Plan C: More weasel words
Thursday, April 4, 2002
Call it Tom Murphy’s big “but.”
The mayor of Pittsburgh went before the scriveners, microphones and cameras Tuesday in his first extended comments on the Plan C Task Force’s blueprint to redevelopment the Fifth-Forbes corridor.
Within a month, at least one private developer is expected to be hired to begin work on the $363 million Downtown rehabilitation plan; others will follow. The Urban Redevelopment Authority has been told to expand its grants for facade improvements. Building inspectors have a new charge to make sure that buildings are up to code.
That’s all well and good. But then there’s Mr. Murphy’s big “but” – eminent domain.
“We have not authorized eminent domain,” he said. “So when we approach a building owner now, we will be negotiating with them amicably in attempting to come to a fair price without the threat of eminent domain there. We are ruling it out right now, but (emphasis ours) I can’t speak for the future.”
Oh, what weasel words!
Here’s the translation: We’ll play nice – for now. But if property owners don’t like our price, or if they don’t want to sell – POW! It’s called the cudgel of eminent domain, and the mayor obviously still considers it his trump card.
Tom Murphy once forswore the use of eminent domain in any Market Place progeny. He reneged. Now he offers up some weaselly verbiage that should make every independent property owner in the Fifth-Forbes corridor do one thing and one thing alone:
Hire an attorney.