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This official statement comes from the Elect.Rauterkus.com campaign.
Please post comments on the associated "discussion" page. Only campaign workers should edit this page.

PlatformEdit

  • We should choose to advance Pittsburgh without the use of eminent domain. I would not use any eminent domain in any re-development efforts. I would vote against all projects that call for eminent domain in the slightest.
  • We should eliminate requirements that new housing construction have a binding link to parking spaces. For example, many live without owning a car. Needing a parking space to go with their condo or apartment greatly increases prices and eliminates affordable housing options. [1]

Opposition

The others on Grant Street, and the other candidates who want to get jobs on Grant Street do not stand up for home ownership, building ownership and business ownership. They won't raise the topic of eminent domain. They do not think eminent domain is important.

  • Market Square does not need more green space. Cobblestone or grass isn't the question and isn't a priority when we have so many troubled neighborhood parks.
  • Public Participation in Downtown Development is very important. Plan A from Mayor Murphy and Plan B from Sala Udin and Plan C from a hodge-podge of others including Murphy and Udin were, all-in-all, a series of bad jokes. I followed each plan with great detail. I attended as many meetings as any citizen in the city. I offered my critical insights. Those efforts were staged. They failed. Those plans needed to fail because the public participation was a joke.
  • People from throughout the region care a great deal about downtown. We can energize the region by doing real work with downtown with real engagement. However, trust has been broken. The citizens are skepetical, and for good reason. The hopes for true public participation for downtown is years away because of the recent failures and culture of the others on Grant Street.
  • Template:Art-2008 Real public participation on Grant Street should begin in earnest in 2008. The political will and the citizen engagement isn't going to be present for some time yet.
  • Downtown, and certain areas of downtown, were starved and punished in terms of any and all public spaces. The public spaces do not need an upgrade, they just need to be cared for in regular fashion. I'd end the punishment delivered to building owners in downtown, designed to depress the values of properties so the URA could pick-them-up on the cheap. So, streets need to be swept, curbs fixed, sidewalks restored with curb cuts, and so on.
  • The buzz from others is about building downtown housing. We do NOT need to make subsidized housing for the rich in downtown spaces.
  • One way to keep downtown safe is to get our high school kids to and from their homes and schools without needing to gather downtown on a bus transfer. Mobs of kids are left with no other way to get from school and back but to catch PAT buses that include transfers in downtown.
  • The school bus schedules and options need to be improved upon. The trend is to eliminate all school buses for all high schools, as is the case in Philly. That would NOT work in Pittsburgh. Our hub and spoke system that delivers workers in downtown offices does NOT fit the model where our schools are not downtown (other than CAPA, a very small high school). So, I would fight hard to explain to Harrisburg politicians from around the state that the threat of pulling money out of Pittsburgh for buses has serious implications for the safety of downtown workers, patrons and general revival.
Larger groups of kids (not gangs, but swarms of adolescents waiting for buses) that are dumped downtown for bus transfers to schools is a foolish policy for many reasons and will hurt the hoped-for revival of downtown.
  • Bill Peduto wants to make fair and equal incentive programs. The best way to be fair and equal is to use the Constitutions (US and PA) as a guide. We don't need incentive programs until after we have justice and normalcy. I favor the approach of laying the shovel down and ending incentive programs. I want to end the mentality of corporate welfare. As a single vote on city council, I will not be able to end the practices of TIFs and other incentives that take from one and give to another, but, I'll be a strong voice in opposition. That voice has been silent from the past because everyone has been in favor of unfair incentive programs.
  • Historic preservation is very important. I will do my best to always honor historic preservation of our buildings.
  • We can not let them tear down the Civic Arena. The Arena is a historic building. Because it is the oldest in the NHL, that is an asset, not a liability. The Penguins can move out of the Arena, but it can return to its civic uses and be a valuable asset for Pittsburgh for many generations to come.
  • Too many buses are used to connect all of downtown with all of the region. The buses choke downtown. Bus depots can be built on the edge of the city's and smaller, back-and-forth buses, without turns, can shuttle folks through town.
  • Bike lanes should be put on some downtown streets.
  • The Parking problems for downtown are massive and the Parking Authority has not solved those problems. The Parking Authority has made many parking issues worse in certain parts of the city. We should look at a liquidation of the Parking Authority. Over time, the assets of the Parking Authority can be sold to private owners, by bid, to earn more money for the city.
  • After most of the Parking Authority assets are sold, then the parking tax can be dropped in a drastic fashion.
  • Culture is an asset of the city and downtown, but it should not be an Economic Tool that is to be tinkered with by government officials. The focus of the Cultural District has become more about real estate and less about music. That is wrong.
In the old days of kingdoms, the king hired his own jesters and musicians. Salon performances were hosted by royalty. The king had to fund culture. So, culture can thrive in times of oppression. In a free, urban center, we can't put our hopes on culture to make an American City great again.
The Cultural District should be working on putting musicians back to work at the Pittsburgh Ballet -- not recorded music. As live musicians are not hired for these shows, the decline of the cultural district occur in haste.
  • Downtown needs wireless connections everywhere.
  • The Downtown YWCA closed its fitness center at the end of 2005. I would like to work with private interests to re-open those facilities with a new business model.
  • Downtown needs to capitalize upon the rivers and outdoor recreation opportunities. We should be putting kayaks into the rivers to play canoe water polo. We could put floating swim pools at the edge of the rivers for lap swimming and recreation swimming in the summers.
  • Rather than building a downtown shopping mall or multi-plex cinema, we should be thinking about the building of facilities that are used around the clock, not just in the evenings. These facilities should be safe and able to cater to the down-and-out as well, by offering a place to shower, eat, rest. A new approach that would build a Natatorium downtown, as is done in Indy, or with Erie's indoor water park, is more wholesome, more prudent and more family centric that would greatly increase the redevelopment efforts of downtown on many fronts.

LinksEdit

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