Thursday, December 20, 2007

Podcast--Q&A: Mayor's UPMC Apology

I've posted a podcast of Mayor Ravenstahl's news conference, including his apology to UPMC and his Q&A with reporters following his opening statement. You listen in here at this link.

Here are some breakout quotes:

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl:

• "I do also want to basically apologize to UPMC for the way they were treated yesterday in City Council. I think it's unfortunate... that somebody is willing to give 100 Million dollars to a program that they believe in and to be treated the way that they were in front of City Council yesterday is, i think is... is a shame. And it takes away from the big picture here and what we're all trying to do."

• "Believe me, I would have loved to have announced this in my election campaign, but I didn't, 'cause it's bigger than me, bigger than council. This is the future of the city. It has nothing to do with me, or my political agenda, shouldn't have anything to do with council's political agenda."

• "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."

• "UPMC is very upset right now, and i don't blame them."

• "There are wounds to heal, and I'm in the process of trying to heal them right now."

• "I'm willing to have a discussion with anybody about those concerns, but to publicly humiliate an organization that's going to give 100 Million dollars? They could have walked away right now and said we're done."

• "The program is bigger than process. The program is bigger than communication. The program is about the future of so many people's lives, generations to come. It's not about me. It's not about them. It's about the future for the city."

• "You know, sometimes Pittsburgh just has to get out of its own way. And we have to get out of our own way here We've been given a gift of 100- Million dollars. Literally said 'here", to fund education, to fund a rebirth and revitalization of this city. And we're going to pick it apart? Humiliate them? Embarrass them?"

• "The same people that said this would never happen. Now it's happened. Now they're figuring out a way to derail it again. And, boy, that's not why i got in this business."



EdHeath said...

Ok, now I am confused in a different way, maybe a more coherent way. If UPMC gets a pass from the school board on future, hypothetical taxes on non-profits, and gets a pass from city council on future, hypothetical taxes on non-profits, does that mean UPMC's donation to the Pittsburgh Promise does double duty? In other words, would UPMC be getting two dollars of tax credit for each dollar of donaiton, one dollar from the school board and one from the city?
(full disclosure, I sent this question to a reporter at one of America's great newspapers)

Char said...


I’m confused. Maybe you can help me out.

- Have you actually read the “side deal”, the proposed legislation or both?
- What exactly is UPMC asking for? A tax credit equal to whatever they put into The Promise or a carte blanche exemption from any/all city taxes which might come their way should Act 55 be changed?
- What about Peduto’s point that council cannot legally exempt UPMC from taxes because of charitable giving without offering that same exemption to every other “non-profit”, for-profit or individual tax payer?

Thanks in advance if you know these things.

TrolleyRider said...

If Luke thinks this is such a great idea, why doesn't he propose legislation that would allow ANY citizen or business to give any amount of money to the Promise for an equal reduction in their city taxes?

So if I am a private citizen and I give $500 to Pittsburgh Promise this year, I can reduce my City tax bill by $500. Can someone ask him that please?

Bram Reichbaum said...

"The program is bigger than process"


And I still don't understand why he didn't want it announced over the summer. Except to say he didn't want it examined. Which gets back to process. Which very little, if anything, is bigger than.

Anonymous said...

"The program [pgh Prom} is bigger than the process."

Luke NOTHING is bigger than the process. The process is the Constitutions of the US and PA as well as the Home Rule Charter. Bob why not lead the 6 pm news with a screaming headline, "Mayor declares marshall law, disolves Council."