prior updates - beginning the week of 14 april 2002
[click underlined words for more information, use right-key "Back" to return here]

14 April 2002:
Here are the pages of the February 2002 Public Notice    >>click<<
that was mass-mailed to 8200 7616(?) addresses in the proposed area.
[note:14 Jan. 2003:
the address list attached to the Public Notice packet = 7616 addresses
(some of which have turned out to be vacant lots, commercial property, etc.)
8200 was/is an unsubstantiated claim by the Mayor's office].
 
Among other matters noted by residents speaking at the Public Hearing in City Council on 19 March,
is the gimmick which requires a 40% negative vote being required to defeat this scheme,
if it is passed by City Council.

Speakers noted that there is no guarantee that every absentee owner has received this Public Notice,
nor is there any guarantee that even every resident owner has received it, let alone taken time to read it, because the mailing was sent to the address, not in name of the owner.

-therefore- the -importance- that any homeowner or dwelling-unit owner who is opposed to the
We Hav Program should officially cast their NO vote by mail -before May 3rd.

As you can see, the text is a complex, sometimes ambiguous read.
I see many loop-holes not benefiting any homeowner, and major short-comings in every aspect of this scheme (developed at tax-payers' expense.)
Therefore I have voted NO with the more than 2000+ other homeowners who have done so, to date.

- paul j. sentner - Elliott -
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Update: 22 april 2002
--the number 2000+ is not accurate; this is my error.
In a conversation with the Councilman's office earlier this month, the comment was made to me that there were a lot of no votes but not 2000, I mentioned that 40% of 8220 (apparently mailed) is some over 3000 [3280 to be more precise], and the aide agreed.
As of this afternoon, the City clerk's office said there was mail to count and record,
and the current NO count was not known.
--all the more reason for you to immediately send in your NO vote if you oppose We Hav.
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Update: 25 April
--
As of early this afternoon, the current NO count was not yet available.
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Update: 1 May
--still no official tally available;
--but, an unofficial ballpark idea of where the tally might be:
    ".. there were about 500 No votes about 2 weeks ago.."
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Update: 7 May
--the day before the City Council committee meeting for discussion of Bill 5--
--still no official tally available;
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Update: 9-14 May
--the day after the City Council committee meeting for discussion of Bill 5
--the City Clerk's office says (not verbatim):
        -that Councilman Hertzberg has returned the Bill to committee for 4 weeks,
         and plans to meet with community leaders to further explain the We Hav program.
         He realizes there are many people who oppose it -but 40% No was not received.

--the City Clerk's office says there were 804 opposing "letters" received,
   but there was no clarification if that was 804 No -votes- ;
   (owners of more than one dwelling-unit were eligible to cast one NO vote for every unit,
    and apparently at least one owner did so).
[note: 24 Feb. 2003:
in Oct. 2002, the State Representative's office in Harrisburg advised that: 
the definition of "property owner" is not defined in HB1142 and therefore will have to be settled by the courts.   
Therefore, it seems to me, common-sense that since a crucial aspect of the procedures to establish NIDs is the (dispicable) No_vote/veto mechanism, this law as it presently stands, CANNOT be used where there are many single and multiple owners of many single and multiple residential units, such as across our 12 neighborhoods, because the total number of eligible owner-votes is not defined, and therefore cannot be determined.]
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Update: 16 May
--it appears the number 8200 is high; probably closer to 7655 ? ; or 7150 ?
   at 7655, about 10.5% NO votes were received(?); at 7150, 15.8%
--all of the exact figures are presently unclear...
  (how many eligible NO votes there are, how many eligible owners were actually contacted,
   and how many actual NO -votes- were received).
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Update: 2 June
--serious suggestion: read HB 1142 and consider the ramifications.
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Update: 13 June
--a well-printed [ $ ], 3-double-pages "WE-HAV Fact Sheet" mailing has arrived throughout the area;
it has no return address except a symbol and the word "WE-HAV";
the postage is "Presorted First Class U.S. Postage paid by the City of Pittsburgh"
- more of our tax dollars at work against us?

--to me, it essentially re-states the unsubstantiatable claims and the questionable rationale of the WeHav text included in the February Bill No. 5 Public Notice mailing.
This mailing also includes a page of appeal asking for supporters to mail the enclosed postage-paid postcard to the local [District 2] City Councilman, Alan Hertzberg, urging him to vote for "..implementation of a Neighborhood Improvement District that will permit the creation of the..(WE-HAV) Program."
--It concludes with notice of 4 meetings for "more information", to be held next week:
at 7pm:  Monday       June 17 at Westwood Elementary School
             Tuesday       June 18 at Chartiers Elementary School [Chartiers City]
             Wednesday  June 19 at Emmanuel Methodist Church [Elliott]
             Thursday      June 20 at Sheraden United Methodist Church
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update: 19 June 2002
..I have attended my first WeHav meetings:
Monday in Westwood, last evening (Tuesday) in Chartiers City.
[more]
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update: 27 June 2002
..in Sheraden, the Mayor's staff person stated that 8147 Public Notices were mailed in February;
..at every meeting there have been residents who have stated they did not receive the Notice.
..this matter begs questions about the accuracy of the WeHav text detailing the budget,
amounts of the yearly "tax", et al.
..presumably the WeHav tax would be collected via the City tax-roll.
..How much money WOULD be involved in this thing? -----------------------------------------------------------------
..I'm writing this before I find out what happened at the City Council Committee meeting
on Wednesday 26 June.
It'll be interesting to see what has happened.
I attended the remaining two meetings of last week
-Wednesday in Elliott and Thursday in Sheraden.
[more]
-----------------------------------------------------------------

-- 2 July 2002: City Council passed Bill No.5 ---
    -this should not have happened given the information noted in "mapping HB1142",
and in documentation and information from other sources that had been presented to
Council members. Significant instructions in the State NID law had not been carried out.
Six members of City Council acted irresponsibly (perhaps without knowledge -which is no  excuse).   Does Pittsburgh City Council need an overhaul?
-----------------------------------------------------
-- July 12, 2002: Mayor Murphy signed Bill No.5
--which he had been promoting with tax-payers' funds via the WEHAV Task Force.
It seems the people of Pittsburgh cannot rely on most of our elected local politicians
to be doing the right things...
-----------------------------------------------------
late December 2002
The week before Thanksgiving, some decided it was time to visit City Council to let them know that a district-wide action towards a formal Request for Termination of the (improperly established) District 2 Neighborhood Improvement District was underway.  
They decided upon Tuesday Dec. 3 - 10am in Council chambers.
At least one person went and spoke the following Tuesday, as well.

Hopefully, every member of Council will take the heads-up seriously, and do their own personal homework so that they will act responsibly when they get the second chance to act in accord with the unmistakable vast majority of District 2 residential owners, and not rely on the misinformation from the District 2 Councilmember's office.

It will be the will of the unmistakable vast majority of District 2 residential owners because Section 8(b) of the Pa. State NID law - Act 2000-130 (also known as HB1142-enacted) requires at least 40% of the affected property owners for the formal request for Termination of the NID.
As we have begun contacting every affected property owner, indications are that far more than 40% of owners are strongly opposed (something like 29 of 30 or so), thus by way of full contact there will be far more Requests for Termination Forms than from a mere 40%.

[Update: 14 February 2003:]
something new surfaced in Jan. 2003, thanks to a group of folks from Oakland (panda.org) who I believe got started when the City began promoting the idea of selling off all the Library buildings and properties owned by the City.
Has our City administration taken to sniffing glue, en masse, or what?

-anyway, Panda had began looking at matters they deemed worthy of public hearing and input, and they noticed Bill 1123-2002 introduced by Jim Ferlo, in Dec. 2002, transferring $150,000 of City funds to the West Pittsburgh Partnership, Inc. CDC(the NIDmanaging authority (NIDMA), selected somehow, but NOT according to the NID law (Sec. 6(b)).

Panda got up a petition for a hearing; the first anyone I know heard of it was a 2"x 3" ad in the Sat. 5 Jan. Post-Gazette, announcing the hearing to be on the 9th. When Panda discovered it would not be cablecast by the City channel, it got up a petition for cablecasting. The petition was denied, and while only one (1) of the then 8 Council members needed to step-up and request cablecasting, none (0) went against the wishes of their colleague our councilperson Hertzberg. But when people tuned in the City station to see if the hearing was on, they found one of the WeHav "commissioners" promoting the wonders of.... WE-HAV, of course.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---Jan. 15, 2003:
"Open Letter" <click here> delivered to members of Pittsburgh City Council via the City Clerk.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---January 22, 2003:  Council, the rubber-stamps they are turning out to be, unanimously voted to transfer the $150,000 (that someone mentioned was already in the new City Budget) to the illegitimately-designated "managing authority"(the West Pittsburgh Partnership CDC, formerly the West End-Elliott Joint Project CDC) -a classic a true SNAFU action.
 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---January 26, 2003:  the City Public Works director was on TV, complaining that
    there's not enough money for road salt.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

update: 6 Feb. 2003
"WeHav commissioners" meeting to approve their by-laws
tonight Feb. 6  ---  6:30 pm   
at the Sheraden Senior Center  
720 Sherwood Ave.

If you attend, consider taking some blank Termination Forms and your clip-board;
if anyone shows up there, it might be a good time to catch "new" folks as they leave
-chances are they will be ready to rumble against WeHav and the NID.
Also get names and numbers of anyone who wants to join into helping with
the Termination Request ACTION.
Last week's letter to the public from "WE-HAV" states that
"public comment on the proposed bylaws will be accepted at the meeting."

Which probably means nothing -because the beginning of the paragraph states:
"..the WE-HAV Board of Commissioners will formally adopt their by laws"
[at the meeting]...   in other words it is a done deal as written?


The "commisioners' bylaws" are mostly some of the details that should have been
included in the NID Preliminary and Final Plans, (the undeclared/ missing Plans
required by Section 5 of the state law BEFORE the NID could legitimately be established),
as well as reprinting of the definitions listed in the front of the State NID law.

There's an enlightening description of how community influence will be stifled
when it comes to so-called public WeHav meetings;
and a long list of responsibilities and work supposedly to be required of the
un-paid commissioners. If they are actually going to do what appears to be
full-time work, they are foolish, notwithstanding the needed competencies.

What is missing is the plain-english definition of " illegitimate ":
 "not according to the law or rules" .
- p.j.s. -
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

July 2003
...to see the intentionally DECEPTIVE and INTIMIDATING (to the unwary)
WEHAV Tax "Invoice"
<click here>
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
September 2003 GreenTree Times

pennysaver notice sep 03
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update:23 October 2003
ex tor tion 1. an obtaining of money, etc. by threats, force,fraud, or illegal use of authority.
2. money, promise, etc., obtained in this way.

Today a "past due" arrived to those who have refused to pay the WEHAV extortion tax/"fee."
This latest WEHAV propaganda includes a pitch for WEHAV & WEHAV-promoter Councilman Hertzberg's once-denied grandstanding frivolous lawsuit against the City in "defense" of the Zone 4 Station;
(take note that the Councilman is running for a County judgeship in next week's election.)
That lawsuit claims the City is not adhering to the very State NID law (Act 130-2000) which the City AND the Councilman have been ignoring all along in illegitimately establishing and starting up the District 2 NID and WEHAV.
...to see the intentionally DECEPTIVE and INTIMIDATING (to the unwary)
WEHAV Tax "Invoice" Account Due notice
<click here>
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Update:14 December 2003
Arguments on John Peth's lawyer's Motion for a Summary Judgement
will be heard on Monday December 15, 2003 at 3pm
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

28 April 2004 Election Day update: Election day (Tuesday) has passed, and possibly owing in some part to the fact of the high percentage of Democratic Party registration and that most Democratic candidates were unopposed, the turn-out in Wards 20 & 28 was low.

Nevertheless, there was more NO_WEHAV presence at more polls than ever before.
Forms' distribution boxes were placed at some and collected later, a idea which I had after mid-night Monday. This time I visited polls in Elliott, Sheraden, West End, Westwood and back.
--and from folks I had never met, I can say that the spirit of the NO_WEHAV Opposition
is alive & well and as out-spoken & cantankerous as ever !
Even though turn-out was low, I feel that the "update info" is already in the grapevine by way of everyone who met up with any of us yesterday.

Two persons went to East Carnegie this time, and were met with much welcome and people very glad to see them; over 50 Forms were filled out.

.. the UPDATE INFO is this: since Termination Request Forms from owners of now in excess of 40% of affected residential properties continues to gradually increase, it was decided at the last meeting to not wait until a definite 60% is received, but go to City Council in early June --with the understanding that should Council balk at approving the Termination Request, we will return again and again with an ever increasing % in hand. There is nothing in the NID law that says we cannot do so, nor are there any time-limits.

Keep those Termination Request Forms coming in. Every one toward and beyond 60% is that much more evidence of the extent of the Opposition, which Council cannot deny.
-------------------- John Peth's lawsuit continues; proceedings may get underway mid-June. -------------------- Keep a thought towards swiftly achieving Termination one way or another, and be aware that it won't be ended until it is officially so.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATE -- 28 May 2004
We are presenting the Termination Request to City Council
Wednesday JUNE 2 -- 10am
..we're aiming to meet up in front of the City-County Building about 9am or so,
and proceed through the security hoo-ha, then upstairs generally together.

The original set of Termination Request Forms will be taken to the City Clerk for deposit and receipt; everyone else proceeds next door to the Council Chambers.

On Wednesdays, citizens can speak before the Council members' meeeting, for 3 minutes each,
so we will probably have to fit in with citizens from elsewhere in the City who might be there to speak about their own concerns..

A duplicate set of Termnation Forms will be displayed to Council when we get the chance for the brief two-person presentation of the Termination Request. Individuals who may want to comment to Council should have opportunity to do so. We should all be out of there by noon, or so (?)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE -- 9 June 2004
The Termination Request presentation on June 2 went wonderfully better than could have
been planned.

Such is the nature of grassroots Democracy!

A busload of Opposition folks arrived in front of City Hall about 9am;
some others arrived under their own steam.
After a brief pause which allowed people to see we were there, with signs to boot,
we soon proceeded upstairs to the City Clerk and Council Chambers.

Jack P. and Mary K. filed the original set of  Termination Forms and the Request Letter with the
City Clerk, and everyone else gravitated into Council Chambers.

The Termination Request was supported by signed termination requests from 4,000+ affected owners and co-owners of 3,340 properties, as of June 1, 2004.
Forms continue to come in, as more owners are contacted. 3,340 properties are 43.7% of the 7,642 properties listed in the Bill No.5 Public Notice of February 2002.
The Bill No.5 Public Notice contains an undetermined number of non-dwelling-unit properties.

The meeting began at 10am, and while Mary K. and I were waiting for the three people signed up ahead of us to step up to speak, there was a lull, I assume because those three were waiting as were we for Council members to show up, as some of the folks who regularly go to Council meetings had advised us.

Donna W. decided to step up into the lull, and proceeded to set the tone and quality of the presentation with a thorough 3-minute commentary.
I still don’t know where the three people ahead of us on the sign-up list are, but I went next, and we had a copy-set of the 4000+ Termination Forms held up by three of the group for Council members to see (and as it turned out, for the TV-news cameras to record as well).
Unknown to me until I caught the TV coverage that evening, all of the Opposition present in the room were also then standing, and holding the signs, too, and continued to do so I believe, until Mary K. finished reading of the Termination Request Letter just filed with the City Clerk.
For some reason mine and Mary’s time was counted as three minutes together,
so the microphone was cut off just before she finished the letter.

From there on citizens spoke long and briefly, quietly and spiritedly;
some commented who had never done such before.
We could not have planned such a multi-voiced, multi-view-point, multi-individual presentation;
it was truly “one from many”, and if any Councilmember who was there didn’t perceive
the spirit and cohesiveness of the Opposition, then they were asleep at the wheel.
--------------------------------------
Yesterday June 8th [2004], Council announced that residents of the City have petitioned for a hearing on WEHAV.
Today June 9 a motion was passed to schedule a hearing.

This may be a bit confusing, and I believe reflects the unfamiliarity of Council with the details of the NID law. I may be mistaken, but my reading of my copy of the NID Act 130-2000 (HB1142 enacted) indicates that after a Termination Request is presented, the municipal authority must hold at least one hearing, which it must advertise publicly for 10 days; residents are not required to petition for a hearing. I see no requirement as to how far in the future the hearing could be set.


[note: from HB1142 enacted:
11  ........Notice of the hearing shall be
12  advertised at least ten days prior thereto in a newspaper of
13  general circulation in the municipality.

I suppose this can mean the Notice only has to be done once, and not every day for 10 days, which would insure more people seeing the Notice.]

We did not present a “petition” -which is a procedure for use by City residents who seek
a hearing on any particular matter.
We presented a Request for Termination of this particular Neighborhood Improvement District (NID),
its managing authority (the NIDMA),
and operation of WEHAV,
according to Section 8(b) of the State NID Act.

This NID was established without compliance with procedures laid out in the NID Act.

WEHAV operates within the “umbrella” of the NID,
with the intention of utilizing the “taxing” powers which the NID law seems to questionably permit, as a way to finance the $75,000/year “administration” of WEHAV by the West Pittsburgh Partnership,
and then secondly, to build a pool of money to pay any WEHAV-approved claims five+ years into the future - “secondarily” because nationally, few such “claims” have ever been paid anywhere in over 10 years.
--------------------------------------------
It is now important to reach out to residents throughout the City,
asking everyone to call their Council representative with instructions to
vote to approve the Termination Request.
This NID and WEHAV have been a submerged City-wide issue from very early-on,
and were promoted in 2001 as a pilot program for the rest of the City
(see pg.22 of the "Brief Guide...")
But 4000+ owners here on the western frontier of the City are people-ing the barricade against the exploitation schemes of those who covet our affordable prime-location
residential territory
.
Keep those Forms coming in, the more additional we have at Hearing-time the better.
--------------------
Be aware that it won't be ended until it is officially so.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE -- 1 July 2004
24 june 2004 public notice: hearing


 Thus, the Hearing is next Wednesday July 7 at 6 pm.
COME ONE! COME ALL!
We will meet up in front of the City-County Building
5:15-5:30pm, and proceed upstairs to Council Chambers.
The more Opposition people able to be there,
at least for the beginning, the better.
..of course PATransit schedules aren't that helpful
the later the hour gets.

Unfortunately too many "Hearings" seem to be absent
the "hearing" of the information and will
of what the people are presenting.
Here in the City, the hearings are almost exclusively
one-way: 3-minutes per citizen -no answers from,
nor challenges to comments made by, Council members.
Council members rarely query during Hearings.
Many people see hearings just as they see PennDOT "citizen-input meetings" that is,
as procedural window-dressing for "done deals".
I'm looking for a more positive experience.
Hey! perhaps a Council majority has already decided
to approve the Termination Request!

It's not clear if it will be televised.
IF we had petitioned for a hearing, rather than the hearing being triggered by the Termination Request,
we would have asked for it to be televised.

We did not present a “petition”
-which is a procedure for use by City residents who seek
a hearing on any particular matter.

We presented a Request for Termination of this particular Neighborhood Improvement District (NID),
its managing authority (the NIDMA),
and operation of WEHAV,
according to Section 8(b) of the State NID Act.
This NID was established without compliance with procedures laid out in the NID Act.

WEHAV operates within the “umbrella” of the NID,
with the intention of utilizing the “taxing” powers which the NID law seems to questionably permit,
as a way to finance the $75,000/year “administration” of WEHAV
by the West Pittsburgh Partnership, Inc. CDC
, and then secondly,
to build a pool of money to pay any WEHAV-approved claims five+ years into the future
--“secondly” because nationally, few such “claims” have ever been paid anywhere in over 10 years.
--------------------------------------------
It is now important to reach out to residents
throughout the City, asking everyone to call
their Council representative with instructions to
vote to approve the Termination Request.
This NID and WEHAV have been a submerged
City-wide issue from very early-on, and were promoted
in 2001 as a pilot program for the rest of the City
(see pg.22 of the "Brief Guide...")
4000+ owners here on the western frontier of
the City are defending the rest of the City against
the exploitation schemes of those who covet our
affordable prime-location residential territory
.
Keep those Forms coming in,
the more additional we have at Hearing-time the better.
--------------------
Be aware that it won't be ended until it is officially so.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATE -- 14 July 2004
Yesterday, Tuesday July 13, 2004 the President
of City Council took discussion of the
Termination Request off of today's
Standing committee Meeting Agenda and moved it
to the Sept.1 Standing Committee Meeting Agenda.

This ticked off, frustrated, disappointed, and/or didn't surprise people according to their own take on things.

Today July 14, as is permitted before the Wednesday City Council meeting,
which is cablecast, among citizens from other areas who spoke to their own matters,
several Opposition persons presented their prepared comments which they had presented
at the NOT-cablecast July 7,  6pm Termination-Request/WE-HAV Hearing.

This was for the benefit of the 4 Councilmembers not then present (Tawanda Carlisle of District 9 was out of town for a funeral), and for the benefit of thousands of Opposition folks, other City residents, and others who are following the NO_WE-HAV matter.

At the end of today's meeting, Sala Udin of District 6, and Towanda Carlisle of District 9 spoke up for not holding things back until Sept.1 -which generated a bit of turmoil.
Eventually there was more than a little discussion, some parliamentary matters calling upon the City Solicitor's Office, and more thorough understanding (in my opinion) that a few Council members claimed to not be prepared to make an informed vote next week.. (in a sense they were claiming to have not done their homework, despite all the documentation they have received.)

(there are those who are skeptical of the motives of those who today did not for the first time say they were favoring approving the Termination Request.)

I question the comment that the Mayor and the "other side" had not been heard from yet.
GIVE ME A BREAK!
The Mayor's office initiated and promoted WE-HAV (with taxpayer's funds) and apparently had a hand, or more, in using 400+ bogus "signatures" on the justification petition noted in Resolution 2002-478;

there are 40 (that is, 40) owners who have paid the $125 for their WE-HAV subsidized appraisal (where can you get an appraisal for $125, and what quality?)
and a claimed 100 on a waiting-list (but it is unclear whether all or some of the "100" are committed to buying into WE-HAV or looking for information, etc.)

More than 50 Hearing alerts were posted in the District, and it is lame at best to say that
those in favor are not well organized:
there are 40 (FOR-TY) who have put up their money;
there are more than 4000 (FOUR THOUSAND)
who have signed a Termination Request Form, so far.

One homeowner spoke in favor of WE-HAV, and with all respect to her
(she noted wanting to protect her current and intended improvement investment),
I wonder if she has read the new 13-page "appraisal policy"; does she realize that

--she would be guaranteeing a minimum 5-year-old appraisal price MINUS depreciation determined by WE-HAV?
--that if she does make improvements, she must get a new minimum 5-year (discounted) appraisal?
--that the WE-HAV selling price is dependent upon the local, regional and national economies?
--and that if she doesn't agree with WE-HAV's depreciation and/or selling price, she can appeal to the WE-HAV commissioners, and if not satisfied,
can take WE-HAV to court?

One thing that I might grant Council was that only today, July 14, did the Solicitor deliver the evaluation requested by Council in June, which apparently few had time to read, let alone digest.

THE HEARING at 6pm July 7th, went off well, except for "after-hours" hearings not being cablecast, ostensibly due to the cost of time-and-a-half video crew (perhaps the City should hire a part-time second crew just to cover after-4:45pm meetings and hearings?)

There was a bus; we arrived in front of the City-County Building about 5:30pm, and eventually proceeded upstairs to Council Chambers;
some Opposition folks arrived on their own.

I was upstairs first, and there were four persons who I assume were owners who were in favor of WE-HAV; one commented she couldn't understand why there was opposition,
I volunteered to explain the issues including that it was all set up not according to the law,
and one of men said "so what?"
'nuf said for me, and I went about my business.

Four of the WE-HAV commissioners were present and spoke; some seem to be inept mind-readers as they made several thoroughly erroneous references as to how and what the people of the Opposition THINK.

Not speaking about myself, the eloquence, quality,
and spirit of the Opposition presentations by "ordinary" residents was inspiring,
and the absence of a cablecast is a loss to those who may have been able to view it.

The quality of such people is what makes neighborhoods desirable to live in, --not half-baked illegitimately-imposed attempts to extort funds for $75,000/year "administration" of a lemon of a home equity insurance scheme like WE-HAV
.
--------------------------------------------
So, there are now about 6 weeks to do some more research and homework into this quagmire.
We also have more opportunity to contact the many owners opposing WE-HAV who have yet to be reached and who will turn in a Termination Request Form.

Personally, I would like to see us have Forms beyond 50% of the properties by Sept. 1;
which Council could then be informed of, as available for their inspection if they would so desire.

Also it is still important to reach out to residents throughout the City, asking people to call their Council representative with instructions to vote to approve the Termination Request.
This NID and WEHAV have been a submerged City-wide issue from very early-on, and were promoted in 2001 as a pilot program for the rest of the City
(see pg.22 of the "Brief Guide...")
4000+ owners here on the western frontier of the City are defending the rest of the City against the exploitation schemes of those who covet our affordable prime-location residential territory.
Keep those Forms coming in.
--------------------
Be aware that it won't be ended until it is officially so.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE -- 24 August 2004

Yesterday the 23rd, I was told Council will resume the 25th at 10am rather than the 27th (Friday) at 10am.

Council has stated that the matter of Termination of the NID, the NID managing Autrhority, and the WE-HAV operation will be on the agenda of September 1.

As noted above, arrangements are underway to provide round-trip bus transportation for all interested. However the means, it will be desireable for all who can make it, to show up in Council Chambers, to let them know that the eyes of the people (especially those targeted by the WE-HAV scheme) are upon them.

Our District 2 Council Representative stated that he planned to speak at length in favor of the WE-HAV scheme which he has admitted being party to the concoction of; the public usually has no opportunity to challenge or rebut comments made by Council members once the Wednesday Business Meeting gets underway.

I hope the recess has given him a chance to realize the wide-spread opposition and rejection of the whole scheme, bordering on, if not surpassing 90+% of the owners of the targeted properties in our 12 neighborhoods out of those of District 2.

We shall see how it goes, eh? Will Ethics, Integrity, and an informed Council prevail in approving the Termination Request presented on June 2 ?? --or will it be political-games as usual, forcing the Opposition to return again with another Termination Request supported by even more targeted owners?

It is still important to reach out to residents throughout the City, asking people to call their Council Representative with instructions to vote to approve the Termination Request.

This NID and WE-HAV have been a submerged City-wide issue from very early-on, and were promoted in 2001 as a pilot program for the rest of the City (see pg.22 of the "Brief Guide...") 4000+ owners here on the western frontier of the City are defending the rest of the City against the exploitation schemes of those who covet our affordable prime-location residential territory. Keep those Forms coming in.
--------------------
Be aware that it won't be ended until it is officially so.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE -- 4 September 2004
            button to P-G article of 2 Sept. 2004

Well, we've been to City Council again, and as you can read above things are looking favorable. If all goes well, next Tuesday Sept. 7th will see the Termination Request approved by Pittsburgh City Council. There was a bus on the 1st; it was very foggy in the early am, but was a fine day as we left the last stop in Sheraden, arriving in front of City Hall with time to spare, again some folks arrived by their own steam.

After a commentary dealing with a benefit for homeless sheltering et al, and after once again astute commentaries by some of the Opposition, Council turned to the matter of the Termination Request.

One by one, the Council members commented, and slowly the indications of their votes accumulated until there were the needed 5 (of 9 total members), and it went on to 7; Ms. Carlisle being apparently "on the phone" with Council, has been for us all along, although it seems her vote wasn't taken;

the only dissension was our own Representative, who went on for awhile attempting to defend various aspects of the Opposition's homework and discoveries, and for the most part, dismissing the points of those issues with true Sophist tactics, while never addressing the fact that significant conditions of the State NID Act were not adhered to, rendering passage of Bill No.5-20002 illegitimate, etc. as the documentation elsewhere on this website reveals.

It is bewildering to me how our Representative to City Council could act contrary to what, in the case of the WE-HAV scheme, by any concrete calculating is almost unbelievably in excess of 90+% of owners opposing. (We had yet to contact several thousand owners, before it was decided, with more than 40% TerminationRequests in hand, to present the Termination Request to Council, fully committed to going on, if Council could not see the obvious light of the reality.) Enough for now.

Be aware that it won't be ended until it is officially so.

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25 September 2004:
We have
NO_WE-HAV !
Received in today's USMail:
21sept.2004 cover letter clip
---
sept 21, 2004 clip
---
<click here> to see the entire document
including from Jack P. :
the Status & Text of Resolution 446 as of 23 Sept. 2004

<click here> to download a PDF file
of both documents - (221kb)

----------

As noted above,
the
City government has approved the Termination.
The paperwork now goes to the Secretary of the Commonwealth for finalization
(the NID Act is a Pa. State law);
then return to the City, and the refunds should begin,
as indicated in Resolution 446-2004.
.
The approval included provision to refund
$17.25 and possibly the full $20 to those who paid
(mostly under duress) the tax.

The road looks clear ahead, but we still have to keep alert for any potholes...

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8 February 2005
Uh-oh! looks like a pot-hole to me..

proposed amendment to Termination Bill  2004-

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Update 10 February 2005
..wait a minute! that's not the way it goes!

Yesterday (9 Feb 2005) City Council took a preliminary vote approving District 2
Councilman Hertzberg's amendment (see it below) which would shift $1 per property
from the owners the WE-HAV Refund is due,
to refund $100 to those who enrolled and received the appraisal.

Councilman Hertzberg was mistaken yesterday (Feb. 9th) when before the preliminary vote,
he explained that the $125 was an enrollment fee that should be refunded to the tune of $100.

This preliminary vote on the proposed amendment, occurred without the refundees being informed of the shift from the refund due them, and in fact it would hardly be known at all,
as the introduction of the amendment Bill by the Council President last Tuesday (Feb. 1st) was so brief as to be nearly slight-of-hand;
there was no inkling of it's content, nor even what it was.

To my knowledge, the City Clerk's office expected some amendment to the
Sept. 2004 Termination Bill to tighten up the procedure for carrying out the refund.
Only inquiry to the City Clerk's Office last week turned up a copy of the proposed amendment Bill.

As can be seen from the excerpt below, from page 8 of the WE-HAV text,
the $125 fee paid by the 40-some residential property owners who voluntarily signed up for the WE-HAV home equity insurance program was to cover a WE-HAV-sanctioned appraisal (at the bargain rate of $125.)
The enrollees are due no refund, except the $20 "invoice" they may have paid,
and certainly no funds from their neighbors' pockets.
Each of those owners should have their appraisal in hand,
thus they have the goods they paid for.


From the WE-HAV text (page 8) in the Bill No.5 Public Notice of February 2002
(available in full on this website) :

Section 8. APPLICATION PROCEDURE.
....
(b) Registration Fee. To apply for participation in the program, an eligible applicant

must submit an application and registration fee of $125.00, which shall cover the cost of

appraisal
. Prior to accepting the registration fee, the governing commission shall inform the

applicant of both the participant's and the governing commission's rights, duties, and

obligations under the program.



To Contact Council members before the Final vote due next Tuesday (Feb. 15):

City Couuncil info listing



click for e-mail address string >      zipped file (1 KB)     PDF file (1KB)

Furthermore,
now that the hornets have been stirred again, let's not forget that most all of those who paid the $20 did so involuntarily, under the intimidating threat of lien by the WE-HAV operation functioning in an illegitimately-established NID, managed by an illegitimately-designated NID Managing Authority with the cooperation of the Mayor’s Office.

Let's not forget that the US Postal Service was used to deliver the threat in a blatantly deceptive invoice mimicking a City Tax Statement, produced by the City Finance Department, for unsolicited services, the circumstances of which amounted to extortion.

Because all of this happened with full knowledge of what was going on by the City and the NID Managing Authority (the West Pittsburgh Partnership', Inc.), Council should act to require the NIDMA to make up the short-fall in the money collected/extorted and
the money turned over to the City upon Termination of the NID,
so as to provide a FULL REFUND of the deceptively-collected $20 payments.

This whole matter has been an insult to ethical fair play,
and an affront to the principles of our USA-form of self-governing democracy.
Council should require accountability by way of restitution as a signal that such attempted shell-games will not be tolerated.



..and by the way, what's this "approximately" language in the amendment?
Exactly how much money was turned over to the City?
was it put into an interset-bearing account in September?
and what is the interest accrued?
Exactly how many properties was the tax paid on?
Exactly how many properties were enrolled in the WE-HAV plan?



..it isn't over until it's over.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update 4 May 2005
[Update: 10 February 2005: "..wait a minute! that's not the way it goes!"]
Ha! yeah right.. But that's the way it went:

On February 14, 2005 Pittsburgh City Council unanimously passed Bill 1020-2005 with-holding $1 from the $16.77 partial refund of the $20 due to those who paid
the extorted WE-HAV tax/ “fee”,
so as to pay $100 to those who enrolled and paid $125 for the WE-HAV appraisal
(38 or so properties, according to the murky Sept. 2004 West Pittsburgh Partnership', Inc. WE-HAV financial statement; owners of two properties apparently changed their mind
and got a refund before Termination.)

This action by Council without discussion of the details
that were brought to their individual attention
via e-mail and phone conversations with all of their staffs, was pretty much

NUTS!

1. City Council has no right to finagle with or re-distribute the "approximately" $74,076
    that was left of the extorted $90,000+, because it was "stolen" and the victims are known;
    therefore it should be refunded to the victims.
   --Of course any owner may then donate their refund to the City, if they wish.

2. The owners of the 38 or so properties who did enroll, are not the good folks because they did so,     and the 7,300+ who did not enroll @$125 are not the bad folks.

3. The enrollees should also get their $20 tax back.

4. The enrollees paid for and got their appraisal at a bargain $125
    --assuming it was not a sham of an appraisal BUT

5. Since the NID/WE-HAV was improperly deliberately established by Council and Mayor Murphy
    in July 2002, it seems to me that the enrollments were illegitimately recruited,
    and the full $125 should be refunded if an enrollee chooses.

6. The full refund of the $125 payments
    SHOULD NOT come from the extorted WE-HAV tax.

7. Restitution of the money to make up full refund of the $20 tax,
    and full refund of the $125 appraisal fee (if desired) should be required of those who permitted     expenditure of the money:
    the Mayor’s Office cooperated with and advised the West Pittsburgh Partnership', Inc,
    which managed the staff of the WE-HAV operation, and oversaw the WE-HAV “commissioners”.

    They are all capable of reading the State NID Act.
    The “commissioners” were publicly advised to read the NID Act at their July 2003
    “board” meeting in Sheraden, when they illegitimately “changed” the WE-HAV appraisal policy
    from that in Bill No.5-2002.

    Even if the NID had been set up legitimately, it was careless and not even self-protective
    to not escrow the collected (extorted) WE-HAV tax money until the lawsuit that was underway     was resolved. --but the $14,000 was someway spent, and now it’s time to pay up.


 ..it isn't over until it's over.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update 9 May 2005


[if you're aware of the WE-HAV matters, please excuse repetition of some details]

I got caught-up in a pass-the-buck go-around between the District Attorney’s and Attorney General’s offices during Feb.-April, 2005 while seeking some JUSTICE in the matter of

-- the 2002-2005 misbehavior of Pittsburgh Council,
    regarding illegitimate establishment of a Neighborhood Improvement District;

-- the illegitimate designation of the West Pittsburgh Partnership’, Inc. as the
    Managing Authority, to operate the WE-HAV home equity insurance scheme;

-- the subsequent the extortion of $90,000+ in illegitimate, intimidating lien-threatening
   WE-HAV “taxes” collected by the WPP’, Inc. from owners of 4000+, out of 7300+
   District 2 residential properties;

-- the shortfall of $15,000+ in the apparent return to the City by the WPP’,Inc.
    of the extorted $90,000+;

-- the failure of City Council to mandate a full refund of the $20 extorted tax;
     -- while in February unanimously without challenge passing Mr. Hertzberg’s Bill 1020-2005,
        providing for the illegitimate transfer of $4000+ from the partial refund monies to
        provide $100 to owners of approximately 38 properties who had paid $125 for a
        WE-HAV appraisal and enrollment in the WE-HAV plan.
                                          ----------------------------------
The injustice of the WE-HAV-related fiduciary misbehavior of City Council and the Mayor, and the blatant disregard for the law (the procedures of the State NID Act) has to date had absolutely no coverage by any of the local media, and has for now, been ignored by the DA, AG, and earlier by State and County legislators and officials.

On May 17,
-- Mr. O’Connor and Mr. Peduto are running for Mayor;
-- 2-month “incumbent” Gov. Rendell judgeship appointee Mr. Hertzberg is seeking    “retainment”;
-- County Commissioner Wayne Fontana, and
    State Rep. Michael Diven are seeking the same State Senate seat.

Mr. O’Connor was President of City Council when he voted to pass Bill No.5 on 2 July 2002, while on the same day for no reason, turning down a valid citizens petition for a hearing on all WE-HAV matters; he then left Council to work for Rendell.

Mr. Peduto with the exception of approving the Termination of the NID/WE-HAV,
has voted for all WE-HAV-related City legislation.

Mr. Hertzberg along with Mayor Murphy’s resources concocted the WE-HAV scheme,
and was the City Council proponent of all WE-HAV matters, even to denying and ignoring the irrefutable opposition of far more than the majority of his own targeted constituents.

Of the 100+ letters personally sent to local and State elected officials by a Fairywood home owner, only two responded, saying they couldn’t do anything:
County Commissioner Wayne Fontana, and State Rep. Michael Diven.
-- both are now involved in their parties’ bad-mouthing the other in the race for the two years
    left of Jack Wagner’s vacated District 42 Senate seat.
-- Mark Rauterkus, is the third candidate for this State Senate seat; as a Southside community activist he spoke on his own initiative in support of Termination at the WE-HAV evening Hearing, and before Council on Termination-vote day in Sept. 2004.                                               ----------------------------------
..So, I decided to cut to the chase:
Would candidates publicly agree to specific actions to correct and alleviate
these NID /WE-HAV matters, and provide public protection to residents in the future?

On May 17 we will directly choose, without primaries, a Pa. District 42 State Senator for two years, and a City Council District 2 Representative for at least until November 2005 (when anyone who has properly registered by mid-August can challenge for the Council seat.)
I developed three concrete actions that I believe any City Council electee could accomplish, and two concrete actions that I believe any State Senator could accomplish,
although passage by the larger legislative bodies is out of their hands.
<click here to see the letters and actions’ forms>

As you can see, the tasks are not rocket science.

..the letters and “public” agreements were all mailed April 26 and included the respective cover letter and reply form, and an addressed return envelope.
On May 6, State Senate candidate Mark Rauterkus asked me to send the form again.

As of 9 May 2005,
of the 6 + 3 letters sent out, one candidate has returned a reply:
Samuel Berninger candidate for City Council.
Dated May 2, 2005, he has signed the form
AND
has stepped up to the plate by indicating YES to the three tasks set forth.

--that's it for the moment.

--paul--


..it isn't over until it's over.


no_wehav homepage

please advise me of any problems with these pages e-message to paul click here
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The URL of this page is: http://www.city-net.com/~psentner/no_wehav
5 September 2005