Saturday, December 31, 2005

Lebo: Catching Up -- TIF-financed development

Once again, there is a deal in place to develop luxury condos at the intersection of Washington Road and Bower Hill Road, and once again, the deal is contingent on approval of Tax Increment Financing. Meaning: If this goes through, we'll have more high-end housing in Mt. Lebanon -- which doesn't get added to the real estate tax rolls.

Does anyone on the Commission and the School Board (both of which, I think, have a say in TIF deals) have the guts to put a stop to the TIF foolishness?

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Lebo: Catching Up -- 911 Dispatch

Does it make sense for Mt. Lebanon to continue to fund its own 911 dispatch center? The Commission thinks so, because the residents and public safety organizations think so.

But it's an expense, and taxes are going up again. Eventually, Mt. Lebanon is going to have to make some choices about what services it wants to keep, and what services it is willing to give up.

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Lebo: Catching Up -- The Battle for the Legislature

The P-G ran a summary of the primary battles heating up over Tom Stevenson's seat in Harrisburg. On the right side of this blog, we have links to the websites for Stevenson, Sargent, and Smith. We'll add Harris, too, if he has a site.

I'm not here to endorse candidates, but one note in the story did strike me as odd. The idea that Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania can rebuild its economy with manufacturing jobs is just wrong. It's out of touch with the local economy, out of touch with the national economy, and most important, out of touch with the international economy. Some small-scale manufacturing survives in Pittsburgh, even thrives here, and that's good. But the region is never again going to support, or be supported by, a broad manufacturing base.

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Lebo: Tragedy

Condolences to the family and friends of Thaddeus Kaczorowski.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Amy Rigby

Mt. Lebanon native Amy Rigby will be playing at Club Cafe on January 13th, 2006.

I've been listening to her latest CD, Little Fugitives, and I really like it. It's not often that you hear great rock/pop music from the perspective of a 40-something mom. WYEP is playing a few tracks from the CD, including the fun "Dancing With Joey Ramone".

Here is a review of her last Pittsburgh show.

And a link to Amy's website.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mt. Lebanon budget plan saves officer, hikes taxes

A P-G story on last night's commission meeting.
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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Lebo: The New School Board Acts

Four newly-elected members of the Mt. Lebanon School Board participated in the annual organizational meeting of the Board last Monday. On a nine-member Board, even if the four vote as a group they can't make changes on their own. But it was interesting to see what happened nonetheless.

On the elevation of incumbent Joe Rodella from vice president of the Board to president: 6-3 in favor, with newcomers Hart, Remely, and Silhol dissenting, and newcomer Posti voting in favor.

On the retention of solicitor Thomas Peterson: 9-0 in favor of retention. An issue of cost was raised at the meeting; the District reported that Mr. Peterson's rates are competitive. It isn't clear whether any Board member questioned the skill of the solicitor. My view is that better contract draftsmanship would have improved the District's poor bargaining position in the Margery Sable affair.

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Lebo: New Pool?

The P-G reports on the latest developments in connection with a new Mt. Lebanon aquatic center. Things continue to proceed at a snail's pace. More money will be spent on planning in 2006. Depending on your point of view, that may be a good thing, or it may not be.

I really think that Mt. Lebanon can do without its own lazy river.

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Lebo: All the News, All the Time

More on proposed Mt. Lebanon budget cuts and tax increases:

Competition for Tom Stevenson's seat in the State Legislature:

Howard Hanna gets a big piece of free advertising: and

All those Martha's Rund fundraisers are poised to pay off:
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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

PG Article Regarding Possible Police Layoff and 911 Center Closure

The Post-Gazette published an article today regarding the possible police officer layoff and 911 center closure:


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Friday, December 02, 2005

Lebo: Police Officer Laid Off?

The following copy of a letter to the Post-Gazette appeared in my email in-box with an invitation to post it to the blog.

I don't know whether the facts it recounts are accurate. Even if the facts are accurate, I don't agree that reducing the size of the Mt. Lebanon Police Department by a single officer will negatively impact public safety, and I don't agree that the Commission doesn't care about public safety. Comments?

At Monday nights Commissioners Meeting in Mt. Lebanon, Commissioner Humphries directed that one Mt. Lebanon Police Officer be immediately laid off in an attempt to balance the budget for 2006. This action was not on the agenda and quite frankly the Municipal Manager & Police Administration were not even aware of the subject prior to the meeting.

As a resident of Mt. Lebanon, I am completely outraged that our Commissioners would for the first time in Mt. Lebanon history, remove an officer from employment to balance the budget and do so without prior discussions with the Management of this community. I find it completely incomprehensible for these Commissioners to hire the officer last year and spend in excess of 100 thousand dollars of municipal money for his training and equipment in the last 12 months and then arbitrarily lay him off. This is gross mismanagement of municipal funds.

I cannot determine the actions of this Commission to be appropriate with Public Safety when we have had such an influx of heroin and other drugs into the South Hills in the past year. I also find it very disillusioning that the Mt. Lebanon Police Department will have to remove one of it's Crime Prevention officers from our schools in order to replace the manpower depleted by this layoff. It is clearly evident that our Commissioners do not care about the safety prevention education of our children by reducing the size of our Police Department. It is outrageous that our Commissioners allocate thousands of dollars for flowers to be planted at our traffic islands and hundreds of thousands of dollars for new tee boxes at our golf course yet diminish the safety of our residents , especially the children, by their total lack of regard in Public Safety!
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