Friday, January 28, 2011

Local Government in Pittsburgh

Seems to be a particularly inept day for local government in the Post-Gazette. Both of these are from the front page:

West Mifflin gas card paid for heroin habit

Just consider the volume of purchases (emphasis mine):

A criminal complaint filed this week by West Mifflin police said the ex-girlfriend of a borough employee stole his government-issued gas card early last year, and for months pumped at least $72,000 in gas for people at two local stations in exchange for half the value in cash. The woman, Dawn Veze of Munhall, and an accomplice netted more than $30,000, which she allegedly told police she used to buy heroin.

The purchases started in the last week of April and were not discovered by the borough's new manager until Jan. 12, meaning the card was racking up bills equalling $9,000 monthly without being discovered.

One person's gas card. $9,000 per month in gas. Now that's quality oversight!

Bill aims to curb trash haulers who disturb city resident's sleep

Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto has introduced legislation aimed at ending the late-night and early-morning Dumpster-emptying known for rattling residents from a sound sleep.

The city code already prohibits commercial haulers from emptying Dumpsters and picking up refuse from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., but based on the complaints he regularly receives, Mr. Peduto believes the restriction is widely ignored.

Alright, fair enough-- I don't like being woken up any more than the next guy. And as long as we're worrying about this, we're not starting programs to give out tax-payer funded gas cards. But here's the kicker:

The restriction now is a zoning law and is supposed to be enforced by city inspectors, but they don't work late-night or early-morning hours.

That means when the law was written, it never could have been enforced. That's fantastic.


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