Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
Laurel: To common sense. A ridiculous disorderly conduct charge has been dismissed against a South Fayette teenager who recorded his bulliers with his iPad. Local police filed the charge after being contacted by the school principal, who characterized the matter as a “wiretapping incident.” School administrators forced Christian Stanfield, 15, to erase the video. And, incredibly, Mr. Stanfield was convicted before a district judge. If heads don't roll, the injustice will be even greater.
Lance: To government incongruity. Former Allegheny County Airport Authority Board President Brad Penrod was forced out of his position for not getting the proverbial job done at Pittsburgh International Airport. Yet his cushy severance package notes that he was “let go through no fault of his own.” So, which is it?
On the “Watch List”:
• The H.J. Heinz Co. Corporations typically offer employee buyouts to reduce costs. But the newly private ketchup king has offered buyouts to all of its 775 employees in Pittsburgh, its headquarters town. Heinz says it's seeking a more motivated and productive workforce, not a smaller one, and will “backfill” every job vacated. Suh-LAPPP! And we'll believe it when we see it.
• Pittsburgh's land bank legislation. City Council adopted the much-debated ordinance that would create an authority to acquire and sell abandoned properties. And while it's a worthy idea on paper, proper implementation is key. That said, the enabling legislation falls short with no dedicated funding source. Placing the cart before the horse seldom ends up well, especially in government.