What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 29, 2010

Exactly how many birthdays does Lil Mayor Luke have each year?

Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak sent seven invitations (on March 10th, March 29th, April 7th, April 9th, April 16th, April 19th, and April 21st) to Public Safety Director Michael Huss to speak to City Council's snow task force and each one went unanswered.

We figure he must have had a pretty good reason to ignore them all. Prior engagements? Maybe he was busy partying out of town on those days with Lil Mayor Luke -- just like he was when Pittsburgh got hit with Snowpocalypse back in February.

Of course we actually know that Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Huss have actively discouraged (ordered?) city officials not to meet with Rudiak's snow emergency task force (cause, you know, Lukey is conducting his own investigation...of himself).

Fortunately, Councilor Rudiak takes her job seriously and has the huevos to carry out her mission. So she issued a subpoena to compel Huss to appear before Council under her authority according to the Pittsburgh City Charter:
In any case where an elected official, officer, or unit of government has the power to conduct public hearings the elected official, officer or unit of government shall have the authority to issue subpoenas for the attendance of witness and to compel testimony and the production of documents and other evidence. The subpoena shall issue in the name of the City and shall be signed by the elected official, officer or presiding officer of the unit of government. Any witness who refuses to obey a subpoena, or who refuses to testify under oath or affirmation, may be cited for contempt in any Court of Common Pleas having jurisdiction.
Rudiak stated in a press release yesterday, "One of the biggest problems during the snow storm was a lack of communication and coordination between government offices. If we can't communicate about an emergency, how can we be expected to communicate during an emergency?"

Huss' response? Via the Post-Gazette:
Mr. Huss later said he'd be happy to appear before council and will bring the police, fire and EMS chiefs with him.

He said he never objected to a public discussion of the matter but didn't believe a "closed-door" session with Ms. Rudiak would benefit the public or improve emergency response.

Mr. Huss said he'll attend the council meeting even though city Solicitor Dan Regan concluded the subpoena was invalid because it came from one council member instead of the whole body.
Uh-huh. Yeah, right, whatever. Damn straight you'll show up.

Councilor Rudiak had a more gracious reply (than mine) to Huss' new spirit of "cooperation" (via another press release):
"I am heartened with the Director’s decision to finally meet with us, and I look forward to speaking with him about how we can better protect our City, our employees and our residents in a future emergency."
But, she also had an excellent question:
"The real question is why we must resort to a subpoena to speak with our own Emergency Management Director. We should all be able to share ideas and information in a productive and objective manner."
You'd think...

1 comment:

Clyde Wynant said...

I can't wait to hear what he has to say.

Of course, it's likely that he won't show up, particularly if there are traffic issues or weather problems which might make his appearance difficult. I mean, what if he has to park a couple of blocks away and walk....

Of course, in his case, no one will die...