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Council approves amended land bank proposal - UPDATE AND CORRECTION

Posted by Elwin Green on April 15, 2014 at 8:20 PM

UPDATE: The final version of the land bank legislation proposed by Councilwoman Deb Gross - substantially amended from the original - received final passage Monday, and has been sent to the Mayor's office for his signature. An Interim Board of Directors for the Land Bank has been named, consisting of the following individuals: Matthew Barron, Richard Carrington, Shawn Carter, Ronell Guy, Jerome Jackson, Llyod Hedlund, Kim Salinetro, Barb Valaw and Dan Wood. They are to draft a set of policies and procedures to recommend to the Initial Board of Directors, who are to be named within 90 days.

CORRECTION: My last blog post, on City Council's preliminary approval of the land bank bill, contained an error. It states that the land bank legislation proposed by Councilman Ricky V. Burgess died on Dec. 31, 2012. That was based on the information that appeared on the City Clerk's website:

As it turns out, the City's website was in error. It has now been fixed, and shows that the resolution died on December 31, 2013, not December 31, 2012.

You see, City Council operates on legislative terms that run two years, and the most recent legislative term covered 2012 and 2013. A new legislative term began in January.

Which means that Councilman Burgess's land bank proposal languished without action - including any action by Councilman Burgess - not for two months, but for more than 13 months.

I don't know what to make of that. 

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Reply Shawn Carter
10:09 AM on April 21, 2014 

Hope your holiday weekend was peaceful and that you got the chance to enjoy the markedly improved weather.

I will help fill in some of the blanks here.

Several things occurred between November 2012, when Reverend Burgess' legislation was introduced and December 31, 2013, when it expired due to the end of the previous legislative session.

In Spring 2013, Reverend Burgess was approached by then-Councilman Patrick Dowd with a comprehensive amendment to Reverend Burgess' legislation, which had been held in Committee.

The comprehensive amendment was drafted by Councilman Dowd's office.

There were a series of working meetings between the staff of Councilman Dowd's and Councilman Burgess' offices from Spring 2013 until Councilman Dowd resigned his Council seat in early Summer 2013.

As you know, Council takes the month of August off for its Summer Recess, so without Councilman Dowd's seat vacant until early December, the process did, in fact, languish.

Once Councilman Peduto became Mayor-elect Peduto, it was no longer prudent to push such an important issue to passage as opposed to waiting until the New Year and a new Administration.

So, that is what took us from November 2012 to December 31, 2013.

Hope that helps.
Reply Elwin Green
8:31 PM on April 21, 2014 
It does - thanks. If anything else comes up, I'll call.

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In October 2005, after a bullet came through his living room window, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Elwin Green began writing "My Homewood," the first blog on the P-G's website. For 4 1/2 years, "My Homewood" shared stories of tragedy and beauty, of perplexity and hope - stories that live again in "The Homewood Chronicles."

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