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Mar 19

Yinz Having An Arn City Dahntahn?

Comments (1) 6:00 AM posted by admin |

One of the people who frequently comments on this site is a Village of Dexter trustee. You see, the world of elected government is like a brotherhood. While we don’t have a secret handshake or a local superhero hangout like The Comet Club in The Tick, we are sort of chummy with one another. Eventually 50.1% of the voting population will grow to hate us, so we end up being a support network to one another.

Or so I thought.

This past weekend I was in Pittsburgh. It was personal business, but since I was spending most of my time in the city, I figured it would be a good idea to stop in at 414 Grant Street and say hello to Mayor Luke Raven.stahl. I decided that as an act of professional courtesy, I should let him know that I’m in the area and offer my services in hopes of building stronger Ypsilanti / Pittsburgh ties. In addition, considering he became the youngest mayor of a major city in American history when Bob O’Connor died in September of 2006 and that I’m the youngest current member of the Ypsilanti City Council, I assumed we’d have some sort of connection.

Boy was I wrong.

The fact that Pittsburgh was having their annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday hampered my efforts to meet with Mr. Raven.stahl. It took me several hours until I was finally able to speak to his Chief of Staff. And when we did talk, this person pretended not to understand what I was talking about when I mentioned professional courtesy.

I had hoped that forging better ties between two post-industrial cities finding their way as they evolve from centers of manufacturing to service-oriented communities would help the both of us. Additionally, I was excited by the prospect of making those stupid bets over sporting events that local governments make. Imagine Ypsilanti betting a case of Frog Island Creme Ale or Arbor Brewing Company‘s Bavarian Bliss, a dozen hamburgers from The Sidetrack, and a vintage pair of Ypsilanti long underwear versus a case of Pious Monk Dunkel from The Church Brew Works, a dozen sandwiches from Primanti’s, and (4) season tickets for the Pittsburgh Steelers the next time EMU played Pitt in basketball.

If the H.J. Heinz Company gets too big for Pittsburgh, we’d gladly make a home for one of their factories here in Ypsilanti just like they would do the same should the ACH plant decide one day to expand. The possibilities are literally endless.

I’m not willing to say that relations between Ypsilanti and Pittsburgh are irrevocably damaged, but if they are ever going to become one of our sister cities, then Mr. Raven.stahl is going to have to put some effort into this relationship.

UPDATE: Apparently the people of Pittsburgh have less of a sense of humor than I remember. It’s was a joke. A goof. I need to nip this in the bud before anyone goes Joey Porter on me at the blackjack table.

UPDATE (2): It appears that it would be politically savvy of me to distance myself from Mayor Raven.stahl consdiering that he’s currently embroiled in a scandal involving a trip on Pittsburgh Penguins’ co-owner Ron Burkle’s private Boeing 757. Initially the mayor denied the the trip took place, but later can clean about having flown to NYC for a meal and drinks.

1 Comment »

  1. Comment by Rauterkus
    March 19, 2007 @ 10:17 am


    We’d be happy to mend those feelings of sour grapes you picked up in Pittsburgh from your last visit. Perhaps we can strike up some sort of friendships among citizens and with political challengers to the status quo in Pittsburgh.

    Those folks don’t embrace others who live in the city, yet alone someone who isn’t going to vote for them from other parts of the country. So, don’t take the snub personally. It happens to many around here. Especially those with ideas to share.

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