If you were forced against your will to City Council chambers today*, you will have heard the mayor's annual budget address. As always, the Mayor promised to invest more capital dollars into the various Pittsburgh neighborhoods, which has become sort of an annual right of fall to be forgotten about by the Spring... sort of like NBC's primetime lineup.
If I recall correctly, there was a significant amount of money set aside in the previous year's budget for capital improvements, all of which eventually failed to materialize. The Mayor's Office said they really needed that money for some really important stuff, while Council sat around in stunned silence like it was left with the bill at a fancy restaurant. In any case, the Mayor totally promises this time to divvy out the money to the neighborhoods and pinky swears that he has no current plants to yank the money at the last minute again.
And you wonder why the last three Mayors have campaigned on a platform to "invest more in the neighborhoods."
Anyway, there's a couple of more line items in the budget that people are glossing over, but are important to note:
* Removing the Doug Shields smell from Council Chambers - $5,000Once again, the West End gets totally stiffed for much needed Walrus repair. Typical.
* Lottery tickets - $10,000
* Inflatable bouncy castle - $4,000
* Three threatening looking guys with bats to stand outside of the PWSA offices - $15,000
* Hair gel - $7,500
* 311 Staff Person - $0
* Zober Wrangler - $55,000
* Three even more threatening looking guys with bats to stand outside of the Parking Authority offices - $40,000
* Ick-Ray Itzgerald-Fay Estruction-Day Und-Fay - $100,000
* Walrus Repair (Northside) - $33,000
* Pothole Repair - $7.34
* Mt. Washington Based Space Laser - $200,000,000
* Levitating Tables - $5,000
* New old funk smell for Department of Finance's Office - $15,000
* Cello - $300
No word on when the Council President will issue her shadow budget for the Northside.
*Don't laugh. It's happened to me before.