Friday, March 23, 2012

Trib: Laurels & Lances

On the "Watch List":

• The Mt. Lebanon School Board. It's going to spend more than $41,000 on a study to predict the success of a prospective $30 million capital fundraising campaign. Good grief. We'll bet most residents of already tax-strapped Mt. Lebanon don't appreciate the implications of picking their pockets one way to see how amenable they might be to having their pockets picked another way.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

All in one week...the TRIB and Allegheny Institute, both going public with critical comments and questions about the Mt. Lebanon School District and SB.

Where are all the *cheerleaders* the SB claims are out there.."cats got your tongues ?"

Bill Lewis

March 23, 2012 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, Bill. The cat doesn't have our tongues. We're just pleased. What are we pleased about?

*The HS project is underway

*The SB, having decided to explore a capital fundraising campaign, is going about it the correct way

*The SB and Commission are not only finally talking to each other, but collaborating

*The Washington Rd business district is more vibrant than ever (despite several residents decrying its decline not long ago)

We're busy enjoying and participating in the community we love, believing that the best is yet to come.

Rob Gardner

March 24, 2012 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dream on, Rob. You're quoting the District propoganda machine and IN magazine pandering baloney.

I'm sure you're on the fundraising heavy hitters list for the really big $....can't wait to see your name on the tally list of actuals.

Bill Lewis

March 24, 2012 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Kim Ressler said...

My initial reaction to paying for a study was negative, and then I recalled that our church embarked on their capital campaign in the same way - paying an expert for their advice and guidance. The campaign's goals were met. I have read many comments on this blog from folks asking donors to pony up for "pet projects" in sports and academics, so is it wrong to give this a try? Was there a volunteer with this expertise who was turned away? If $40,000 brings in $400,000, would it be worth it?

March 24, 2012 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a look at the article in today's PG. Cal U. was attempting to raise (only) $6 million, and all they have received is $3,000. What makes anyone think that ML has any chance of getting $30 million from those already paying exorbitant taxes? The school board might be lucky if they reaise enough to pay for the consultant.
Rob, how does that Kool-aid taste?
Joe Wertheim

March 24, 2012 12:35 PM  
Blogger Tom Moertel said...

For what it’s worth, I think it’s smart to spend $40 thousand to find out whether there are millions of untapped donation dollars. Worst case, we find out that there aren’t and that the school district must balance its books the hard way: either by spending less or by facing the voters in a referendum.

Even in that case, the up-front money won’t have been wasted. It will have purchased something valuable: knowledge of our financial predicament. And that knowledge alone is worth at least $40 thousand.

March 24, 2012 6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, this board would not recognize what you call "valuable knowledge" if it jumped up and bit them on the nose. They have continued to ignore financial reality for years. This will not be the lesson that makes them see the light.
Joe Wertheim

March 24, 2012 10:13 PM  
Blogger Tom Moertel said...

Joe, but the public will also know it. And, come election time, perhaps they will not forget how many of our currently elected representatives have believed in things that proved woefully wrong.

March 25, 2012 12:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I’ll probably regret commenting on the blog, but I am going to in spite of trepidation. I think that spending $41K on a study that most folks with a computer and keyboard can accomplish is wasteful. If you look at what kinds of contributions other local organizations have received, and they are NOT already receiving revenue from our taxpayers, the idea of obtaining $30Million is truly ludicrous and yet another wasteful decision by our school board.

-Charlotte Stephenson

March 25, 2012 1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few years ago I found on that there were some 220 non-profit 501(c)(3) entities registered in the 4 Lebo ZIP Codes.

Most all of these solicit donations. Just think of all the state and national groups that do well as politicians & political party's for which contributions are not tax deductible. It's a bit mind boggling.

Bill Lewis

March 25, 2012 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Richard Gideon said...

The nine members of the Mt. Lebanon School Board are collectively worth several millions of dollars (a conservative estimate). Therefore, to show good-faith to all the people who will be asked for free-will donations, I call upon the Board to fund the $41,000+ price tag for the Pursuant Ketchum study out of their own, private resources. For some Board members, such as Mr. Remely (Owner, H-Squared Properties, Inc.) and Mr. Lebowitz (Lawyer), $41,000 is a minor expense. In assuming the cost of the study members of the Board will demonstrate their willingness to put their private money at risk, and thus set an example for the rest of the community - especially the upper quintile of this community who most vocally support the new edifice.

March 25, 2012 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Steve Jameson said...

Uptown is vibrant? Compared to Dormont yes. But let's get real here. I just got back from two weeks in New England visiting. I'd invite you to visit Lexington Center. See a "downtown" where people can actually do their errands (post office, CVS, etc.) not just go to dinner. And it's not just Lexington: Concord, Belmont, Winchester. Not only were they busy during the day but they bustled on nights and weekends too! I was amazed!

I've been in Mt. Lebanon for over five years and though I appreciate the restaurants of Uptown and Rolliers, I find myself having to get into my car to do my day to day and week to week errands. I've accepted this as part of my reality; but boy do I miss being able to walk to do errands as I did when I lived in Suburban Chicago.

March 26, 2012 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Our community is a great treasure. Our elected officials are stewards of this tremendous gift. It is their responsibility to manage the sacred trust that we have placed in their hands. But what did we get? Yes, Josephine Posti, what did you do with that great trust that was placed in your hands?

You, Josephine Posti, and your little tribe of elected officials carelessly and callously threw our community in front of a runaway freight train! These futile and desperate attempts to pimp and pander with a tin cup for pennies should have never HAD to come about! Why didn’t you listen to the counsel and wisdom of experienced residents who have dedicated years, no – decades, of their lives to community service and elected office? You were all warned for years but you never listened!

Josephine Posti, you should be ashamed of yourself for what you have done! Your legacy of leadership didn’t realize a vision of anything other than sinking property values, horrendous and wasteful expenditures on unnecessary luxury for powerful special interests who continue to contribute absolutely nothing, massive debt, and the initiation of a community-wide transformation into a great white ghetto!


-John Kendrick

March 26, 2012 6:47 PM  
Anonymous David Brown said...

Frothy screaming rants in public places using words like pimp and ghetto aren't good for property values either. I'd guess things like that turn more people away than high taxes.

March 28, 2012 2:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...




March 28, 2012 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone see this week's ALMANAC headline? That's not good for property values.

-Charlotte Stephenson

March 29, 2012 6:58 PM  
Anonymous David Brown said...

Doubling down again, Mr. Kendrick?

March 29, 2012 10:07 PM  

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