Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Not all bad

I was going to write a scathing piece about naked ambition and political ego, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.

When I still lived in Pittsburgh's Beechview neighborhood Jim Motznick was our Councilman. He's taking some well deserved flack this week, but I actually had a pretty good experience with him.

My wife and I - as some of you know - had a little heroin problem living across the street from us when we still lived in town. Fed up, frustrated and very concerned I organized some of the neighbors to action and we called the Motz for assistance. He did us a couple of good turns. For starters, he put together a meeting between We-the-People and the zone 2 police commander with the narcotics squad in tow. The police and Mr. Motznick met with us for several hours one evening. They agreed to work with us and it was very productive.

In the weeks that followed, the heroin problem made some threatening remarks that caused some additional concern. Mr. Motznick was again helpful in hooking me up with a Magistrate who was willing to issue a restraining order. In the end I didn't use it, but it was nice to know it was available.

We won too. The pressure we put on the problem a) got the guy arrested, b) got the guy to kick, and c) got the guy to throw his junkie friends off the street. A victory for everyone.

We wouldn’t have been able to do it if Jim Motznick hadn’t sponsored that initial meeting and I genuinely appreciated his help.

So I am sorry to say it, but this week Mr. Motznick…well…he needs to tone it down a little. It was no secret that he wanted to be Council President when Riciardi moved on. He didn’t get it and now, through a bizarre twist of fate, Ravenstahl is Mayor instead. But at the time, who knew?

Jim Motznick’s behavior this week – publicly insulting his peers and whining that he didn’t get the nod for Council President – was unseemly and unfortunate, especially since Bob O’Connor hasn’t even been buried yet. He was right to apologize. He said some stupid things.

But he’s not an altogether bad guy; a little over-ambitious maybe, but not all bad. He was effective for my street. He can still be effective for other constituents. I hope he’s able to set aside his ambition to serve his residents. He and the city will be better off.


Blogger Unconscionable said...

The irony here is that I just finished a piece describing City Council as a den of thieves. I know. I know.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous l.smith said...

So, you had easy access to heroin, and did not get me any? Sure I would prefer morphine, or opium, but heroin might do.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Unconscionable said...

Actually, it was the 3 AM fistfights, the stream of junkies coming in and out at crazy hours and the gunplay that were the problems.

And this wasn't the French Connection. I don't think they were keepig extra around to share.

6:30 AM  
Anonymous l.smith said...

None of these seem to be any real reason not to bag me some heroin. Then I would have seen the man in the moon, and kicked his dog.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Cattywampus said...

I worked for Jim Motznick & in the beginning of his constituency I believed he had empathy & honest intentions. It would be difficult to work in his office now & defend his actions of late. Suppose that the adage might hold a glimmer of truth... 'Power corrupts & absolute power corrupts absolutely.' A pity!

4:10 AM  

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