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Pittsburgh Tuesday takes

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Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, 9:00 p.m.

The next chapter: As the City of Pittsburgh appears to be on the cusp of having its state oversight reduced from two boards to one, the Allegheny Institute's Jake Haulk says the surviving board must “commit itself to exercising the powers it has ... to limiting union contract settlements to hold down growth in spending.” Additionally, Mr. Haulk says the board “must push the city hard to adopt outsourcing and competitive bidding to lower costs and employment levels.” The bottom line — Pittsburgh's road to recovery has many more miles to go.

Questioning TIFs: The failures of several high-profile, tax-increment-financed private projects in Allegheny County have prompted some to say that TIFs, as they are known, might not be the proper public financing vehicle, especially when other government (i.e., taxpayer) sources are available. Hold the phone! Such failures should be a giant red flag that private projects that can't get off the drawing board without going on the taxpayer dole should not be built. Period.

Were you ready?: This week's rain, wind and, in some cases, snow delivered courtesy of Hurricane Sandy should serve as an important reminder that it's wise to have emergency provisions put up. Good for you if you were prepared. If you weren't, you might be learning the lesson the hard way. For those who did prepare, we have one request: Please check on neighbors, especially the elderly, who might not have been able to properly prepare.

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