Going through the motions | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Going through the motions

We attend city council so you don’t have to - July 24 and 25

This is it: the last time that cat licensing will be written about in this column. (That is, until the next time one of your city councilors needs a hot-button issue to score some ink and TV time.)

Seriously, cat licensing is a very serious issue — at least that’s how many councilors have tried to spin it in recent weeks. The whole thing has become a laughing matter because the media has decided to belittle the matter and make jokes about this important “quality-of-life issue.”

Yeah, it’s the media’s fault that two weeks ago, indicted lame-duck councilor Twanda Carlisle said cats were calmer in “yesteryear,” and that cats today are more aggressive. It must be those damned video games.

Anyway, the cliffhanger council meeting that left the measure one vote shy of passage remained one vote shy when Councilor Jeff Koch voted against the law.

“This is an extra tax on responsible pet owners,” Koch said. “Irresponsible pet owners still won’t get a license.”

Thank you, councilor. It only took 25 months and 16 public hearings for someone to finally point that out. I’m kidding of course. It’s only been two months and one public hearing … I don’t know, that still seems excessive.

Special meetings and public hearings

As council gets set to leave for its summer recess Aug. 14, many folks are wondering when the special council meeting on the recent controversial police promotions will take place.

The special meeting was promised in June, after a public hearing that featured scores of pissed-off residents who couldn’t believe that three city officers with prior domestic violence complaints against them were being promoted. Those promotions went through, but a meeting with local advocacy groups was promised.

On July 24, several council members asked President Doug Shields when the meeting would be scheduled, because they had received several calls from their constituents. Shields said the meeting could be scheduled as early as that day. But, it wasn’t.

A spokesperson in Shields’ office said July 30 that the meeting could take place in early September and could be scheduled before the recess. However, she says the delay in scheduling the meeting has happened because Shields is trying to bring in several national experts to speak on the topic, and coordinating their schedules has caused a logistical problem.

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