Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Motznik Tries to Scramble Back Off Ledge, Council Blocks His Way

There was a quiet end to one of the latest skirmishes within city council today. Last week Councilman Jim Motznik proposed silly legislation clearly intended as payback to council for their passage of separate legislation which pissed off our Boy Mayor. Motznik, a staunch mayoral ally, introduced two punitive bills: One would gut council’s own administrative budgets, seriously jeopardizing their ability to operate. The other sought to confiscate a purported “slush fund” council maintains, redirecting that money to public safety. Both of these bills were specious at best.

Stunts like this one are commonplace in Jim Motznik’s world. He lives, he breathes, he alternates between stupid, loud, embarrassing outbursts and apologizing for the same. Mr. Hyde-Motznik launches rabid attacks against his political foes, clomps about in sewer boots, and lobbies for a dying man’s job even while the man lies dying. Dr. Jekyll-Motznik comes around afterward, making apologies, trying to mop up the mess so that there’s a nice clean slate for Hyde-Motznik’s next interlude. Unchanging, however, are both Motzniks' support of the Party Machine and its current Cog-in-Chief, Mayor Ravenstahl.

So it was no surprise to anyone when Dr. Jekyll-Motznik approached council today with a measured tone and a calm demeanor requesting that his own silly, payback legislation be tabled. Stunning, however, was that a council majority refused him his retreat. They voted 6-2 to force him to stand out on the ledge of his own making. When his stupid bill to gut council’s own budget came up for an official vote (he being the official sponsor), he was publically reprimanded by his peers, 6-2, as they voted it down.

Biggest shock of the day? Councilwoman Darlene Harris was one of the six majority ‘no’ votes. ( Burgess, Dowd, Harris, Kraus, Peduto, Shields voted ‘no.’ Deasy and Motznik voted ‘yes.’ Payne was MIA)

Harris has previously stood firm with Motznik and the mayor on most every occasion that the Pist-Gazette can recall. So her “defection” today to the “other” side, however temporary or issue-specific, could signal a political power shift of titanic proportions. True, the existing five-vote majority block is already a concern to the mayor. But adding another vote, for a total of six, is the Ravenstahl nightmare scenario as it takes six votes to override his veto.

(Wonder if Ravenstahl now plans to veto council's take-home car reduction legislation..... ??)

If the Pist-Gazette were forced to guess, we’d say Harris has not switched teams though we do believe she has cancelled her membership with Team Ravenstahl. Hopefully Harris has come to value the wisdom of standing by one’s own opinions, making one's own decisions formed by adherence to one’s own values and beliefs. Going out on our own ledge here and because Harris appears to be sane and honorable, we think this is exactly what she has decided to do.

And what of the vote on the second silly Motznik bill? The bill which would redirect a purported council slush fund? It came down exactly the same way with Harris being the sixth vote.

Tictoc, tictoc, tictoc. That's the sound of Ravenstahl's clock running out.


Anonymous said...

as always, pretty good analysis Char. If you can't count to five in city council your are pretty much an "honorary" mayor, not a strong one. I hope channels 2, 4 and 11 are there when the boy mayor is groveling at the Council's office door hoping to get an appointment with anyone of the five, now sometimes six.

If only the U.S. Congress would have the balls this kick ass ouncil has and put the world's worst President, George W. Bush, out to pature and let him cut ribbons instead of killing and water boarding people.

Dear Mayor Luke, tell us blogites and the progessives you despise, how does it feel to see your nuclear weapon's (motznik's) head come rollin' into your office after the vote today?

Do ya think da council is sending ya a message dude? And, if they are... ya gotta wonder... what is the fu-kn' message?

Watchout for that Zoning Board hearing next week. You don't win that.. Lamar is gonna be lookin for some one to give em a serious ass-whipping.
Yours truly,
Chris Rock

Anonymous said...

well Char,
Gotta hand it to you, you got it down girlfriend.

Just like I said earlier, it''s about time the fab 5 get their day . And Darlene, I hope you have been reading these and finally got the message and "stay on message" like a good politician does. I was getting really tired of you making us women look bad with your constant abstaining. Show some courage. Keep the faith and stick with those winners.

You can make the fab 5 be the faboulous 6. Do it ! I'm proud of you. Stand up for what's right and don't let them bully you anymore. For your own good distance yourself from them. you will find it to your benefit in the long run.

Deasey, you're going to lose this game playing with the enemy. I warned you , we the voters are watching you and you are not impressing us.

Councilman Dowd, keep the coalition going, team work works. Thank you for coming to that realization.

The others 2 aren't worth writing about.

Thank you Council, I have hope again.

No need to rant tonight, just celebrate!


EdHeath said...

Darlene Harris had bucked the administration last year on the animal euthanasia thing. She did the research herself, contacted the parties when the administration couldn't, and pretty much mapped out a plan. SHe shows signs of occaisional independence, when she cares about an issue.

Char said...

You are right, Ed. I had forgotten that Darlene stood on the compassionate side of that issue.

Was that also when Motznik put forth his bill to license cats? Motznik has such a diverse and wide-ranging legislative record, after some time passes I forget if its something that actually happened, or if I just dreamed it.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Those 'fab 5' had better fix the 'slush fund.' Otherwise, this was no win at all.

Truth is, the budget is full of smoke and mirrors. Slush funds prevail in every corner of city government.

The Act 47 plans are not worth the paper they occupy.

Members of council have hired lots of staffers for political patronage posts at less than living wage for things that are beyond the scope of council.

City Council needs to get its house in order first.

Council needs those aids as few can think for themselves.

Council may have had a victory -- and the mayor may have had a defeat. However, the citizens did not win squat.

In the big picture, Dan Deasey was on the right side and is able to defend his position to taxpayers.

Char said...

When did Deasy vote on the right side? Was it his vote to cut unneeded take home cars?

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