Monday, January 7, 2008

New City Council: Notes & Quotes

his post is my first of the new year. I've been spending all of my free time working on a special event that's coming to Pittsburgh in March.

I'll be blogging about what's in the works once the details are confirmed. By the way, The Busman's Holiday is now just over a year old.

Meanwhile, here are some breakout quotes Pittsburgh Council's launch into 2008. It brings three new members on the nine member body, pledges of cooperation, and assertions of independence. In the end, Doug Shields' expected opponent for the council presidency was the one to nominate him.

The vote unanimous among the members president, but one was absent. In response to my query by phone, Councilwoman Tonya Payne's staffer said that the councilwoman was involved in meetings inside her office while the public meeting was under way.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl at City Council's swearing-in ceremony:

• "...that I can work with this city council, to do a good job. to unite, to put forth a common agenda for the best interest of residents of the city of Pittsburgh."

Council President Doug Shields on his re-election to that post:

• "I think there was a recognition in the body that they wanted to maintain a certain independence, that they wanted to maintain a healthy check and balance system."

• "There's that side of this business that everybody likes to (wonder) 'oh, what's going to happen bad next?' ...and what we want, what this council wants, is unity, not schism."

• "We shall heal political wounds, and we shall all be focused on the purpose of which we were sent here, and that is to do the people's business and to do so honorably."

Councilman Jim Motznik on the race for council president:

• "...and the consensus was Doug Shields was doing a decent job as president , a good job as president, and a change probably wasn't needed."

• "The mayor didn't weigh in on the council presidency. I believe if he would have, I would have been the president. Council should decide on who's president."

Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess on his pledge to work for social justice:

• "..equity, in every contract proposed, in every development planned. Equity in every public dollar allocated and every public policy recommended."

Councilman Bruce Kraus
on council unity:

• "The most important issue we face is consensus and cooperation. That's really what this council is going to be about. It is consensus and cooperation."

Councilman Patrick Dowd on that same theme:

• ".. this council is interested in sort of governing from the center and trying to find a way to work with the administration to build that common agenda."

• "...things like city finances, trying to deal with the long term financial health of the city, trying to address the performance of city services, to better deliver services, ethical reform. All sorts of stuff."


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