Sunday, October 19, 2008

Local Media to Announce City Layoffs

In an email just sent to me by folks that are far more in the loop than I could ever hope to be, the Ravenstahl Administration has apparently decided that the best way to address all personnel matters is to releases them to the media first.

Following the suspension of employees in the Department of Public Works, including the Department Director Guy Costa, which was apparently relayed to the media before the Director, the Mayor is planning another round of layoffs and suspensions, probably to be released by either KDKA Radio or WTAE News.

There's been discussion and some controversy on the 5th Floor of the City Council Building if this is the right way to approach major personnel announcements. Apparently there is a large contingent that believes that the Public Works suspensions shouldn't have been announced to the television media, but rather released as advertisements in the local print media. The New Pittsburgh Courier, according to some in the Mayor's Office actually provides a less expensive advertising rate than its other competitors.

Still, there is a further minority that believes that such advertising in the television or print media is frankly irresponsible and that city employees should be notified of layoffs in the comment sections of local blogs.

The Mayor has blessed a new policy which would require the local television news media to devote 5 minutes of their news programs to listing suspended and fired employees and denouncing them as "enemies of the City of Pittsburgh." Fired employees are to be immediately purged from all records, payrolls, photos, and official documents.

Guy Costa, who is at the heart of this controversy, was unavailable for comment as he was with other members of the Costa clan at a strategic planning meeting on the best way to give Luke Ravenstahl and Yarone Zober the political equivalent of a "swirlie" or perhaps an "upper decker".

More on this as it develops.

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