That’s 25 million dollars.
That’s a lot of money.
The city might have $25,000,000 to buy new police cars and demolish some houses (hopefully the correct houses) and pave some roads.
Enter City finance director Scott Kunka. He says the city has approved the purchase of 55 vehicles, but won’t order them until the money is found to pay for them because the 2011 budget provides no money for the capital fund, which is where the money for such projects resides.
Now enter budget director Bill Urbanic who says the capital fund should have $25 million just sitting there and not earmarked toward anything.
Mr. Kunka then says that supposed $25 million … wait for it … wait for it … DOESN’T EXIST!
Enter Bill Peduto. He says he has seen documents that hint that the money DOES exist.
Bigfoot. Lochness Monster. Chupacabra. $25 million.
Please pardon me while I take a moment to inquisitively scratch my chin and ponder how there can be a debate between the finance director and the budget director about the existence or lack thereof of twenty-five million dollars in city coffers.
[puts smart-looking eyeglasses on and begins rifling through stacks of important-looking papers like George Costanza]
[smacks a few numbers into an adding machine that’s not even plugged in]
[lights fire to the papers]
[looks for something with a face to punch]
Seriously. If I shake my head any harder, I’ll internally decapitate myself.
Now, more than ever, I’m convinced all the money the city of Pittsburgh has is managed and counted in a windowless room in the City County building basement where a 95-year-old blind man sits moving the worn beads of his trusty abacus while muttering, “two, carry the five, minus five google, plus a trillion, times a ding-dong, equals TWENTY FIVE MILLION!”
God help us.