Here’s What I Just Want to Just Ask Cat: An Open Letter

Dear Cat,

I'm a 37 year old lesbian living and working in the City. Two years ago, I looked out my back window and caught a truck from a local company dumping excess cement into the lot behind my house.  I did all the responsible things — calling both 911 and the property owner.  Sadly, I had to call the Post-Gazette to get any action on the matter.  Still, the culprit did confess on the front page of the region section of the PG. 

Now, according to local ordinances, I should be entitled to collect a $500 reward for providing information that could have led to the arrest and conviction of the driver and the company.  I've been informed that it is up to the City Solicitor to determine if I deserve my reward.  He won't return my calls. 

Cat, you often advise people to do the right thing from how they treat their loved ones to how they treat themselves.  Tony Norman even praised your sense of community:

 She believes the burden of living a good life means acting generously, even when it's against her best interests.

Has it been in my best interest to spend so many hours trying to address dumping and property maintenance in my little City neighborhood?   Those are hundreds of hours I could have spent visiting with my grandmother, playing with pets, reading, or cleaning out my attic.

While everyone would like $500, it has become a symbol to me — a sign that it does matter and that our leaders do care and that people should speak up.  How can these same leaders expect people to speak out about violent crime – at personal risk – when the City is so blase about non-violent crime? 

Cat, should people turn in dumpers?  Should the City step up and honor the reward language in their ordinance?  And should your Dad's office return my phone calls? 





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