Monday, January 21, 2008

Jane Orie: Another Straw (Wo)man To Knock Down

There’s a thread over at the Burgh Report where Jane Orie’s name has been taking some hits. Once again the complaint about Orie seems to be that she “doesn’t have the city’s best interests in mind”. Translated: “Jane Orie is not in favor of taxing suburbanites (commuter tax) to pay for the city’s bloat, mismanagement and ensuing debt.”

By that definition, the Pist-Gazette also does not have Pittsburgh’s best interest in mind because the Pist-Gazette is vehemently against a commuter tax. Instead, we believe a permanent consolidation of services/functions and/or an honest-to-goodness merger of the region’s municipalities (and school districts) is the only way to go. Any “solution” short of this measure will just allow Pittsburgh’s mismanagement enough breathing room to continue on. New suburbanite tax dollars in the hands of the city’s old, failed guard will just buy the city $200,000 firefighters instead of $100,000 firefighters. PNC, the Rooneys and the “normal players” will just get twice the TIFs, twice the gifts. The result? Citizens (taxpayers) in “the region” will continue to move yet farther out to another “region” where government has not yet been so badly corrupted. And then we’re back where we started, only in larger proportions.

First of all, just from a “fairness” standpoint, two, three or even eleven wrongs do not make a right. You cannot tax suburbanites without allowing them a vote on the issues that gave rise to the need for the additional taxes. Anyone remember what “no taxation without representation” means? Last time we checked, this is not something you do in the democratic republic we call the United States of America.

Yes, apparently Philly is not part of the democratic republic we call the United States of America. But have their “taxation without representation” schemes solved their problems? No. So why must we continue to jump off a cliff just because Philly gets to?

Secondly, if given a vote, our suburbanite neighbors would not put up with the waste and corruption we’ve come to think of as normal. If some of that chicanery got past them, they certainly wouldn't re-elect the crooks who pocketed/diverted/mismanaged the money in the first place. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, celebrates these type of people as “true Pittsburghers”. And venerates their failed “policies” as admirable attempts to sustain the city’s “quality of life”.

Whether it is her intention or not, Jane Orie is already acting in Pittsburgh’s best interest by smacking down Ravenstahl/Shields/Motznik every time they try to wiggle out of the “spending constraints” of Act 47. Go Jane! as she also guards the county by calling Onorato on the carpet for his outlandish Port Authority ponzi game.

Come to think of it …. Former City Councilman now County Executive Dan Onorato is an excellent example of the Failed Pittsburgh Governance Model unfortunately spreading to the county instead of being quarantined and exterminated within city limits.

We in Pittsburgh need to first clean out our own house. Then we can worry about getting enough respect from the likes of Jane Orie.

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