Between my daily beerpong match and my four martini lunch, I saw this:
Firefighter drug testing will be in place by month's end, and the city of Pittsburgh is exploring the possibility of a new alcohol policy, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said today.OK, makes sense: you don't want firefighters going into burning building while flammable. But, wait, there's more:
The mayor's comments came days after the Saturday night arrest of firefighter Timothy P. Coyne, who is accused of drunkenness and assault in a South Side Flats incident. He is suspended pending a trial board process and his preliminary hearing is set for tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. at Municipal Court.
Mr. Ravenstahl said the city and union are already deep in negotiations over a drug testing policy and now must look for "other solutions to, perhaps, the alcohol issue..."
Controller Michael Lamb said drug and alcohol policies should "be extended beyond just the Fire Bureau to other areas of city government.Again, makes sense: you don't want your trash collectors trashed and you don't want your water tank drivers tanked. I get that.
"You've got guys driving garbage trucks and dump trucks and water vehicles," he noted, so there should be "some underlying level of trust that these people are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs."
However, if you're going to do this, you might as well go all the way. For example, you might want to eliminate the 2 drink minimum for introducing legislation at City Council. Or, you should probably curtail the "pay your tax/do a shot" scheme in the Finance department. Or, one should stop the Water & Sewer Authority from "testing" the sewer systems with "processed light beer". You can't really do this half-assed, right? You don't want people who are making decisions to be drunk, right?*
Of course, if the City had such policies in place several years ago, a certain member of City government probably wouldn't have gotten into a fracas with the police at a Toby Keith concert.
I'm not worried though: there's enough mind altering chemicals in the floors, walls, and air ducts at 414 Grant Street to keep a good buzz going for any junkie.
Now, I'll you'll excuse me, I have to go polish off a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.
* Well, maybe having everyone drunk all the time isn't such a bad idea. Cheers!