Monday, November 16, 2009

Councilman Gets Promise from Ravenstahl on Garages

Pittsburgh City Councilman Patrick Dowd is backing off a bit in his effort to pass legislation requiring the Council’s input on the sale or lease of the Parking Authority’s garages. Last week Dowd his bill on hold for two weeks saying he was seeing positive signs fro the Ravenstahl administration. He says he has been given assurance that a member of council will be placed on the committee charged with drawing up a request for proposal to sell the garages and other authority assets. Dowd says the mayor has also told him that he will appoint a member of council to the authority’s board. Other council members have also voiced concerns that the parking authority board members are all serving expired terms and that could jeopardize any contact signed by the board. Ravenstahl says he will reappoint those members or submit new names in the New Year. The mayor wants to sell or lease the garages and use the money to shore up the city’s under funded pension program. Dowd says he wants to tweak the legislation while it is on the table to give it more teeth and work out any legal issues. He says that way if the administration shows signs of backing off of its commitments the council will be ready to “stake its flag” in the process.

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