added 15 July : 27 June letter to City Council from a Crafton Heights resident


[Note: I have broken some parts of the original letter into paragraphs;
and the text has been fitted to this page width   --paul-- ]



27 June, 2002

Councilman __________ 414 Grant St. Pittsburgh PA 15219

Councilman,

It seems the Administration is about to have the WE-HAV program regardless of the wishes of home owners of the Western neighborhoods. We were left with little to work with except the support of Council, and elegant words unfortunately, can be much more effective in swaying opinion than nitty-gritty details. But Thanks for this one last opportunity to express my thoughts.

At the 26 June, 2002 committee meeting of City Council Councilman Hertzberg entered into the public record among other documents the following: 1) The WE-HAV package, as mailed, in accordance with the Neighborhood Improvement District Act 2) Act 2000-130 (HB 1142) establishing the Neighborhood Improvement District Act. 3) A letter from the City Solicitor outlining a review of Act 2000-130 as the enabling legislation for the proposed WE-HAV program.

I would now like to furnish you with two additional documents which may be of interest to you:

1) A six page "WE-HAV Fact Sheet" and an included reply postcard which was mailed to some 8,000 home owners in the NID district. This piece of propaganda was prepared by and mailed by the administration under the guise of the WE-HAV Task Force.

Repeated questioning, at the informational meetings called for in the mailing, yielded no idea of Who or How Many made up the WE-HAV Task Force. 2) A June 11, 2002 letter, to me, from the City Solicitor indicating that PA Act 2000-130 [HB 1142 Enacted] had been reviewed and found acceptable to enable the WE-HAV program. But as of that time no one on City Council had requested a review of Bill No. 5 to see if it conformed to the requirements of the NID legislation.

If this review is ever undertaken the "WE-HAV Fact Sheet" of item 1) should be included. The WE-HAV Task Force has in effect told the some 8,000 homeowners that this is what Bill No.5 says.

The following summaries extracted from the three documents listed below is my lowly attempt to fairly present what each document says in a format that can be reviewed in a relatively short time. It is my hope that this cursory review of WHO Administers What, and by What authority, will wet your appetite for other inconsistencies in this legislation and how it was explained to the voters.

WE-HAV Fact Sheet (Mailed on or about 5 June 2002)
Consisting of three yellow sheets of printed matter and a postage-paid reply card.

Page 2 How would the WE-HAV program be administered?
Nine unpaid volunteer commissioners who would be appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council would administer the WE-HAV program.

All nine commissioners would be appointed from a list of nominees submitted by community organizations in the WE-HAV district.

In addition, all nine members would be residents of the WE-HAV district.

The WE-HAV Commission would be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the program.

The West Pittsburgh Partnership, an existing non-profit corporation, would act as management entity for the program.

Page 2 Whom are we paying to run this Program?
The WE-HAV Commission would be responsible for hiring any staff necessary for the successful operation of the WE-HAV program.


City of Pittsburgh Bill No. 5 Introduced Jan. 7, 2002

Section 6. ADMINISTRATION OF PROGRAM

(a) The program shall be administered by the West Pittsburgh Partnership, an existing community development corporation.

A special advisory board of nine commissioners shall be appointed.

This board exclusively shall administer the program.

(b) Selection of Commissioners.

The Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh shall appoint five of the commissioners, and City Council shall appoint four.

Seven of the nine commissioners shall be chosen from Nominees submitted by community organizations, as defined in Section 4(c).

In addition, at least five of the nine commissioners shall reside within the program district.

(c) Terms of Commissioners.
(d) Compensation of Commissioners.
(e) Vacancies on the Board.


Section 7. DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF GOVERNING COMMISSION

The duties and function of the governing commission shall include the following:

(a) To conduct and oversee the day-to-day operation of the program, including but not limited to the processing of homeowners applications for participation in the program and claims by program members against the guarantee fund.

(b) To establish policies, rules, regulations, bylaws and procedures for the governing commission and for the program, the adoption of which shall require prior notice to the residents of the program district and an opportunity for such residents to be heard.

(c) To provide
(d)To perform


4(c) "Community organization" means a not -for-profit organization which has been registered as such in the state of Pennsylvania for at least 5 years, which qualifies for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as now or hereafter amended, which continuously maintains an office within the program district, along with a listed phone number, and whose members reside within the program district.

4(e) "Governing commission" means the board of nine commissioners of the West Pittsburgh Partnership appointed to administer the program as outlined in Section 6.


Pennsylvania Legislation Act No. 2000-130 ( HB 1142 ) Signed Dec. 20, 2000 Neighborhood Improvement District Act

Section 4. Powers of Municipal Corporation.

Every municipal corporation shall have the Power:

     (2) To establish an authority to administer the NID or to designate an existing community development corporation or other existing nonprofit corporation to administer same or to create a community development corporation or other nonprofit corporation to administer same under sections 6 and 7.


Section 6. Creation of neighborhood improvement district management association.

(a) Association designated.-
When a municipality establishes a NID under this act, a neighborhood improvement district management association shall be designated by the governing body of the municipality in which the NID is to be located to administer programs, improvements and services within the NID.
    
(b) Administration.-
        (1) NIDs created pursuant to this act shall be administered by an NIDMA which shall be a an authority created pursuant to the act of May 2, 1945 (P.l.382. No.164), known as the Municipal Authorities Act of 1945, an existing nonprofit development corporation, an existing nonprofit corporation or a nonprofit development corporation or a nonprofit corporation established by the governing body of the municipality in which the NID is to be located, to administer the NIDP.
         (2) (c) Powers.-
               An NIDMA created under this act shall assume all powers provided for in section 7 immediately upon the effective date of the municipal ordinance enacted under section 4 creating an NID.
                (d) Board.-Every NIDMA shall have an administrative board.
                    (1)
                    (2) Where an existing nonprofit development corporation or other nonprofit corporation is to serve as the NIDMA for a NID, the board shall be appointed according to the bylaws of the NIDMA filed with the Department of State.
                    (3)
                    (4)


Section 7. Powers of neighborhood improvement district management association.

            (a) General powers.--
                      (12) Designate a district advisory committee, referred to as the DAC, for each NID established within the municipality. Each DAC shall consist of an odd number of members, between five and nine, who shall be representative of the neighborhood's character, including, but not limited to, age, sex and cultural diversity.
            (b) Assessments.--
            (c) Payment.--
            (d) Liens.--


Section 3. Definitions

"District advisory council." A committee comprised of property owners from the neighborhood improvement district established under section 7(a) for the purpose of providing guidance and direction to the neighborhood improvement district management association concerning association activities within the district.

"Neighborhood improvement district management association." The governing body which oversees the management of neighborhood improvement districts in a municipality as established under section 5, which hereinafter shall be referred to as the NIDMA. Such a body shall be incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in this Commonwealth or an authority established pursuant to the act of May 2, 1945 (P.l.382. No.164), known as the Municipal Authorities Act of 1945.


It is quite obvious that none of the documents say the same thing about the subject of Administration. The WE-HAV Fact Sheet is disinformation. No more needs to be said.

Is Bill No. 5 establishing an advisory board or a Governing commission? The terms seem to be used interchangeably. And the State law Act 2000-130 vests in the NIDMA all the powers Bill No. 5 is trying to give it's Governing commission.

I think the State law will stand and the existing Board of Directors of the West Pittsburgh Partnership will control the operations of the NID and with it the WE-HAV program.

The Devil is in the Details!

Thank you for your considerate attention to this matter,

John F. ( Jack ) Peth



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update: 17/23 February  2003