Thursday, January 24, 2008

Not even a weigh-in?

Common sense stepped between Pennsylvania restaurateur Jim Mitchell and Allegheny County executive Dan Onorato before they could settle the fate of Pittsburgh’s 10-percent drink tax in an old fashioned. As mentioned in an earlier posting, Mitchell had challenged Onorato to step into a boxing ring and slug out their differences over the levy, which has infuriated local restaurateurs since the county chief adopted it as a cause last year. Mitchell proposed that the tax would be scrapped (it went into effect Jan. 1despite a court challenge) if he won the bout. If Onorato prevailed, Mitchell would drop a lawsuit challenging the county’s plan to ban smoking. And the fisticuffs would be staged as part of a fundraiser, so their blood would be spilled for a greater good.

It’s the type of thing you’d expect to see in a Jimmy Stewart movie. But the black-and-white flashback was not to be. After meeting for cigars and a few beers at Mitchell’s namesake establishment, Onorato reportedly countered with an offer to work at the place for few hours, with his wages and tips going to charity, and they’d forget about all that dodging, weaving and punching.

Onorato also offered to meet with Mitchell and representatives of the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association to talk about the drink tax, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

The story didn’t indicate if beer or cigars would be involved in that next sit-down. But it did paraphrase Mitchell as saying he hoped the give-and-take would foster a sense of cooperation between the warring parties. And that he’s planning to fight Ted Kennedy over the next minimum-wage hike. Okay, I made that part up. But wait until menu labeling is proposed for Pennsylvania. All the restaurateurs will fancy themselves the next Rocky.

No comments:

Post a Comment