Saturday, October 29, 2005

Be it ever so humble

It's been a while since I discussed local politics; I think the Slate thing must have gone to my head. So first let me commend Mark Rauterkus for calling out Mayor Murphy on his hypocrisy in claiming the process for awarding slots licenses is corrupt:

When the construction of the stadiums and convention center was happening -- there were pass-through contracts. The minority contractor elements were a joke. And, the whistleblowers had a hard time.

Back when the entire stadium and convention center deals were being sold to the public in political circles, the black communities were promised lots of 'jobs' and 'opportunities' if they would only give support to 'the vision.' Well, the promises were broken.

Now, let me turn to today's Trib, which reports that the Allegheny Conference on Community Development may be facing something of an identity crisis as it restructures, laying off staff. Here's my advice to the conference: Fold up your tent and go home. As Mike Madison noted recently, the conference can provide none of what Pittsburgh actually needs to grow. You know what? Pittsburgh has never needed what the conference has had to offer, and I would submit that the conference has accomplished little, if anything, of lasting value to this region.

Oh, sure, the conference may be able to point to Pittsburgh's alleged "Renaissance." It can claim responsibility for the Point and Gateway Center. But this is nothing but a pretty postcard. Look closer, and it is empty. Pittsburgh's population slide has continued unabated for as long as the conference has been around, and nothing it has proposed as of late--Fifth and Forbes, the convention center, the stadiums--will change that. The best the conference can do, as Mike noted, is get out of the way.

3 Comments:

Blogger Amos_thePokerCat said...

You know you have lived in PIT a long time when you actually remember the last time someone claimed that what the city needed was a "Renaissance II", and everyone seriously thought it was a good idea, ... and did not laugh ... uncontrollably ... or cry.

9:37 PM

 
Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

Well, technically, there was a "Renaissance II" in the late 70s-early 80s, if memory serves. Which just goes to show that irony can never compete with real life.

9:44 AM

 
Blogger Al L'Agheny said...

Renaissance I, II, III or whatever... Once down this path, this sort of development takes on a life of its own. Its like a black hole that will never be fed enough. Each previous failure is used to justify the need for more development.

The excuse is always, "we didn't have enough top-down planned development last time... Phase II ( and eventually phase III, then IV, V, VI, etc.) will get us to where we make phase I (etc.) work. Just trust us!"

12:40 PM

 

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