TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

The Port Authority Contract: Reckless deal

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 9:04 p.m.
 

The Port Authority of Allegheny County's new contract with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 is a reckless deal.

How can we say that? After all, the accord reached by the perennially struggling mass-transit agency with the traditionally unctuous (as in greasy) union results in $60 million in savings over four years, right? And draconian service cuts have been avoided, right?

Indeed. But the very same contract relies on phantom revenues that, if they materialize at all, surely will be secured by hook or by crook or by poison pill.

To wit, $3 million of the additional $4.5 million pledged to the authority by Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald is expected to come from the Regional Asset District tax, that 1 percent piggyback levy to the 6 percent state sales tax. The cudgel will be held high to get the RAD board to acquiesce. If it doesn't, the board will be packed with those who will.

Additionally, the commonwealth does not have in hand its pledged $35 million in bailout money.

And if none of the funny money comes through and additional cost-cutting is required, the union gets to go back to its old greasy contract, another cudgel designed to five-finger taxpayer bailout money.

As Jake Haulk of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy notes, this “cobbled-together can-kicking exercise” once again shows that nobody in government has the stomach for facing down the unions or promoting a different plan to provide service more efficiently.

And that's the definition of reckless.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. NASA head tells Pitt grads their generation will ‘walk the face of Mars’
  2. Fire caused $75,000 in damage to Beltzhoover playground
  3. From injuries to front office, Penguins’ season didn’t lack drama
  4. Rossi: Penguins’ best bet is on Martin
  5. Spirit Airlines lifts fortunes of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
  6. Young defensemen make case for future with Penguins
  7. High risk, reward with 1st-round quarterbacks in NFL Draft
  8. Rossi: Crosby, Malkin didn’t sign on for this
  9. Crews battle 5-alarm fire at North Union industrial building
  10. More than 2,500 confirmed dead in Nepal earthquake
  11. Penguins president: General manager, coach won’t be fired