PittsburghJack's Place: January 2007

PittsburghJack's Place

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

Jon Delano has new blog

Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Local political analyst Jon Delano has started a new blog. He is knowledgeable on the political scene and his insights and commentary are usually quite interesting and on-the-mark.

Delano's Den: A Political Blog

Motznik's New Blog

Courtesy of Judge Rufus Peckham at the hilarious Carbolic Smoke Blog, here is a link to Jim Motznik's new blog.

Just a Dawida coincidence?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Perhaps it just a coincidence, but I find it remarkably odd that two current or former Allegheny County Airport Authority members, Robert Lewis and David Minnotte, have both made very sizable investments in a Polish company run by Zygmunt Niziol.

"Początkowo 100 proc. jej udziałów miał Nedepol. Jednak we wrześniu 1996 na mocy umów podpisywanych w Pittsburgu w USA największą część udziałów (49 proc.) kupił w LFO prezes Nedepolu Zygmunt Nizioł, obywatel brytyjski. Po 16,5 proc. dwaj Amerykanie z Pittsburga Robert Lewis i Dawid W. Minnotte, 8 proc. Włodzimierz Wapiński ze Szwecji, 1 proc. Bjorn Hedberg, również Szwed, 9 proc. zachował Nedepol, którego głównym udziałowcem jest żona prezesa Nizioła, Irmina Czarzasta-Nizioł."

Who is Zygmunt Niziol you ask? He just happens to be a cousin of Mike Dawida's wife and the godfather of his daughter.

Robert Lewis, president of Orbital Engineering, also has been known as an ardent supporter and substantial financial contributor to Dawida campaigns. In addition, Dawida has awarded no-bid contracts to firms with ties to Lewis.

"In March 1999, when Cranmer and Dawida gave Doepken Keevican a contract to try to get the county a piece of the state's $11.3 million settlement with tobacco companies, Dunn called it "election-year patronage." Sneath's firm eventually received $48,039 for its work, which culminated in a county decision to fold up its legal tent in return for vague guarantees from the state. Law firm Lewis & Lewis, whose partners are related to top Dawida backer Robert Lewis, got $43,885 for its work on the case, and Pietragallo, Bosick and Gordon, which employed former Dawida Chief of Staff Martin Durkin, reeled in $78,089."

When he served as Allegheny County commissioner, Dawida also pushed hard for the appointment of Lewis, a Florida resident, to chair the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

I think Dawida should address these coincidences and quit trying to do what he does best -- taking advantage of the public's trust.

Dawida's donation to Luke

A few weeks ago, when Dawida was pondering a run for the mayor's seat (before he realized that he didn't have close to the amount of support he'd need to win), he didn't hesitate attacking Mayor Ravenstahl. In an apparent reference to Ravenstahl's youth, Dawida said that "we need a grown up" in the mayor's office.

I find it interesting then that three years ago, Dawida's campaign committee, People for Michael Dawida, gave a donation to the campaign of Luke Ravenstahl.

Dawida will do or say anything that will benefit himself for that moment. And when he senses an opportunity, he'd do or say something else to benefit again. Over the years, we've had our share of elected officials like that. I can't fathom why Dawida cannot understand that he's had his chances and he blew them. He's not a very honorable man. He's been rejected at the polls and it's time for him to move on.

Mike Dawida and swedish meatballs

From Tunesmith & Anthony, this is just another good reason of many not to vote for Mike Dawida:

"Former county commissioner Mike Dawida announced today that he is going to run for the post of Pittsburgh City Controller.
I once saw Mike Dawida at a rather large event lean over a chafing dish chock full of Swedish meatballs and eat said Swedish meatballs directly out of said chafing dish with a toothpick. He was plucking them out of the chafing dish into his mouth with the urgency of a man going to the electric chair. I haven’t been able to get within ten feet of a Swedish meatball ever since, as the mere thought of those tiny meatballs smothered in savory gravy gives me Vietnam War-like flashbacks. I can barely walk into an IKEA.
I will not be voting for him."

The differences

Monday, January 29, 2007
There is an interesting article in today's Pittsburgh Tribune Review which provides an analysis of their votes when Mayor Ravenstahl and Bill Peduto served together on City Council and reveals stark political and philosophical differences between the two mayoral candidates.

A little too late

Mr. Rodriguez's known criminal record dates at least to 1984. In addition to his December arrest, he pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and use and/or possession of drug paraphernalia in 2005; and criminal trespass, three counts of assault, two counts of terroristic threats and criminal mischief in 2003.
He was charged with two counts of robbery in 1987; criminal mischief and possessing instruments of crime in 1985; and theft and conspiracy in 1984. The disposition of those cases could not be determined yesterday.
Mr. Rodriguez was sued at least four times for child support -- twice in 1995, and in 2002 and 2006, according to court records.

Taking into consideration his criminal record, which include some pretty serious convictions over many years, how and why is it that this piece of scum wasn't locked-up? Hopefully he'll never see the light of day again. But's it's a little too late, don't ya think?

How stadium deals get done

Saturday, January 27, 2007
This comes courtesy of AntiRust.

Pirates "Red Up"

On Friday, the Pirates introduced a new red home alternative jersey. It's definitely not the black, gold and white color schematic that we're used to.
I understand that the jersey is going to be worn at Sunday and holiday home games.

Influence peddling in courthouse?

Thursday, January 25, 2007
Marty Griffin reports.

Dock Fielder's granddaughter to challenge Carlisle

Former 12th ward democratic committee chairman Dock Fielder's granddaughter, Leah Kirkland, is the latest entrant to the crowded field to unseat city councilwoman Twanda Carlisle. Because of her political lineage, Kirkland's candidacy commands attention. If she inherited any of the political street smarts of her grandfather, she would be a formidable challenger to Carlisle.

However, if residents of the 9th council district have any hope at all of replacing Carlisle, the list of candidates needs to be pared and the voters mobilized behind one challenger. As it currently stands, the vote will be split too many ways, posturing Carlisle to cruise to victory.

Twanda Carlisle: Regan did a wonderful job

Twanda Carlisle: "...I thought Dennis Regan was doing a wonderful job."

As long suspected, Judge Manning being probed

Deputy sheriff appears before grand jury

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
There appears to be something brewing at the federal courthouse. A veteran deputy sheriff who works primarily in Judge Jeffrey Manning's courtroom was called before a grand jury yesterday.

And according to a report in the Post-Gazette, in the last few weeks, FBI agents visited the Grant Street Tavern asking questions about Manning. Over last summer, FBI agents also requested from the clerk of courts office specific case files and sat in on proceedings in Manning's courtroom.

Manning's name first surfaced in a 2004 federal investigation.

Anybody but Dawida

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
There are reports that Mike Dawida is conducting polling and is considering a run for city controller in the May primary.

When I first heard this, I thought it was some sort of joke. It's my suspicion that Dawida is floating the rumor because he likes to see his name in the paper.

After his dreadful term as county commissioner, it's doubtful that Dawida could muster enough support to be elected to captain of his blockwatch. We've had enough of Dawida. He should just go away and leave us alone. The voters are much too smart to seriously consider him for elective office again.

There's something going down in the federal courthouse ...

See here and here. Stay tuned ...

Young leaders make Pittsburgh home

An observation

It looks awfully green and sunny in Hillary Clinton's campaign kick-off video for it to have been made in January, especially since it is currently snowing and 25 degrees in Chautauqua, NY.

Peduto makes it official

As expected, Bill Peduto officially launched his second campaign for mayor on Monday evening.

Luke pledges clean campaign

New blog: Pittsburgh's Weather Watch

Monday, January 22, 2007
There is a pretty cool new blog called Pittsburgh's Weather Watch, which is worth taking a look at. It's a one-stop shop for all of your local weather needs with current conditions and radar always up-to-date. The site also includes links for severe weather alerts and information on latest school closings.

Local weather coverage has never been better! With new posts at least two times a day, current conditions and radar always on and always active on the homepage, and in-depth and real-time coverage of severe weather, Pittsburgh's Weather Watch is local weather coverage done right.

Or is it Grimm?

Sunday, January 21, 2007
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review is reporting that a source confirmed late Saturday that the Steelers offered the head coaching position to Russ Grimm. The hiring is expected to be announced at a news conference on Monday.

In the meantime, the Associated Press is reporting that the Steelers haven't yet completed their search for a new head coach and that a replacement for Cowher wouldn't be named until at least Monday. The AP also states that if the Chicago Bears lose the NFC Championship game, the Steelers may grant a second interview to Rod Rivera on Monday.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Soup Nazi coming to Pittsburgh

As reported in the January 19-25, 2007 Pittsburgh Business Times, The Original SoupMan has established a local franchisee to bring his premium soups to Pittsburgh. The company is close to a deal on an undisclosed location.

F.O.P. President responds

Saturday, January 20, 2007
From Bob Mayo, of The Busman's Holiday, Fraternal Order of Police President Jim Malloy responds to Ravenstahl incident:

"A lot's being made out of a two-year-old issue that was settled
... they walked away and that was the end of it."
Police Union President Jim Malloy

Podcast of Malloy's comments

Tomlin new Steelers coach?

After a SI.com report that the Steelers have selected Mike Tomlin as their next head coach, there were a flurry of denials and no comments. The Rooneys initially wouldn't comment, but later, Dan Rooney denied "that story on the wire" and Tomlin denied he was offered the job. In addition, Russ Grimm's brother said that if a coach were named that he would have heard about it, further fueling speculation that the report was false. The story was retracted. Now, ESPN is reporting that Tomlin was indeed selected to succeed Bill Cowher and that Tomlin would be introduced as the Steeler's new head coach either on Sunday or Monday.

TwinCities.com report

StarTribune report

Note: This posting was updated as new information was made available.

Rowdy Ravenstahl? The mayor addresses the rumor mill

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Saturday, January 20, 2007:

"This is a tale that seemed more interesting as an open secret than now as a banal, low-grade revelation. When the mayor's race begins in earnest this year, Pittsburghers would be wise to focus on issues of real substance."

John McIntire is a Jagoff, Part III

Friday, January 19, 2007
In the latest entry to his blog, unemployed former part-time television and radio talk show host and full-time Jagoff, John McIntire wrote "I freely admit I'd like to see him lose the election..."

So Mayor Ravenstahl was right - the backfired attempt to discredit him and harm his election was motivated by politics. In fact, that was crystal clear to any reasonable person that was forced to watch that crap as the lead stories on the local news yesterday.

It's clear to me that the bitter McIntire, unwanted and unable to hold a job in this market, is feeling Schadenfreude toward Ravenstahl.

Note to John McIntire: The City of Kankakee and Livingston County, through the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, provides job training and offers a placement program. You've overstayed your welcome in Pittsburgh by about ten years. Why don't you just go home and take advantage of the programs that Kankakee has to offer. You'll feel like a new person and will have a more positive outlook on life if you become a productive member of society. I'd recommend making the move soon, before your unemployment benefits run out.

John McIntire is a Jagoff, Part II

PittsburghJack loves a good political scandal probably more than anyone in this town. And I've heard all the scuttlebutt on Grant Street about Mayor Ravenstahl's alleged encounter with a police officer at a Steelers game on Halloween evening of 2005 which supposedly resulted in Luke being handcuffed, detained and subsequently pleading for special treatment. His next move was to have been a telephone call to Dennis Regan, who allegedly assured that any reports of the incident never see the light of day. I strongly suspected from the moment I heard this story, though, that there was nothing to it. At least insofar as it being a huge political scandal.

If the story were true, the real scandal would have been the call to Dennis Regan. This would begin to explain the allegiance Luke felt towards Regan, his promotion of Regan and defense of Regan in the McNeilly/Rende situation. This, my friends, would have been an A+ political scandal and extremely damaging to the Ravenstahl campaign.

My first indicator that the story was BS was that this alleged incident occurred before Bob O'Connor even won the general election. And at the time, Dennis Regan had no role in the operation of city government. None. Squat. Nada. I would venture to guess that Luke Ravenstahl didn't even know who Dennis Regan was in October 2005. And even if Luke did know him, do you really think Regan would be the first person he'd think of calling to help get him out of a bind with the police, if he were inclined to do so? It's preposterous to me that anyone would even make the allegation that a call was made to Regan over this incident. What could Regan have possibly done? What clout did he wield?

In news interviews yesterday, Ravanstahl explained what did actually occur at Heinz Field the night of October 31, 2005. And KDKA's Marty Griffin reported that his police sources confirmed that Ravenstahl's version of events was truthful.

It doesn't matter to me if Ravenstahl, who is an admitted avid tailgater, has a few drinks at Steelers games. There is absolutely no harm in having a good time, even for a mayor. And as far as having a verbal confrontation with a police officer, Luke explained it well and I accept his version of events. I've witnessed police acting as the harrasser, rather than the protector. And I've also witnessed police that reach for their handcuffs a little prematurely. Let's accept what happened and move on. It is a non-story.

This incident was blown way out of proportion and received much more media attention than it deserved. John McIntire is the one who deserves the blame for his irresponsible blogging in trying to pass rumor for fact. One should not make such accusations without also offering proof and documentation. Blogs should be held to the same standard of truth as any other form of news outlet. The ignoramous should know better. Some people will do, say or write anything for attention. Not many people I know ever took John McIntire seriously. The only good that will come out of this incident is that even less people will take him seriously in the future. Now, if he'd only go back to Kankakee.

The state of downtown

Thursday, January 18, 2007
AntiRust hits the nail on the head with his post on downtown development and office space vacancy rates.

Here come the goons ...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A crowded field for Carlisle

It is great to see such enthusiasm in city council district 9 to replace Twanda Carlisle. There are currently four persons who have officially announced their candidacies and probably another five or six who may also jump into that race. My only concern is that with such a crowded field, Carlisle may squeak by with a victory -- unless she is indicted before the primary. The investigation into her spending and possible election code violations should be ending soon.

The taxpayers screwed once again

Here is yet another example of abuse by our elected officials.

John McIntire is a Jagoff

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I've thought for a few years now that John McIntire not only lacked interviewing skills, but also grossly lacked talent and even the slightest bit of class. I thought nothing the ignoramus would do or say would ever surprise me, until I read the latest entry on his so-called blog:

"But now that I'm back from Betty Ford I won't desert you without guest bloggers again. Not the clinic. I was just nailin' Betty. I waited decades for that old fart to kick the bucket so I could get mine. It's like a fine wine, gets better with age. And don't kid yourself, the old broad still drinks like a fish. But she knows how to make a buck, yessir."

I wish he'd just go back to Kankakee.

Cardinals hire Whisenhunt

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Luke, Regan, Skrinjar, Zober, Cassidy, Leger And Company: Part 501

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
OK. I am writing what I hope is the final word on this subject, but being realistic, and reading the many Pittsburgh Blogosphere postings, I know this probably won't be the case. Really, folks, this subject is getting way more attention than it deserves. I believe there are truly many more important things to discuss that will have a genuine impact on our wonderful city.

The first issue I would like to address is the proper etiquitte in replacing a mayoral staff and appointees during a transition due to the death of the mayor. There seem to be many out there who are blasting Mayor Ravenstahl for retaining Skrinjar, Cassidy, Zober, Lynch and Regan (did I miss anyone?) on staff when he assumed the mayor's seat following O'Connor's death. It is my contention that at some point, Luke should bring in his own people. But at what point should this have been done? Before O'Connor's body was buried or after a short transition? Or only after the O'Connor holdover is involved in a scandal? And should only those on the personal mayoral staff be replaced? I've heard no outrage over Luke's keeping Guy Costa in General Services, George Specter in the Law Department or Kevin Quigley of the Redd-up Pittsburgh campaign, for instance. Quigley is a fellow Northsider and had a previous relationship with Luke, so should that matter? There are many other O'Connor appointees that were retained without any public comment also. Where should the line be drawn? And should Luke be cleaning political house now or wait until after the primary or general elections?

Re: Leber, Leger and Malie: Mayor O'Connor erred in bringing Leber on board as Chief of Staff. By his own admission, he had no real relationship with her prior to the appointment. In addition, she was untested waters in public administration. In the post of Chief of Staff, a mayor should appoint someone they are very familiar with, trust and worked with in the past. At the very least, that person should have some familiarity with the workings of city government and share the mayor's vision. Her work with WQED did not qualify her for the post. And not having a working relationship or real trust with O'Connor doomed that appointment from the start. I don't believe she would have lasted long in that position anyway.

Leger was another appointee made by O'Connor that was flawed from the beginning. Again, Bobby O had no real working relationship with him and therefore no real trust in him. If O'Connor had done his homework regarding Leger, he wouldn't have made the appointment. Leger looks good on paper, but his reputation is that of being controlling and of not being loyal to his bosses. He is a difficult person to work with. In this town, especially in the political arena, those on the inside and those on the outside fringe with hopes of being on the inside don't generally have the balls to speak freely publicly. For those of you who praise Leger and reference newspaper quotes praising him, if you want the truth, just privately ask those familiar with him. You will get a much different perspective of him and his management style. Truth be told, he is far from the independent, professional public servant and is as much of a hack as Regan. The difference is that Regan has loyalty to his boss and Leger has the reputation of undermining the boss. It is my understanding that during O'Connor's illness, Leger exhibited his controlling nature and attempted to undermine the mayor by trying to make his own decisions against the wishes of the mayor. Leger has a problem understanding his role. His job was to oversee finance for the city, not to mettle in policy and mayoral appointments. Even if he doesn't personally agree with the policy or appointment. That quite simply wasn't why he was hired.

Susan Malie is a good attorney, especially in the area of municipal law. She dedicated her career to that field and was a longtime employee of the city law department. When O'Connor made the appointment of Malie as solicitor, it was my belief that he had a good, close working relationship with her from his years on council. This may have been the case. However, it is my understanding that her downfall was the result of her establishing a relationship with Leger and Leber and getting caught-up in a situation that the mayor deemed inappropriate.

Dennis Regan, as we all know now, was very close to Mayor O'Connor. As a longtime, close friend of Bobby O and the husband of Judy O'Connor's late cousin, he became a trusted confidant of the mayor. It was expected by everyone that knew the mayor on a personal level that Regan would have a place in his administration. And Marlene Cassidy was the mayor's longtime employee who also became a trusted confidant of the mayor. Her appointment to the mayoral staff was a given.

Now, neither Skrinjar, Regan nor Zober are longterm friends of Mayor Ravenstahl, and if they became trusted confidants of Luke's, it was a relationship forged within the past year. Regan's true loyalty was to O'Connor, not to Ravanstahl. And Zober owes his allegiance to Ferlo. I am certain that Luke has individuals that he completely trusts and who would demonstrate loyalty to his administration. It is those persons that Luke should appoint to posts on his staff. That said, it is my belief that Mayor Ravenstahl should have offered a transfer at some point to Zober, Regan, Cassidy and Lynch from his staff into other appropriate positions within city government and made appointments of his own of trusted confidants to his staff. It is important for Luke to forge his own administration -- it has to be done sooner or later. Especially since most of the negativity surrounding his administration involves scandal involving some of these player's actions prior to him even taking the oath of office.

I applaud Luke Ravenstahl for his dedication to this city and to his determination to enact some of Mayor O'Connor's principles into his administration. But this can be done without retaining O'Connor's staff in their current positions. Luke's decision to do so is proving to be a detriment and is threatening to overshadow any positive undertakings of his administration. The mayoral staff should not be the news story. Especially when the primary election is just a couple of months away.

Luke is walking the walk

Monday, January 08, 2007
The city has hired a firm to help it identify sponsorship opportunities, which is an innovative way to raise revenue without raising taxes. Other cities and public entities have utilized this unique option to raise needed funds with much success. (Also see here)

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl deserves credit for injecting fresh ideas into his gameplan. It's refreshing to see some real action for a change. Instead of conducting study after endless study and commissioning report after report, seemingly without anything new or real ever getting done -- something that used to be the norm here in Western Pennsylvania -- our mayor is moving forward and we are seeing some new ideas being put to the test. Luke is actually walking the walk, not just talking the talk. This, my friends, is one of the greatest benefits to having a young visionary in the mayor's office. And why Ravenstahl deserves our support in the May primary election. Pittsburgh needs to keep the Ravenstahl ball rolling.

Bill Cowher's house in Raleigh, NC

Saturday, January 06, 2007
Ran across this link of photos of Bill Cowher's home in Raleigh, NC. Not a bad place to spend retirement. Good luck, Coach!

Political payback?

Friday, January 05, 2007
This is not being written in defense of Dennis Regan, but with respect to the debacle at City Hall regarding Lieutenant. Catherine McNeilly's discipline and subsequent lawsuit against the city, there are a few points which I haven't noticed being discussed. The first that comes to my mind is whether Detective Francis Rende is the worst offender on the police force as far as calling off sick and whether he works more hours at off-duty private details than any other officer. Or was Rende being targeted by McNeilly because of his affiliation with her husband's political nemesis, late Mayor Bob O'Connor?

My gut tells me that Rende probably isn't the worst offender and the latter is probably the case. My gut also tells me that there were officers on the force close to Mayor Tom Murphy or the McNeillys who received preferential treatment when Murphy was Mayor and Robert McNeilly was chief. I dare the McNeillys or Murphy to state that every single promotion to detective that was made during their tenure was based purely on merit and that political affiliation played no role. Or that not one single officer worked more hours on off-duty jobs or called in sick more than Rende. Don't believe for a second that Murphy wouldn't have handed out some discipline had this incident happened during his reign. Do you think either Catherine or Robert McNeilly would have done nothing had a police official sent out mass email to council or the media challenging one of their appointments? Do ya really think they would have allowed that to happen?

Catherine McNeilly was fortunate to retain her commander position after O'Connor reorganized the brass. Her role as such wasn't to second guess mayoral appointments or promotions made by the chief, no matter how much she disagreed with them. Her role also wasn't to mete out discipline to officers who were not in favor with her husband during his chiefdom. She was also fortunate that the discipline for her role in this debacle was as lenient as it was. It could have been much worse. The outcome for Regan wasn't as good.

Perhaps Regan wasn't a good choice for public safety director, but that was Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's decision, whether or not council approval was required. And Rende's promotion to detective was approved by then-Chief Dom Costa. Whether or not Rende was the most deserving officer on the force for the promotion is not for me or McNeilly to say and the appointment doesn't require our approval. Live with it.

Make no mistake about it. Lieutenant McNeilly's actions were politically rooted. This had nothing to do with a faceless officer who abused sick time and had everything to do with an attempt to interfere with the promotion and appointment of political foes and her inability to accept that there is a new chief in town.

Out with the Old

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Regarding the cover story in the current issue of the Pittsburgh City Paper about the generational shift in Pittsburgh party politics, there is at least one glaring issue that requires clarification.

In the article, Joe Mistick, the esteemed Duquesne University law professor and local political pundit who usually is quite on the mark with his analysis of the political game, makes mention that the late Allegheny County Commissioner Tom Foerster was once a political maverick who at one time beat the political machine and then after several terms, became entrenched in office and became the machine. This point is absolutely correct. However, Mistick goes on to state that the voters had to do away with the three commissioner system to finally get rid of Foerster. This, however, is not accurate. The referendum was not even placed on a ballot until years after Foerster was voted out of office.

The commissioner, who became complacent in office, was defeated for a variety of compelling reasons in his final run to hold onto the seat he held for seven terms. At that time, the entrenched Foerster administration was beleaguered by a series of serious scandals which got caught in the crosshairs of a few investigative reporters. The result was a number of very negative stories that seemed to dominate the airwaves and both of the Pittsburgh dailies and proved disastrous for the long-term commissioner. The Foerster regime was crumbling slowly until it finally collapsed on primary election day in 1995 when the Foerster-Pete Flaherty ticket was defeated by the team of Mike Dawida and Coleen Vuono. But the story doesn't end there.

As it turned out, Vuono, who incidentally had a much better grasp of the issues and was more knowledgeable in the arena of county government than her running mate, lost her bid for one of the three seats on the county commission to an unemployed political novice by the slim margin of 900 votes in the general election. As it also turned out, I've been told that many of Dawida's campaign staffers didn't even vote for her, which speaks volumes as to their inexperience and intellect.

As disappointed as some of us who worked tirelessly for the Dawida-Vuono ticket were after the general election defeat, this disappointment pales in comparison to how Commissioner Dawida fared during his term. In addition to alienating those who got him elected and who were still willing to go the extra mile to help make his term as minority commissioner at least a respectable one, he joined forces with the even less-experienced Bob Cranmer and allowed the reins of county government to be controlled by County Manager Glenn Cannon and staff, who made the Dawida campaign team look like geniuses. To say that Cannon wasn't equipped for the job and was in-way-over-his-head is a gross understatement. The Dawida-Cranmer-Cannon recipe of mismanagement drove the county into the ground, both operationally and financially. This is precisely the reason that voters opted to rid Allegheny County of the three commissioner system of government. Changing the form of our county government virtually guaranteed getting rid of those responsible for the need for change. Dawida's campaign slogan was "Change Allegheny." I can't think of anything more fitting.

There has been some scuttlebutt that Dawida is now weighing his options with regard to possibly running for Mayor of Pittsburgh in the spring election. I will not place any bets at this time as to whether Luke Ravenstahl, Bill Peduto or any of the other potential younger candidates -- or someone else -- will be victorious in May. But my smart money will be bet that the voter's of this city will recognize that Dawida has no real vision for this region and will not be duped by him a second time.