Wednesday, February 18, 2009

One man's trash is another Mayors irresponsible behavior...


Trash Talk: Pittsburgh Mayor Spends $250K On Garbage Cans
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 – updated: 5:50 pm EST February 18, 2009

PITTSBURGH -- When Pittsburgh residents think of trash, they could be thinking about Mayor Luke Ravenstahl thanks to some new cans with his name on them.

Just months before the primary election, Ravenstahl's administration is spending more than $250,000 to buy 250 new trash cans -- all with his name on them.

"I understand it might look like a lot of money," Ravenstahl said. "You can't simply go to Home Depot to buy a garbage can and put it on the street corner. We're looking for beautification. We're looking to have vibrant looking business districts, and we think it makes good sense to buy a quality garbage can."

The new cans will be distributed in 30 neighborhoods as part of the Taking Care of Business program -- a plan designed to help revitalize neighborhoods.

The head of the neighborhood programs defends putting the mayor's name on trash cans.

Kim Graziani said he is, after all, the mayor and wants people to know "he is responding to the needs of the community."

"A thousand dollars apiece with his name on it and it's your money," said taxpayer Brian Dunlap. "That's pathetic. Put my name on it. I'll get a garbage can for $5. I mean, come on."

"You live in the city. You have some concern about taxpayer money," said taxpayer Craig Clark. "I mean, it's not the brightest thing."

"Given the hard times were facing today, I just can't believe we would spend that kind of money on garbage cans," said taxpayer Art Schwarzaelder. "That's the kind of thing that ought to be audited investigated."

Ravenstahl isn't the first Pittsburgh mayor to put his name on garbage cans. Former mayors Tom Murphy, Sophie Masloff and Pete Flaherty also used trash cans as publicity.

Another issue, however, is that all city purchases over $5,000 require competitive bidding. But Ravenstahl defended skirting the system of accountability, saying his staff was certain the trash can purchase couldn't be matched.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

See now I have a problem with this...
Kim Graziani said he is, after all, the mayor and wants people to know "he is responding to the needs of the community."

The community needs $1,010.00 Garbage cans? Hey Mayor Oscar The Grouchenstahl (all credit for that to Mikey from The Kiss Freak Show) Have you driven on any local roads lately?? Have you been snowed inside your house because of the halfassed snow removal around here? What about the shitty conditions of our schools, or our public transportation, hell you could of given that money to the Pirates so they could pay for a night of fireworks and bobbleheads.

From the TribLive Opinion page
Ravenstahl's garbage
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pete Flaherty did it. So, too, did Sophie Masloff. Tom Murphy did it and once chided another public official for not. And now, Luke Ravenstahl.

But just because past Pittsburgh mayors used taxpayer dollars for blatant political promotion on public property doesn't make it right.

Three months in advance of the May 19 mayoral primary, trash receptacles with Mr. Ravenstahl's name are being positioned around the city. They're defended as being part of the mayor's "Taking Care of Business" beautification project. But this is pretty egregious and expensive politicking on the public dime.

There are 250 of these glorified garbage cans. They cost an astounding $1,010 each. A quarter-of-a-million-dollar state grant -- tax dollars -- paid for them. A Public Works manager notes that the bulk purchase saved about $100 per trash can. For cryin' out loud, Philadelphia paid only $118 for each of its 697 Center City trash receptacles.

So, when bids were let for these cans, weren't there any cheaper models? Bids? What bids? Ravenstahl's administration didn't seek any bids. It just bought.

Pittsburgh remains in state receivership. Its pension plans are bust. Structural budget deficits loom. And the Boy Mayor is playing politics with grossly overpriced garbage cans. It's reprehensible behavior from a politician in dire need of an open-handed slap from reality.

Please Pittsburgh

1 comment:

AJ said...


i HAD hope for Ravenstahl.

he was young, and he seemed from outside the political system.

And he turned out to be one of the most idiotic mayors pittsburgh ever had.

next time, save your vote and write me in. i'll make our city great again.