Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Reading: Charles Zappala (And Friends, And Relatives, And Political Associates) Edition

Two fascinating points about local affairs emerged recently: Some people have difficulty operating an Intertubes-compatible messaging apparatus, and Charles Zappala** likes lists (more than he likes city controller Michael Lamb, inconvenient questions about public finances or meddling objections to no-bid public contracts).

The natural consequence of these revelations is a Charles Zappala edition of Sunday Reading (without datelines, because each of these memorable reports originated at the intersection of public money, political influence, taxpayer regret and private gain):

• You probably forgot this one.

• Allegheny County pension beneficiaries probably haven't forgotten this one.

• Butler taxpayers wish they could forget this 'fleecing' (Ed Rendell's word, not mine).

• 'Forget about the fees,' Pittsburgh city council was told (although, in fairness, who could put a price tag on 'expertise') (Rich Fitzgerald's word, not mine).

• It might be tough to forget being incarcerated unjustly as a child.

• Forget about topping judges being bribed to put children behind bars for profit . . . unless, perhaps, the profiteering jailers are overcharging the government for it.

• 'Forget about how our local partners got their shares, or whether they actually paid for their investment,' Forest City said.

Overall, quite an illuminating list, some might argue -- but you be the judge.

** Charles R. Zappala,

• brother to former State Supreme Court Chief Justice (and more recent undisclosed gambling flack) Stephen A. Zappala,

• uncle to district attorney (and victims' advocate, not to mention community development specialist) Stephen A. Zappala Jr.,

• uncle to unqualified (or "not recommended," in guild terms) judicial candidate (and undisclosed gambling mouthpiece) Michelle Zappala Peck,

• uncle to Gregory Zappala, financial advisor to seemingly every politician and public agency in southwestern Pennsylvania (and beyond), rainmaker for community-minded investment firms, and developer of government-funded projects, including prisons for (not-so-guilty) juveniles.

business partner (and casino investment "team[mate]") of Bill Lieberman,

associate of the "long-armed" and ubiquitous John Verbanac,

exchanger of pleasantries with such politicos as Luke Ravenstahl and an exceptionally patient, if not downright merciful, county executive Dan Onorato, and

• author of words of wisdom:

"I look at the community and I say, 'When are we going to stop this?'"


Anonymous said...

Great post.

Bram Reichbaum said...

From your final link:

"Mr. Zappala said the SPC, where commissioners and professionals from 10 counties and the city collaborate to plan transportation improvements, is threatened as a forum for regional collegiality.

"This nonsense that's going on now, this constant tearing apart, is ridiculous."

Read more:

Maybe some people are frustrated by the inadequacy of the SPC leadership over the last decade? Maybe people take exception to what they view as government waste? Maybe they see themselves as opposing policies that are economically and politically short-sighted, that encourage suburban sprawl, and that totally neglect or gentrify existing city centers?

It seems to me that Mr. Zappala must eventually respond to substantive criticism substantively. The same could be said for the other Mr. Zappala.

WowJustWow said...

remind me never to get on your list

you taking suggestions for future installments?