McKeesports Future

Created by Mark-E-Mark on Feb 16, 2011

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Longtime Resident

Clarks Summit, PA

#1 Feb 16, 2011
Will it involve a lack of apostrophes?

“Change is the only constant”

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#2 Feb 16, 2011
Just check the population figures throughout the years. The figures tell the complete story. The city needs to attract business and it will never happen until the powers-that-be A) make the city safer B) make it attractive and affordable for business by providing incentives C) stop the proliferation of government suckling and D) stop the same business-as-usual mentality at City Hall. You folks need new blood leading the city at ALL levels, perhaps a mayor who is a non-politician with zero political experience.

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Troublemaker

Pittsburgh, PA

#3 Feb 16, 2011
Has anyone read a copy of the Delta Report yet? Makes for interesting reading.

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“Change is the only constant”

Since: Jul 10

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#4 Feb 16, 2011
Looks like another city employee's feelings are hurt ... again! He should find another career more "sensitive" to his demeanor.

Regarding the Delta report, I am familiar with at least part of it. I personally think it's a joke. The consultant team's opinion is " ... there is no imminent financial crisis and therefore no immediate need to amend or modify the budget."
I'd be looking at who hired this company and scrutinizing its team members and employees for ties to McKeesport politicians. Voters should be doing cartwheels over such prudent spending such as paying this company for such a report.

Of curious interest is the fact that McKeesport cites the company's "consultant team" which is all fine and dandy except for one thing ... the company doesn't list a "consultant team."

http://www.deltaone.com/dnn/AboutUs/Corporate...

http://www.deltaone.com/dnn/AboutUs/PlanningT...

http://www.deltaone.com/dnn/AboutUs/EPRRSTeam...

Lastly, I find Brewster's statement, " ... the city has proven it can stay afloat in the midst of poor economic conditions" off the charts. If what the city has now is considered "staying afloat" to Brewster, what the hell is a crisis to him?

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Troublemaker

Pittsburgh, PA

#5 Feb 16, 2011
Gee, I'm disappointed; only 5 Incendiary, Mean, and Disagree, but it's early.

Sure, the city's afloat, until it sinks.

I was more intrigued by their findings that recommended a CFO, HR professional, Building Inspection professional, and restructuring of the hierarchy.

"Standards Not Met" for common procedures.

And the best one, their confusion as who owns and how the Palisades, the Marina, and McKee cafe are operated.

“Change is the only constant”

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#6 Feb 16, 2011
Troublemaker wrote:
Gee, I'm disappointed; only 5 Incendiary, Mean, and Disagree, but it's early.
Sure, the city's afloat, until it sinks.
I was more intrigued by their findings that recommended a CFO, HR professional, Building Inspection professional, and restructuring of the hierarchy.
"Standards Not Met" for common procedures.
And the best one, their confusion as who owns and how the Palisades, the Marina, and McKee cafe are operated.
Ha! Yea, it's early. Wow! I didn't get to see the entire report, only excerpts. If the city is in such great financial shape then why the recommendation for a CFO? Now you have me curious. I need to obtain a copy.
Delta Slip Up

AOL

#7 Feb 16, 2011
Troublemaker wrote:
Gee, I'm disappointed; only 5 Incendiary, Mean, and Disagree, but it's early.
Sure, the city's afloat, until it sinks.
I was more intrigued by their findings that recommended a CFO, HR professional, Building Inspection professional, and restructuring of the hierarchy.
"Standards Not Met" for common procedures.
And the best one, their confusion as who owns and how the Palisades, the Marina, and McKee cafe are operated.
And the former mayor proclaimed that Delta did not reveal anything that we (i.e., the control freak) did not already know. And, most of Delta’s recommendations are already in place or were considered.

Then why did he accuse the controller of being irresponsible and over the line for releasing a report that JB was completely familiar with?
Troublemaker

Pittsburgh, PA

#8 Feb 16, 2011
Delta Slip Up wrote:
<quoted text>
And the former mayor proclaimed that Delta did not reveal anything that we (i.e., the control freak) did not already know. And, most of Delta’s recommendations are already in place or were considered.
Then why did he accuse the controller of being irresponsible and over the line for releasing a report that JB was completely familiar with?
Brewster already knew what was in it, he just didn't want everybody else to know. Blame Ray for being the bearer of bad tidings. JB's either slipping or he's getting backed into a corner. In the past, he'd say the findings were faulty and scream it from the rooftops.
Cartman

Beaver, PA

#9 Feb 17, 2011
Delta Slip Up wrote:
<quoted text>
And the former mayor proclaimed that Delta did not reveal anything that we (i.e., the control freak) did not already know. And, most of Delta’s recommendations are already in place or were considered.
Then why did he accuse the controller of being irresponsible and over the line for releasing a report that JB was completely familiar with?
He thought it would hurt his State Senate bid.

Since: Dec 10

Location hidden

#10 Feb 17, 2011
EyesOverMcKeesport wrote:
Regarding the Delta report, I am familiar with at least part of it. I personally think it's a joke.
I read parts of it over on tubecity.com

...and I have to agree to a point with you.

It reads like the "idiots guide to balancing budgets".....

So full of "duh" ideas.

Increase law enforcement tickets and their costs ...reduce city staff costs...increase property taxes (dont artificially hold them back)....

I mean, thats all "common sense " stuff to me....reduce costs and increases revenue.....not rocket science.

But if you DO do those things, what will it do for folks WANTING to be here? If your property taxes go up, you get more traffic tickets and higher cost ones at that, and you cant get services at city hall because they cut staff, will you want to stay here?

I suppose there were some interesting "facts" but to me it was pretty high level common sense observations that any good mayor and council should already be keying in on.

Since: Dec 10

Location hidden

#11 Feb 17, 2011
EyesOverMcKeesport wrote:
<quoted text>
Ha! Yea, it's early. Wow! I didn't get to see the entire report, only excerpts. If the city is in such great financial shape then why the recommendation for a CFO? Now you have me curious. I need to obtain a copy.
IMHO it WOULD make sense to have a "CFO"...someone who has experience with the ins and outs of the financial world and how to find the loopholes, etc that are needed in todays financial world....an EXPERT who knows how the game is played.

Still, even with a CFO, the hard fact is that no one is looking to live , work or setup shop in mckeesport....its not on the list, or at least not near the top, of anyone looking to do business in the region.

With the exception of the new grocery store coming in on walnut eventually and that new shopping center across the road from it, what "new" stuff has popped up in Mckeesport?

It doesnt take a CFO to figure out that we have to change that FIRST.

“Truth Will Set Us Free”

Since: May 08

Mckeesport

#12 Feb 17, 2011
Good points Shadango.

One thing I do find interesting is that Mayor Kucich's last year (2003) the city had its best year, collecting over $600,000 more than it spent. For years, Brewster claimed that he was left with a huge deficit. The Delta report exposed that LIE.

Brewster's best year only netted 1/2 of that amount. His worst year showed deficit spending of over $4.6 Million!

People can complain that I am bashing the man but the numbers bear out the fact that it was his financial mismanagement that put the city in the hole.

I am not for tax increases in general but in lieu of increasing the tax base, small incremental increases were obviously required during the past 7 years. They were artificially kept down as the report finds. Ya think there was a political motivation for that? Meanwhile, all fees and services increased in cost which in my opinion are just back door tax increases.

The project deficit spending and lack of more assets to sell of to fill such gaps, will necessitate the next Mayor to make dramatic lay-offs or raise property taxes substantially. The lay-offs aren't a great solution as the city is self insured for unemployment compensation and will have to continue to pay furloughed employees, albeit at a lower rate, for quite some time.

That leaves the next Mayor the unenviable task of raising real estate tax substantially or declaring Act 47. Neither move will be good for that Mayor's longterm political aspirations.

Additionally, by selling off assets, the former Mayor decreased the net worth of the city and decreased revenue sources to boot.

My point is the Former Mayor has left the next Mayor a job and the city in a more dire financial position than he inherited.

I know, I endorsed him for a while and I was wrong and you were right. In my defense, this report, which was available last August was buried and kept from me and the voting publics view.

Mr. Malinchak provided the public with a valuable service by "leaking" the report once he received it. Unfortunately, it was too little too late to effect the Senate race.

It does tell me that anyone who wants to follow in the Mayor's footsteps and continue with business as usual is either blind or unfit to lead the city.

Paul
Troublemaker

Pittsburgh, PA

#13 Feb 17, 2011
Shadango wrote:
<quoted text> But if you DO do those things, what will it do for folks WANTING to be here? If your property taxes go up, you get more traffic tickets and higher cost ones at that, and you cant get services at city hall because they cut staff, will you want to stay here?

Still, even with a CFO, the hard fact is that no one is looking to live , work or setup shop in mckeesport....its not on the list, or at least not near the top, of anyone looking to do business in the region.
Right. Neither of these things were addressed, and that's the problem with Delta's findings in that they only looked at hard numbers.

I kept wondering if they ever drove through town when they made knee-jerk statements like service fees and taxes are too low. And when were those meetings where the public loudly complained about code enforcement?

You cannot get blood from a turnip. Every senior citizens in town I know with no house and car payments is dreading the day an emergency repair happens and they'll need to take money set aside from that almighty water and/or sewer bill.

The city has never put out a public welcome mat that said,'we're open for business' or 'the housing is affordable'. And they should have been doing that since the day after the mill closed. They took plenty of federal money to tide things over when the number one taxpayer left town. That money was supposed to be spent to attract new businesses, stabilize the neighborhoods, and cover shortfalls. It didn't happen, and the problems still exist.
Viper

United States

#14 Feb 17, 2011
Doesn't "Delta" mean change? That is what is needed in McKeesport.
Outsider

AOL

#15 Feb 17, 2011
Sluggo wrote:
Good points Shadango.
One thing I do find interesting is that Mayor Kucich's last year (2003) the city had its best year, collecting over $600,000 more than it spent. For years, Brewster claimed that he was left with a huge deficit. The Delta report exposed that LIE.
Brewster's best year only netted 1/2 of that amount. His worst year showed deficit spending of over $4.6 Million!
People can complain that I am bashing the man but the numbers bear out the fact that it was his financial mismanagement that put the city in the hole.
I am not for tax increases in general but in lieu of increasing the tax base, small incremental increases were obviously required during the past 7 years. They were artificially kept down as the report finds. Ya think there was a political motivation for that? Meanwhile, all fees and services increased in cost which in my opinion are just back door tax increases.
The project deficit spending and lack of more assets to sell of to fill such gaps, will necessitate the next Mayor to make dramatic lay-offs or raise property taxes substantially. The lay-offs aren't a great solution as the city is self insured for unemployment compensation and will have to continue to pay furloughed employees, albeit at a lower rate, for quite some time.
That leaves the next Mayor the unenviable task of raising real estate tax substantially or declaring Act 47. Neither move will be good for that Mayor's longterm political aspirations.
Additionally, by selling off assets, the former Mayor decreased the net worth of the city and decreased revenue sources to boot.
My point is the Former Mayor has left the next Mayor a job and the city in a more dire financial position than he inherited.
I know, I endorsed him for a while and I was wrong and you were right. In my defense, this report, which was available last August was buried and kept from me and the voting publics view.
Mr. Malinchak provided the public with a valuable service by "leaking" the report once he received it. Unfortunately, it was too little too late to effect the Senate race.
It does tell me that anyone who wants to follow in the Mayor's footsteps and continue with business as usual is either blind or unfit to lead the city.
Paul
Sluggo:

This has to be one of your best postings ever. Submit it for front page publication.

Keep up the good work and run for Mayor.

He only won the Senate election by about 3000 votes out of over 60,000 cast.

“Change is the only constant”

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#16 Feb 21, 2011
Shadango wrote:
<quoted text>
I read parts of it over on tubecity.com
...and I have to agree to a point with you.
It reads like the "idiots guide to balancing budgets".....
So full of "duh" ideas.
Increase law enforcement tickets and their costs ...reduce city staff costs...increase property taxes (dont artificially hold them back)....
I mean, thats all "common sense " stuff to me....reduce costs and increases revenue.....not rocket science.
But if you DO do those things, what will it do for folks WANTING to be here? If your property taxes go up, you get more traffic tickets and higher cost ones at that, and you cant get services at city hall because they cut staff, will you want to stay here?
I suppose there were some interesting "facts" but to me it was pretty high level common sense observations that any good mayor and council should already be keying in on.
Thanks for pointing me to a source ... much obliged. That's part of the dilemma, too. In addition to creating and attracting business, what can the city do for the citizens? Safety/crime issues would be a good start since they're not doing much regarding the business end of things.
New Reader

Pittsburgh, PA

#17 Feb 22, 2011
Sluggo wrote:
Good points Shadango.
One thing I do find interesting is that Mayor Kucich's last year (2003) the city had its best year, collecting over $600,000 more than it spent. For years, Brewster claimed that he was left with a huge deficit. The Delta report exposed that LIE.
Brewster's best year only netted 1/2 of that amount. His worst year showed deficit spending of over $4.6 Million!
People can complain that I am bashing the man but the numbers bear out the fact that it was his financial mismanagement that put the city in the hole.
I am not for tax increases in general but in lieu of increasing the tax base, small incremental increases were obviously required during the past 7 years. They were artificially kept down as the report finds. Ya think there was a political motivation for that? Meanwhile, all fees and services increased in cost which in my opinion are just back door tax increases.
The project deficit spending and lack of more assets to sell of to fill such gaps, will necessitate the next Mayor to make dramatic lay-offs or raise property taxes substantially. The lay-offs aren't a great solution as the city is self insured for unemployment compensation and will have to continue to pay furloughed employees, albeit at a lower rate, for quite some time.
That leaves the next Mayor the unenviable task of raising real estate tax substantially or declaring Act 47. Neither move will be good for that Mayor's longterm political aspirations.
Additionally, by selling off assets, the former Mayor decreased the net worth of the city and decreased revenue sources to boot.
My point is the Former Mayor has left the next Mayor a job and the city in a more dire financial position than he inherited.
I know, I endorsed him for a while and I was wrong and you were right. In my defense, this report, which was available last August was buried and kept from me and the voting publics view.
Mr. Malinchak provided the public with a valuable service by "leaking" the report once he received it. Unfortunately, it was too little too late to effect the Senate race.
It does tell me that anyone who wants to follow in the Mayor's footsteps and continue with business as usual is either blind or unfit to lead the city.
Paul
Excellent reporting, you should run fir mayor!
New Reader

Pittsburgh, PA

#18 Feb 22, 2011
Troublemaker wrote:
Gee, I'm disappointed; only 5 Incendiary, Mean, and Disagree, but it's early.
Sure, the city's afloat, until it sinks.
I was more intrigued by their findings that recommended a CFO, HR professional, Building Inspection professional, and restructuring of the hierarchy.
"Standards Not Met" for common procedures.
And the best one, their confusion as who owns and how the Palisades, the Marina, and McKee cafe are operated.
He don't have to care now because of a higher paying job. Caring when he was a lousy mayor was more important then. He sure loves to fight and scream I have been learning. Is that a McKeesport specialty, in fighting?
New Reader

Pittsburgh, PA

#19 Feb 22, 2011
Shadango wrote:
<quoted text>
I read parts of it over on tubecity.com
...and I have to agree to a point with you.
It reads like the "idiots guide to balancing budgets".....
So full of "duh" ideas.
Increase law enforcement tickets and their costs ...reduce city staff costs...increase property taxes (dont artificially hold them back)....
I mean, thats all "common sense " stuff to me....reduce costs and increases revenue.....not rocket science.
But if you DO do those things, what will it do for folks WANTING to be here? If your property taxes go up, you get more traffic tickets and higher cost ones at that, and you cant get services at city hall because they cut staff, will you want to stay here?
I suppose there were some interesting "facts" but to me it was pretty high level common sense observations that any good mayor and council should already be keying in on.
Is that writer a genius? Why doesn't he run for a position in McKeesport? He is one of it's best enthusiast!

Since: Dec 10

Location hidden

#20 Feb 23, 2011
EyesOverMcKeesport wrote:
<quoted text>
In addition to creating and attracting business, what can the city do for the citizens? Safety/crime issues would be a good start since they're not doing much regarding the business end of things.
The question is, really, what can our council/mayor actually DO to attract business?

I dont think it is that simple, really, to "attract new business".

First off, McKeesport has a horrible reputation...some of it founded in truth and some not.

Next, McKeesport has few attractive looking areas that would attract new business.....if they tore down the midtown plaza mall and a couple blocks around it and started fresh, maybe. But lets face it, people don't shop "main street" anymore. Its easier to drive to a mall or a shopping center and have a multitude of shops to go to......5th avenue would have to have a major infusion of businesses popping up to be attractive.

Look at Homestead....the waterfront is booming.....the main drag is still a desolate wasteland for the most part.

Just over the hill, Century 3 mall is dying. Go figure.

5th avenue could become attractive to small business owners just starting out, etc....IF there were customers nearby there to woo.....but there isnt.

SO, McKeesport has to

a) become a shopping mecca.....tear down the mall and two blocks in all directions....start fresh.

b) become an industrial mecca again....and the way manufacturing is these days, not likely...though the flyover ramp may provide some encouragement....fact is, in this economy, industry isnt exactly booming ANYWHERE.

c) become content with being a "residential city".....with small shops etc supporting residents.

I think this is our most likely possible scenario.

Tear down the blighted areas....sweep out crime and such as best as possible. Crack down hard on drug offenses and discourage loitering, etc.--- People loafing outside of bars and public housing scares people off even if the folks doing it are doing nothing illegal. Cleanup the public housing and kick people out that break the rules. Make public housing respectable again (there was a day, back in the 50's when "living in the projects" wasn't a bad thing) Build new housing (not federally subsidized....actual consumer-based , take out a loan and buy it or rent it housing)...on the sites where the blighted areas used to be. Collect taxes from the owners/residents (this is why its important that the housing NOT be section 8).

As a city, we need to appeal to the people who have money to spend and not the folks on welfare and section 8. Like it or not, people with money to spend are turned off by the environment that typically comes along with welfare and subsidized housing.

That is why Haler Heights and that area up there is still doing really well.....people there work for a living, pay their taxes and coexist in relatively good terms. How many Haler Heights residents do you think shop in downtown McKeesport? We need to make downtown more like Haler Heights or White Oak.

And before someone calls this a racist comment, note that Haler Heights is a mix of blacks and whites....so race has NOTHING to do with it....its all about self-respect and how you keep your house and take care of your business. Probably not too many people living on welfare or using section 8 money in Haler Heights.

People would come to McKeesport then, to live.

As long as we cater to the low income crowd, our city will forever be a low-income city and the people who can turn that around (the people with money) will continue to drive right on thru.

How do we get there?

As you said......crime reduction and strict enforcement of codes and laws.

Of course, that costs money.

SO it comes full circle.

Fixing McKeesport will mean higher taxes for all....residents, businesses, etc.-- it will mean cutting certain things. It will mean pay cuts to some employees..... The problems we have take money to combat. No getting around it.

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