Monday, October 17, 2005

"They're only alive at night."

Tarentum Borough SIgnI attended the Tarentum Borough Council meeting tonight to try to learn more about how our local government works during an election season when issues might get more heated. I didn't get to see the big picture of how things work, but did observe a number of smaller and intriguing interactions.

During one report the Council learned about the difficulties in replacing specially designed lamp posts after they were apparently knocked down by passing trucks. Someone asked a question about places where exposed wires were sticking out of the ground and the repair would involve rebuilding the box for the wires, and a base for the pole. The question was whether there was power going to those wires. The official answer was that "they're only alive at night." The Council reacted with astonishment. Unanimously. The exposed wiring has now been covered. Before the meeting ended.

Near the beginning of the meeting Council President Carl Magnetta congratulated borough employee Mark Anuszek for getting his CDL license so that he may now operate the borough's street sweeper. This should be fair warning to M. Isaacs of Squirrel Hill to be wary of visiting Tarentum. Watch out, pittgirl! Tarentum will soon rival the Burgh for clean streets!

Following up on the committee meeting I attended last week, it seemed that the borough council was almost unanimously of the opinion that it did not make sense to sign a 1.9 million dollar ten-year contract with Neptune Technologies to replace all the water meters for the borough. Joe Davidek voiced his distress that the process of upgrading the water maters was already taking too long, but the other council members reminded him that the borough had to act within budgetary limits in solving the problem.

Along the lines of my previous post, the council unanimously voted to extend the waste removal contract with Waste Management for two more years. The borough is paying $92.68 per ton this year, and will pay $96.04 in 2006, and $99.78 in 2007. No one on the council asked whether these rate increases reflected any increased efficiency on the part of the hauler.

The Tarentum borough council is an interesting group. And Tarentum itself is quite alive both by day or by night.

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Anonymous said...

Oh Stewart. You went to a Tarentum Council meeting to learn something?

Stewart said...

I'm assuming that was not a comment on the futility of my learning something in general. :-)

Anyhow, as it turns out my interest was piqued at that meeting by events that did not even get mentioned in Misty Chybrzynski's article about the very same meeting on page A5 in the VND. Looking at her article and my blog post side by side, between us we almost covered everything important or interesting at that meeting.

Unfortunately, both she and I failed to report about the visit from the Fawn councilperson who reminded all present that there was a benefit "Dine Out Against Domestic Violence" for the Alle-Kiski HOPE Center this Friday. And the HOPE Center is right here in Tarentum.

Anonymous said...

No, not at all.

It's just that I've been to about 15 bajillion city council meetings, in Tarentum and other places.

In my experience, it's futile to expect too much.

Stewart said...

It looks like I have not yet given a link to the Valley News Dispatch article about this meeting. It was not available at the time I wrote the original post.