Sunday, June 11, 2006

Carthaginem esse Delendam

Last week Leadership Pittsburgh came out with their post-graduate thesis on merging the City of Pittsburgh with Allegheny County. The P-G had dueling op-ed pieces on the topic pro and con. The "pro-side" argues that "it will enable us to create, plan and execute our economic and social development more simply and with one consensus voice", while the "con-side" argues that the regional problems "can be found in the pervasive unionism that determines the business climate as well as a regulatory climate that treats businesses as villains and unions as heroes." While certainly the problems in the Western Pennsylvania region are not limited to the delimitation of municipal boundaries and certainly the sheer number of municipal boundaries is staggering, both sides in this argument are missing a very important point and one that needs to be mentioned here:

The Borough of Mount Oliver must be destroyed utterly.

I recognize that among my municipal colleagues, this may sound like an extreme position, but consider the following statistics:

Mt. Oliver Borough
Size: .3 sq. mi., located entirely within the borders of the City of Pittsburgh
Population: 3,970
Taxes: 2%, paid to the City of Pittsburgh
School District: City of Pittsburgh

So, you have this piddly-assed little pseudo-suburb, wedged in the City of Pittsburgh, leaching off of our economic development and public services. It's almost like its some sort of urban Switzerland awaiting a Pittsburgh Von Trappe family. Or worse, it's like Vatican City without the culture or men in funny hats. Or worse still, it's like San Marino without... well... fuck only knows.* Mount Oliver is a festering boil on the taint of the Pittsburgh Southern Neighborhoods; a boil, that needs to be lanced.

Mount Oliver serves no purpose except to make the cartographer in Pittsburgh's Department of City Planning cry. Same goes for Baldwin**, trying to muscle in on access to the Monongahela River for a total frontage of about 12 ft. These are affronts to the integrity of our borders.

We must annex Mount Oliver as it is rightfully and historically part of the Pittsburgh Fatherland. This is the only way that we can maintain peace in our time.

That is the true point of City annexation.
* As far as I know, the only point of San Marino actually existing is that Carmen San Deigo needed a place to hide.
** And it's not even Steven Baldwin.

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