Monday, June 5, 2017

Mt. Lebanon continues to be defiant

Every year, our public officials and public employees are required to file a Statement of Financial Interests with the Municipality or School District, as well as with the PA Ethics Commission. Here are the Municipal Statements of Financial Interests May 2017.

According to the Guide to the PA Public Official and Employee Ethics Act,  The State defines public officials as :
Any person elected by the public or elected or appointed by a governmental body or an appointed official in the executive, legislative or judicial branch of this Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof, provided that it shall not include members of advisory boards that have no authority to expend public funds other than reimbursement for personal expense or to otherwise exercise the power of the State or any political subdivision thereof.
Former manager Steve Feller was a stickler when it came to filing SFI's. Our new manager Keith McGill, not so much. We already know that Andrew McCreery and Susan Morgans made critical errors on their SFI's. At one time, members of these boards submitted SFI's. What I am noticing now is the number of SFI's which are no longer filed. Missing in action include:

Mark Quealy, Mt. Lebanon Parking Enforcement Supervisor

Blaise Larotonda

Members of the Historic Preservation Board who have spent $25,000 on Virginia Manor remodeling guides, and brick road recommendations.

Sports Advisory Board, the most powerful board in the Municipality, now are MIA. Their meetings are constantly being canceled. The latest posted minutes are from January 5, 2017.

Mt. Lebanon continues to become more and more defiant. Just ask the Allegheny County Health Department concerning baiting and toxic dust emissions, Scott Township about killing in Twin Hills, PA Office of Open Records, and now the PA Ethics Commission.


Anonymous said...

BUT the problem becomes what happens to people that fail to properly fill out their forms or deliver them on time? You won't find anything written on penalties or fines.

You will though be able to see what the penalties are for submitting your taxes/payments on your tax bill or on your parking ticket.

Anonymous said...

You will though be able to see what the penalties are for submitting your taxes/payments on your tax bill or on your parking ticket if you're late won't you? See it doesn't need to be so difficult to enforce ethics laws.

Anonymous said...

Here's an irony for you!

In the same month that an article appears in The Almanac (most likely instigated by the MTL Public Information Office) about people abusing overnight parking regulations and non-compliance with zoning regulations an exposé discovers that many of our highly compensated public servants are abusing and non-compliant with some very simple state ethics regulations.

Seriously, how difficult is it to fill out a very general form? If they can't do it accurately perhaps they aren't capable of doing the job we pay them very well for.

Bet we'll never read something from the PIO on that issue, will we!

Issues are only important when they figure they can dip into your checkbook.

Anonymous said...

Phillip Avolio, Facilities & Parks Coordinator - No SFI

Year End Financial Statements For Parking Facility

"Mr. McCreery noted that the 2017 year looks promising and has the ability to fund
Capital type projects as needed from reserves for the next 5 years."

Anonymous said...

Elaine: Nick Shalles works for free. With so many municipal employees working at no charge, why are my taxes going up ?

E. T. Gillen said...

6:28 PM, I missed that one. Nick Schalles is with IT. Sloppy management, but Keith said it isn't his job to see if they are filled out correctly. Why bother checking, right?

Anonymous said...

Sloppy management is probably why $800,000 in uncollected parking fines got written off as uncollectible.
Far easier to just change the tax rate and go from there.

Anonymous said...

If it isn't Keith's job to see required forms are filled out, who's job is it?

Jason Margolis said...

There is an interesting angle here, and it is connected with the oligarchy.

I have actual evidence that at least some, and perhaps most, of the individuals in MTL with the most parking fines -- the perpetual perpetrators -- are members of the MTL elite.

The reason they might not be gone after is simply status and an 'insider understanding' of what will, and will not, be prosecuted.

Jason Margolis said...

Would a list of the names of people whose tickets were written off, and the related amount that was written off, be subject to a RTK?

E. T. Gillen said...

I did file a RTK, Jason, and have published the list of license numbers. Names are not public, but the license plates are since they are seen every day on the road.

Anonymous said...

The scofflaws were pretty obvious, Jason.

The problem is finding some legal authority to do anything about it.
$800,000 lost was a lot of money, but complacent taxpayers don't care or are too lazy to give a damn so they'll accept higher fees and taxes and stay away from the voting booth.

Barbara S said...

Did the RTK provide information about the totals owed under each license number or just the numbers, themselves? Wouldn't it be fun to see if someone would publish the list of license plates for the public to see? After all, we paid for the fines in the form of the right-offs.

E. T. Gillen said...

I published the list five years ago in this post:
The Never Ending List.

Anonymous said...

"The scofflaws were pretty obvious, Jason"

Really? From that list of more than 10,000 distinct plates, please share the obvious identities.

"I have actual evidence that at least some, and perhaps most, of the individuals in MTL with the most parking fines -- the perpetual perpetrators -- are members of the MTL elite."

Actual evidence, eh? That's a high standard! Based on the list published, the elite sure drive lots of Subarus, Geos, Pontiacs and Chevy econoboxes.

Anonymous said...

7:15, tell me something. How does one ticket the same vehicle 150 times and not do anything about it? Is there no communication between the meter maids, collections and the PD?
Couldn't someone have figured out after say 20 unpaid tickets it's time to boot or impound this vehicle?

Oh, and no the elites don't drive Geos, but their kids or companies may use them.

Anonymous said...

7:15, our local gendarme, with all their fancy equipment like license plate readers can't spot a yellow Geo that probably parked in the same relative spot over a long period of time? Seriously?

And to add insult to injury, they write off the fines! Yeah, sure no fix there.

Anonymous said...

The point here is 7:15 that our municipal manager can't do things like fill out a simple required form or enforce a simple parking fine, but they can go after people that may have no other choice but to park on the street during prohibited hours.

Anonymous said...

Correction, the municipal manager can't enforce filling out required forms.

I guess the lesson here is that you can skirt municipal rules, regulations, fines and fees if you just get a little creative.

A required form- just scribble something, nobody is checking.
Want to park on the street after hours, volunteer to spot deer on private property.
Want to avoid parking fines- drive a yellow Geo or some other econobox, because they're very difficult to spot.