Friday, June 12, 2009

Ravenstahl Called Past Mayor's Failure to Appear 'Shameful'

It Luke Ravenstahl who called it "shameful" that Mayor Tom Murphy would not come before City Council to discuss the rookie councilman's legislation to lower the parking tax. Ravenstahl was just shy of a month on the job on council at the time (February 4, 2004).

Thanks to Early Returns and The Comet for recalling my Channel 4 Action News report with vintage video of past mayors braving key City Council hearings.

The story tells how Mayors Tom Murphy, Sophie Masloff, and Dick Caliguiri all came before council without being ordered to to so. It includes that clip of Ravenstahl calling out Murphy, Murphy facing down Ravenstahl, and Masloff walking bravely through a crowd that was booing her like they were a "Studio Wrestling" audience.

Here's my post from two summers ago about Mayor Caliguiri's day in the hot seat.

Mayor Caliguiri
Joyce Mendelsohn/Post-Gazette Photo, Dec. 1984

The moment was rare and dramatic.

I remember Mayor Dick Caliguiri attending a City Council hearing about his controversial plan to merge then-separate Police, Fire, and EMS departments into three bureaus under one new Public Safety Department. The change was strongly opposed by the police and firefighters unions, whose members packed council chamber as he spoke. I clearly recall Mayor Caliguiri sitting opposite the council members, fielding their questions about his plans as a standing-room-only crowd of opponents rumbled with sounds of disapproval. I was a radio reporter covering council at the time. Below you'll find clippings from the Pittsburgh Press and the Post-Gazette describing what Mayor Caliguiri said and did that day.

Here's a link to my Channel 4 Action News report; it includes video of Mayors Murphy, Masloff, and Caliguiri in rare policy debate appearances before City Council.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

The Press and PG reports were front page stories, the second items down from the mastheads. Click 'Read More' if you're interested in seeing the rest of the clippings.

PG article, part 2. Click image to enlarge.

Press article, part 2. Click image to enlarge.

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