Those VisitPittsburgh salaries: Another flag hoisted
Talk about going from the ridiculous to the outrageous.
Joe McGrath, the executive chairman of VisitPittsburgh, was paid more than $386,000 in 2011. Four other top officials of the city's tourism agency were paid salaries ranging from nearly $160,000 to more than $225,000.
That, naturally, has sparked criticism from a variety of quarters. Given that these eye-popping salaries are underwritten by taxpayers, the arch of the eyebrows has been particularly pronounced.
To assuage public concerns that public money might be unnecessarily padding the pockets of public servants, VisitPittsburgh's board of directors has hired an outside consultant to study if its apparently liberal executive compensation obviously is so. The study will measure VisitPittsburgh's salaries against those of other U.S. tourism agencies.
VisitPittsburgh won't say how much Cowden Associates will be paid. But it does say the bill will force cuts to every department budget. Why won't it make public the cost of the study? The study won't be cheap, obviously.
Pardon us but we'll bet VisitPittsburgh could find the very information its says it needs an outside consultant to “study” with a far more economical methodology — a few simple Google searches, website visits and some follow-up telephone calls.
In attempting to allay concerns about excessive compensation, VisitPittsburgh has only raised another red flag.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.