Don't Cross the Mayor

I made a brief and uncommon foray into local politics the other day, when I joined the chorus of criticism over the changing of the Board at the Stadium Authority, as the Mayor clashed with former chair Debbie Lestitian over plans for the North Shore.

The Mayor's office has confirmed the common reading of those events: Debbie Lestitian exercised independent judgment, and for that she was removed.

I don't know Debbie Lestitian, so in that case I'm going solely by what I read in the media. I can add a personal observation, however, to today's coverage of city boards and their members.

Debbie Lestitian isn't the only person being pushed aside; Zoning Board of Adjustment member Alice Mitinger hasn't been reappointed. Is this a case of Lestitian-like retribution, given that she wrote the opinion that concluded that the city's approval of the Grant Street electronic billboard was improper? That opinion that produced a 1-1 vote on the Board, which the Court of Common Pleas just held properly put a stop to construction of the billboard. (Did anyone put a copy of the ZBA's opinions online? Bram, at the Comet, has the ZBA opinion -- see the second image.)

The Mayor's office says "no":

Ms. Doven sought to make a distinction between the zoning board moves and the decision to end Ms. Lestitian's tenure on the stadium panel.

"The mayor didn't agree with Debbie's decisions on the board," she said. "He has a vision for development on the North Shore and she doesn't agree with his vision, so it shouldn't come as a surprise."

"I wouldn't make a similar point about the [zoning board] changes," she added.


Here's my supplement. I don't know Debbie Lestitian, but I do know Alice Mitinger. While she needs no defense from me, I'll note that she is skilled, smart, accomplished, and independent -- precisely the sort of individual that the Mayor should want to continue to serve the City. That's partly because she's committed to serving and serving with integrity, and she has done so already. It's also because inviting people of that caliber to serve the City speaks well of the City itself, as a place and as a government that isn't afraid of what intelligent, committed citizens have to say -- whether or not her not being re-appointed is payback for the billboard affair.

Comments

4 Responses to "Don't Cross the Mayor"

Bram Reichbaum said... 6/28/2009 5:03 PM

Seems it was simply a matter of getting some "impressive resumes"...

http://www.wpxi.com/video/19868757/index.html

Mike Madison said... 6/28/2009 5:59 PM

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Anonymous said... 7/06/2009 5:12 PM

what have you done lately for your community?

what have you done lately for your community?

what have you done lately for your community?

what have you done lately for your community?

what have you done lately for your community?

what have you done lately for your community?

what have you done lately for your community?

what have you done lately for your community?

Mike Madison said... 7/06/2009 7:53 PM

Lots. How about you?

Search Pittsblog

About Pittsblog

Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

All opinions expressed at Pittsblog 2.0 are those of their respective authors and of no one (and no thing) else, least of all the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

Comments are moderated.
Subscribe to Pittsblog comments

Socialize



Blog Archive

Header Background

Header background images licensed from (left image) lemonad and (right image) plaskota under Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - Share Alike 2.0 Generic licenses.

Credits

Copyright 2003-2010 Michael J. Madison - WP Theme by Brian Gardner - Blogger Blog Templates, ThemeLib.com