Wednesday, August 1, 2007

PAT is still finding new ways to waste money

Pittsburgh PA - A columnist piece in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review really should be a news item. Columnist Eric Heyl informed the readers on Friday that the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT) is still finding new ways to waste money and offering feeble attempts at justifying the waste.

What is it this time? Another attempt at nickel and diming the money needed to run service so it can be spent on anything but providing service. PAT placed an ad in the Pittsburgh City Paper for $1,400 which is little more than political butt kissing using money that is needed to run the service.

The full page ad declared in bold face letters "THANKS TO THE LEADERS IN HARRISBURG, WE CAN KEEP YOU MOVING."

It then goes on with "We'd like to thank Gov. Rendell, the lawmakers in Harrisburg, and all those who have worked together on the funding crisis," the ad states. "Their hard work and vision have made it possible for us to continue to offer our riders the dependable transit they deserve."

PAT's spinmeister, Judi McNeil, went into high speed spin mode to defend the ad saying that it was to publicly thank the politicians for their efforts in passing the transportation bill. She was also quick to add that the money for the ad came from advertising revenues and not taxpayer money.

I'm sorry Judi, the ad is a waste of money and shows exactly what I have been saying for years. PAT will find any excuse to spend money on anything but providing service. These politicians don't need to be thanked for doing their job. The same could have been done for free at the PAT press conference where they announced the funding deal. Instead, PAT just had to find a way to waste more money so they went out and bought a newspaper ad in a free tabloid style paper that is used more for lining bird cages and paper training the family puppy than it is used for reading.

Also Judi, that advertising revenue is supposed to go toward the operating fund. Whether you think so or not, the taxpayer still has to foot the bill for that useless advertisement since that is $1,400 more the taxpayer must sink into the system to keep service on the street.

While $1,400 isn't even considered chump change in the grand scheme of the total amount needed to run PAT, it clearly shows how the mind set of waste is ingrained into the transit system's administration. This is just like the $700 or so worth of dinosaur books PAT bought for the board of director's children several years ago. It is something to simply waste money on and does absolutely nothing to keep service on the street.

PAT earns itself yet another Lance for continuing to waste money and I'm tossing in another Lance for PAT's mouthpiece, Judi McNeil, for trying to once again defend the waste.

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