PG support for the Deer Lakes lease is premature

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To paraphrase “Casablanca’s” Captain Renault, I was “shocked, shocked” to read that the PG editorial board in its editorial “Prudent Drilling” (March 24) had determined that “The county has a good deal at Deer Lakes Park” and that “this lease … is carefully crafted and worthy of approval by county council.” Unfortunately, given the economic realities of today’s newspaper business, no regular reader of the PG should be surprised by this editorial.

However, as a member of Allegheny County Council — the body which according to the home rule charter has ultimate responsibility for all of the county’s land use decisions — I can say categorically that as of Tuesday, neither I nor any of my colleagues had received legislation from the chief executive related to Deer Lakes Park, nor have we seen a lease. We have received a one-page press release which bears a striking resemblance to the PG’s editorial. To be blunt, I wonder how you’ve made the determination that the lease is “carefully crafted” without actually having seen the lease? As with the deal between the Allegheny County Airport Authority and Consol, the details are important. The press release put forth by the county executive and his team needs to be fleshed out via a careful and thorough review by county council and the public hearing process.

To say I am disappointed in the PG would be an understatement. Perhaps next time the PG can simply reprint the chief executive’s press release and place it as an insert into my morning newspaper.

Council Member, District 11
Allegheny County Council
Regent Square

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