Friday, March 7, 2008

Mayor Pays PEMA For Yukon Rides

Remember the questions raised over Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's use of a police SUV paid for with federal Homeland Security money? Tonight the mayor says that he's paying about $150 to put the matter behind him.

Ravenstahl used the GMC Yukon -- intended for the city's police intelligence unit -- to take friends to a concert, among other things. The mayor's office says Pennsylvania's Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) found that the cost of the mayor using the SUV was minimal. Ravenstahl has written a personal check to the state for $145.50 to cover the cost of the 300 miles he put on the vehicle.

I'd blogged here about Federal Emergency Management officials telling the state to look into the matter. The Yukon was purchased under the federal "Buffer Zone Protection Program". That means it's to be used to "protect and secure critical infrastructure and key resource sites across the country". The mayor and Police Chief Nate Harper fielded reporter questions on this last fall.

The mayor's office e-mailed its announcement shortly before 5:00 PM on Friday. No PEMA or federal officials were available for comment. You can check out the news release below.

[Click to enlarge.]

I noticed the news release letterhead is now bears a copyright by the mayor's office. I'm sure that with "fair use" exemptions there's no problem reproducing it here.



Anonymous said...

"copyright by the mayor's office"

Bob, How do you feel about the city copyrighting items such as this? Does the city even have the right to do such a thing?

What's to stop them from copyrighting everything released from the mayors office and then picking and choosing what gets used and by whom?

Some municipalities are even trying to claim copyright on public documents these days.

Or is this just another example of the Mayor's office not having a clue as to what they are doing?

Char said...

Does that $145.50 cover clean-up costs for the BBQ sauce on the back seat?

Bob Mayo said...

To Anonymous from 12:35 AM...

I'm puzzled by the copyright. I'm assuming that it refers to the graphic and not the news release, but I'll be asking Alecia Sirk of the mayor's office. My instinct to presume that -- in either case -- government work product is in the public domain.

To Char...

I'm think cleaning and fueling are expenses are not counted against the federal grant channeled through PEMA. (I know you were probably asking a rhetorical question, but thought I'd give it a shot.)

Anonymous said...

Bob, Check this out. Very interesting.