Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pens Win -- Council Postpones Compelling Mayor Ravenstahl to Appear

've gotten hold of an e-mail from City Council President Doug Shields to all council members and to the Mayor's Office. Shields is postponing Mayor Ravenstahl's compelled appearance before Council in order to accommodate the Penguins victory parade.

The Mayor is being told "Council expects the Mayor to attend (the) Wednesday standing committee to respond to questions pertaining to the amended Act 47 year plan".

From: Shields, Doug
Sent: Sun Jun 14 2009
Subject: Cancelled post agenda

I was informed that the Mayor has scheduled a VICTORY parade for the Penguins Stanley Cup champions.

Go Pens! What a great team effort and most exciting series for the NHL fans everywhere. And the Pittsburgh Penguins are bringing the cup home in style. A great day for hockey indeed.

Therefore, the Act 47 post agenda scheduled for Monday is cancelled.
I ask the City Clerk's office to please convey a letter to the Mayor so that he is informed that the Council has passed a motion to compel the Mayor to appear before the governing body.

The Council expects the Mayor to attend Wed. Standing committee to respond to questions pertaining to the amended Act 47 year plan.

Thank you all for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.

Go Pens

Doug Shields
President, City Council



Bram Reichbaum said...

I'm interested by the political hockey overtones: the "league's youngest captain making it happen" on one side of the hall vs. "what a great team effort".

I still think the officiating was lousy early in the series, but I had no problems with Game 7.

Anonymous said...

Bram, can you explain why there is a light bulb in fridge and not in freezer...

Nearsighted monk looking for reason as to why Bud Light W Lime is always frozen...


Bram Reichbaum said...

I'm not clear that City Council has "postponed compelling". That late-night email from Doug Shields may have to go through the usual Council bookkeeping on Tuesday. That in itself might merit a round or two of discussion.

Bob Mayo said...


The headline on the post ("Pens Win -- Council Postpones Compelling Mayor Ravenstahl to Appear") is a bottom line summary of where things stand.

Council members voted to compel the Mayor to appear before them. As I understand it, the language of the motion left it to the Council President to set the time for that appearance. Just as Shields was able to set the time and day for the meeting, he had the authority to reschedule it without council bookkeeping. Now, if three council members flipped on this issue then there could be some interesting discussion on Tuesday.

From the City Charter:

The powers of the council president shall be:

d. to schedule public hearings of council and preside at them;

Council shall have the following additional powers:

f. to call a meeting at any time between council and the mayor jointly to discuss legislation or the business of the City in general, and to compel the attendance of the mayor at a council hearing;

Also, FWIW:

In any case where an elected official, officer, or unit of government has the power to conduct public hearings the elected official, officer or unit of government shall the authority to issue subpoenas for the attendance of witness and to compel testimony and the production of documents and other evidence. The subpoena shall issue in the name of the City and shall be signed by the elected official, officer or presiding officer of the unit of government. Any witness who refuses to obey a subpoena, or who refuses to testify under oath or affirmation, may be cited for contempt in any Court of Common Pleas having jurisdiction.

Bram Reichbaum said...

"As I understand it, the language of the motion left it to the Council President to set the time for that appearance."

Ah, that would simplify things. I don't suppose it matters that there is no such special session on Act 47 anymore; the motion is simply transferable to Wednesday's regular meeting when that business is discussed.

Bob Mayo said...

I checked the city website to see if an exact transcript of the motion is available but I couldn't find one. The exact wording could come under scrutiny. My recollection is that that Shields was given authority to set the meeting; that's certainly one of the enumerated powers of Council President.

Monk said...

Luke will sweep Doug 4 games to none...

Doug, doesn't matter and Doug is only one that doesn't 'get it'...