Thursday, June 15, 2006

Axes, Nice and Ground

If you were paying attention the last few days, you would have noticed this article and this article. From the first:

Foes of Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Twanda Carlisle launched a petition drive to impeach her yesterday, even as neighborhood groups criticized her for cutting them out of an effort to build stores in Lincoln-Lemington.

Phillip Martin, a 50-year-old Homewood resident, said he began circulating impeachment petitions in the morning, and had 17 signatures by lunch. The city's charter says it takes the signatures of 20 residents who are registered voters to begin the impeachment process...

Mr. Martin, a soldier in the Homewood-Brushton branch of The Salvation Army, is working with Ora Lee Carroll, executive director of East Liberty Concerned Citizens Corp., on the impeachment.

He said the petition does not include specific charges against the councilwoman, because he did not want to narrow the scope of any resulting proceeding...

Ms. Carroll was among a handful of community activists who appeared before council to criticize Ms. Carlisle for the proposed sale of nearly three acres of tax-delinquent land to Alex Development of Mount Washington. The property is at 1111 and 1113 Lincoln Ave.

Ms. Carroll and Judith Ginyard, executive director of Lincoln-Larimer Community Development Corp., said they have been working with Alex Development for nearly four years on a $1.5 million plan to bring a Family Dollar, ethnic grocery and other small shops to the site...

Ms. Ginyard ran against Ms. Carlisle in 2003, and has been rumored to be a potential candidate in next year's race for the council seat....
And from the second article:
Council members voted 2-0, with four abstentions and three members absent, to sell 1111 and 1113 Lincoln Ave. to Alex Development of Mount Washington...

The nonprofit Lincoln-Larimer Community Development Corp. has a competing $1.5 million plan to bring a Family Dollar, an ethnic grocery and other small shops to the site. The group was working with Alex Development until recently.

"Turning this site over to a for-profit developer tells us that all of our hard work is down the drain," said the group's executive director, Judith Ginyard.

Deputy City Solicitor George R. Specter told council the city can't sell to the community group because city code bars the sale of land to organizations that owe back taxes. City records show that the community development group owes $5,679 in property taxes to the city and Pittsburgh Public Schools on its Frankstown Avenue headquarters...
Now, first, I understand that there are "coincidences," but it seems a little more than coincidental that these two items are coming up at the same time: a denied sale and an impeachment petition.

Second, twenty signatures is all you need to impeach a council person? Shit, if I had known that was an option I wouldn't have bothered with this blog, instead putting my effort into getting rid of Michelle Madoff.*

Third, there are an awful lot of "community" groups out there with "plans". Some of these "plans" have been around for "years," brought out every now and then when foundations and other grant making organizations are looking for "results." I'd kinda like to know what kind of "results" this community group has had recently before selling property to them.

Fourth, seems a pretty clear cut case here of the rules: tax delinquent organizations can't buy city property until they are caught up on their taxes. I like rules.

Fifth, impeachment has me nervous for one reason: what devil we don't know would replace the devil we know? Going through my little rolodex of people in the 9th Councilmatic district, eliminating the people that are opportunists, political tools, ignoramuses, and down right idiots, I've come up with two people, and I think one of them is dead.

I would vote for the dead person; I have an axe to grind against the living.

* What do you mean she's gone? Dang.

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