Friday, December 26, 2008

Reader Comments on Oversight & Sunshine

My Sunshine Law conversations with the Oversight Board is bringing some reactions in the comments section at the end of the post.

Here's recap:

Mark Rauterkus said...
Bob, you're on holiday.

You know, bloggers never take a real holiday, unlike those who are left with jobs in the MSM.

g u i l t t r i p l o o m s

Have a good day. No worries. Be happy.

EdHeath said...
I don't think you "proved" that the ICA is remiss in its notification schedule and process, in the sense that a judge would take action based on what you say here. But I think when a major reporter for major news outlet in town (and I feel safe characterizing you as that) feels there is a problem, the ICA ought do to do more than try to (defensively) explain your concerns away.

The ICA might well be the key to the city's future. The only way I can see Pittsburgh emerging from its twin crushing burdens of debt and pension obligations is through Act 47, specifically a second, more far reaching five year plan. This is especially true since the Nordenberg report (the report on consolidation) was in no way aggressive in its view on county wide consolidation. Perhaps that just reflects the reality of the situation, but it does nothing to help the City with its financial picture. So we need to know and have input into our financial future in the since of knowing when the ICA meetings. It may be inconvenient for them, but it is our future.

Bob Mayo said...

Thanks, Ed. I wouldn't say my anecdotes and e-mails prove anything; they're just snapshots of my experiences dealing with the ICA over time. They're the sort of things that don't make it into a TV news story, but they do provide a window on how the ICA deals with the Sunshine Law. Heck, I have the ICA website bookmarked and check it periodically. Most people don't. As with my blogging about my exchanges with the city's Ethics Hearing Board, this is about spotlighting the spirit as well as the letter of the law. These aren't difficult laws and requests to comply with, but the responses to them can be telling.

Bram Reichbaum said...
I just noticed this post for some reason; I thought the Christmas post immediate followed the billboard post. Great stuff.

If the citizens of Pittsburgh are dissatisfied with the conduct of their ICA, I wonder who they are supposed to take it out on?

Bob Mayo said...


That's the thing about news stories -- and blog posts -- heading into holidays or weekends. Fewer people notice them.

In the past week there have been two examples.

The Oversight Board meeting that was called without public notice became a item in the newspapers on Dec. 24th -- Christmas Eve. The Zoning Board's long-in-coming ruling on the electronic billboard? Word of its release came around 4:30 Friday afternoon, heading into the weekend before Christmas.

Initially, I was told I only had until 5:15 to pick up the billboard decision at the city's zoning counter. I joked that I hoped there wouldn't be a problem with the counter staying open for me past 4:15. In the end, they were able to fax a copy to our newsroom.

No comments: