Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Special Awards for the Real Winners of 2004

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Special Awards for the Real Winners of 2004

Article excerpt

It's that time of year again when we give credit where credit is due.

Parents of the Year Award: This goes to the mom and dad at a Hampton High School basketball game who assaulted a referee for, they felt, inadequately protecting their son from an overly aggressive opponent. Or should this be the Irony of the Year Award?

The Am Not/Are Too/Nanna Nanna Boo-boo Good Government Award: Ross commissioners win this one, hands down. Way to go, guys! Verbatim accounts of board meetings read like elementary school playground disputes. Ross voters should figure out which nattering ninnies need to be sent home for good, and then do it.

The Real-Deal Good Government Award: Ross commissioners also win this one, for being one of the few local governing bodies to consider lowering taxes when many municipalities simply larded their budgets with the state's Emergency and Municipal Services Tax windfall. Way to go, guys! And this time, I mean it.

Ross Township Summer Internship: Let's appoint Allegheny County Sheriff Pete DeFazio to this post, hoping he'll learn something about budgets (though not about running meetings) from Ross commissioners. DeFazio spends money he doesn't have, while Ross commissioners don't spend money they do have. He doesn't seem very teachable, but maybe some sense of fiscal responsibility would rub off.

The Craven Political Hacks Award: This goes to Allegheny County Council members for rewarding DeFazio's three years of huge cost overruns by protecting his department from row office reform. If the county's inept Democratic leadership is to survive, it must have devoted foot soldiers and, well, those sheriffs sure have nice boots.

Political Realism Award: Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato accepted County Council's watered-down row office reform and sent it on to the voters. His declaring this inadequate referendum a significant victory was a bit much, but, on the other hand, a Republican leader would have gotten zip from this council.

Obstructionist of the Year Award: Easy. This honor goes to City Controller and Democratic Party Chairman Tom Flaherty for proposing yet another study of whether row office reform is necessary. …

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