. Three of four arrogant and/or party-endorsed and/or union-affiliated and/or criminally-inclined council members up for re-election have failed to retain their seats. Mind-boggling as this must be for the local Democratic Committee to swallow, Michael Lamb’s big controller win over Doug “I’m-The-Official-O’Connor-Legacy-Guy” Shields is the proverbial icing on the cake.

The significance of this is huge. Even Councilman Jim Motznik now sees the writing on the wall: "It's something we haven't seen happen as long as I can remember, and I've been watching city politics for 30 years," he said. All but Ravenstahl seem to understand that a new wind just might be blowing here in the Burgh. The Young Mayor, it seems, continues to insist he doesn’t think it will “affect his agenda” at all.

Be that as it may, attitude changes were unquestionably apparent in Thursday’s council session. Presented with a $7 Million public works capital wish list for approval, what must have been a Motznik from some parallel universe became indignant, even downright irate when he spied a $400,000 line item for “Vehicles To Be Determined.” Public Works Director Guy Costa could not answer Motznik’s questions as to how many or what kind of “TBD vehicles” there were, what they cost, or who they were going to. Costa had no specifics and didn’t seem to feel he needed any. Altered-state Motznik was outraged. Costa was perplexed. Apparently $400,000 TBD line-items have been no big deal in the past.

Surreality continued as Councilwoman Twanda Carlisle took up the post of watchdog for suspicious-looking invoices. With a poker-straight face, she questioned contractor payments which looked like they may have been purposefully split into smaller multiple invoices so as to escape review by falling below a $10,000 threshold. Who better to sniff out this type of con than the dog who scammed that particular bone in the first place!

But proof positive that earth had slipped completely off its axis, and Pittsburgh with it, was Bill Peduto getting angry enough to curse in front of the cameras. Ever controlled and ever the consummate professional, Bill let loose with “damn”, “crap”, and “hell” all in the space of just a couple of sentences.


Well, I say “Thank you, Pittsburgh.” Thank you to those who went knocking door to door, mile after mile. Thank you Rich Lord of the Post Gazette for keeping on their butts. Thank you Bill Peduto for not packing your bags, heading off to some other city where sane people live. Thank you everyone for finally tiring of all the "crap". For finally getting up off our "damn" asses. And for surprising the "hell" out of the Endorsed, the Approved and the Anointed. It’s high time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mayor,

The people's "FEDD Up" campaign has just begun.


A Pittsburgher