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Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

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Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Lance: To Vince Gastgeb. It's simply outrageous that the now-former Republican Allegheny County councilman did not immediately recognize the inherent conflict of interest in attempting to remain on the council in his new role as the director of corporate and community relations for the county Airport Authority. The dual role is expressly proscribed by the county Home Rule Charter. Mr. Gastgeb resigned that council seat Tuesday night. But the episode calls into question his judgment.

Lance: To the Allegheny County Airport Authority. Out of one corner of its mouth, the authority board demotes CEO Brad Penrod for failing to adequately strategize. Then, out of the other corner, it names Mr. Penrod to the newly created position of “chief strategy officer” and will conduct a national search for a new CEO. Good grief.

On the “Watch List”:

• The South Side crackdown. Dozens of arrests have been made and hundreds of citations have been issued in Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's efforts to restore some semblance of sanity and propriety to the often out-of-control city party district. As laudable as it is, where was the enforcement in prior years? Ah, yes, of course — it's an election year.

• UPMC. It can't seem to get its story straight as to why it has delayed construction of a much-ballyhooed $300 million science center in Bloomfield. UPMC-Shadyside President John Innocenti blamed a lack of funding. But UPMC spokesman Paul Wood claims “funding is not an issue”; he blames an overly aggressive initial timetable for the delay. Later in the week, UPMC reported a precipitous drop in second-quarter operating income. We report, you decide.

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