PittsburghJack's Place

PittsburghJack's Place

an outlet for political animals to share news, views and expose truths.

Confessions of a Shopaholic: Going broke was never this much fun ...

It is outrageous that City Councilmember Twanda Carlisle, knowing the financial crisis that our city is in yet refusing to do anything to help the matter, chose to spend $2400.00 on books. Among the more than 120 books that she charged to the city tab were cookbooks, romance novels and, for $27.99, Bill Clinton's autobiography "My Life." According to the P-G article, Carlisle indicates that these purchases are part of her promotion of reading among her constituents and support of African-American authors. As I understand the role, that is not part of her official duties and certainly shouldn't be something that the taxpayers of the financially-strapped City of Pittsburgh should be footing the bill for. If Carlisle wants to buy books, that's all well and good. But, she should pay for them as you and I do. And perhaps, she should also do a little shopping around -- I bought my copy of Clinton's "My Life" for $17 at Sam's Club. I think it's a little ironic that among the titles that Carlisle charged the city for were "Confessions of a Shopaholic" by Sophie Kinsella and Leslie Esdaile's "Sistahood of Shopaholics."

As if this weren't enough, according to WPXI-TV investigative report, Carlisle also requested that the city pay over $20,000.00 over a four month period to a man who lives with her mother. Carlisle said the payment was for a health care study. Again, perhaps someone should clarify for Carlisle what her role on council is -- the city does not oversee health care policy. Making matters worse, as reported in the P-G, when asked last week about the payment, the man hung up on a reporter. And this past summer, he stated in an interview with WPXI-TV that the payment was for "writing talks and speeches" for Carlisle, not for a health care study. Like all council members, Carlisle received $99,445.00 for council staff expenses. Could her paid staff not write her 'talks and speeches?' Is the man who lives with her mother an expert on health care policy? Why could neither Carlisle nor the man who received the payments be upfront when asked what the payments were for? And finally, why is Carlisle wasting her time on issues like health care in which the city has no jurisdiction?

Frankly, as a taxpayer and homeowner in the City of Pittsburgh, with a stake in it's future, I am insulted that a council member would make such a mockery of and have such little disrespect for the taxpayers and the system. If our elected public servants on city council do not spend our funds more wisely, especially when doing so with such blatant disregard for their bosses -- the taxpayers, perhaps it's time for the city to place some restraints and greater controls on how the funds are being spent. Or perhaps it's time to replace the irresponsible council members with ones who will have the best interests of their constituents and the City of Pittsburgh. The voters in District 9 should keep this in mind the next time they go to the polls to elect their representative to city council.

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At 10:13 AM, Blogger Mark Rauterkus said...

Great rant. On my blog, that will also now point to your, I suggest that Twanda could do plenty of reading with Project Gutenberg's free e-texts.

But, in many respects, this "story in the media" is but a "pimple" in the way to the real recovery that is needed. There are no excuses for those actions. However, we do need to get to the roots of the issues that face Pittsburgh, and another week spent on the latest rash of pimples is going to be another wasted week.

Didn't the URA board, (SALA Udin a board member) just FORGIVE the Lord & Taylor loan of more than $10-million? That is bigger than a mole. And, Tom Murphy inked that deal while in office to a lot of back-slapping -- and that is a tad worse than an ingrown toe nail.

All of these folks need to be moved to the private sector.


At 4:44 PM, Blogger PittsburghJack said...

Thanks, Mark. The post on your blog was also a good one. Perhaps if we just keep chipping away ...
Thanks for the link also.


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