Did you know it is Pittsburgh City Council's 100th Birthday? Me either. (It moved from a bicameral body to its current 9-member state in 1911.) I haven't seen any indication that it will be celebrating -- most of the attention there seems to be on politicking for council president after a new Squirrel Hill rep is sworn-in in January. The latest move on a shale referendum may have something to do with that too.
Joe Smydo is on vacation, so here was the top of my story yesterday on the latest council zaniness:
It took until Pittsburgh City Council's 100th birthday year to try to make the mayor obsolete.
A group of six council members urged the Allegheny County elections division Tuesday to move forward with a ballot question amending the city charter to ban natural gas drilling in the city, even though Mayor Luke Ravenstahl had not yet put his pen to council's referendum bill.
It was a unique -- and sure to be challenged -- move by the legislative body, which has been in its current form since 1911.
"I guess the lawyers will get their heads together and see if this is sufficient to get it on the ballot," said Councilman Doug Shields, the leader of the referendum effort.
In possibly the most efficient/swift move in the history of Allegheny County government, the elections department ruled council's move to be "legally inconsequential" yesterday afternoon.