Saturday, November 19, 2011

Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water Authority

And then there's this kerfluffle brewing at PWSA:

A year of frustration at the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority boiled over Friday when city Councilman Patrick Dowd called the agency's board "pathetic" and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office accused him of grandstanding.

The PWSA's top management job has been vacant since December, when executive director Michael Kenney resigned amid questions about his ties to a vendor.

Mr. Dowd, one of six board members, says the management void has existed far too long. He became angry Friday when fellow director Scott Kunka suggested postponing the search for a management company that could oversee operations on at least a temporary basis...

Asserting that the board's main roles are to hire top management, make policy and hold managers accountable, Mr. Dowd said, "we have failed in each of those categories, and our failure is pathetic, and it is enormous."

The comments brought rebukes from Mr. Kunka, who is also Mr. Ravenstahl's finance director, and state Rep. Dan Deasy, D-Westwood, the board chairman.
According to my contacts over at PWSA, Mr. Dowd's comments need to be submitted to staff in writing within 5 days so that they can be reviewed for 30 days for comments by PWSA consultants, at which time Mr. Dowd will need to resubmit his motion with the necessary changes for a second review. After the re-resubmital, PWSA staff will re-review for 60 days and ask for additional corrections that they forgot to mention the first time. After the third review, PWSA staff will call a meeting with Mr. Dowd asking what this submital is and why they haven't seen it before, reminding him that they need at least 30 days notice before they can approve any submital. Mr. Dowd will then protest that he's already submitted the comments to PWSA three times at this point and that they are perfectly aware of them. PWSA staff will deny all knowledge of this and make Mr. Dowd submit for a fourth time, which they will lose under a stack of paperwork until it decomposes and is used in a onsite water retention system that PWSA doesn't let you build anyway. By now, everyone involved will have retired and the point will be moot.

Fortunately for Mr. Dowd, this is the PWSA "fast-track". The normal process involves a fight to the death with spears and pipes.


MH said...

PWSA is the only local government agency where I have failed in my efforts to talk to a human.

O said...

That's because there aren't any humans at PWSA. Rick Deckard has been alerted.