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The cold, harsh realities of the Mayor Ravenstahl's proposed parking garage/meter lease deal are becoming clearer. Its first victim is City Councilman Patrick Dowd's one-week European study mission.European Vacation

Dowd was admitted to the European Union Visitors Program last year, after noting in his application that he was chair of the council’s Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs, and "extremely interested in learning more about the European Union and its trade policies." But alas, the looming voting on the parking deal scotched the plan.

Here's a news release his office issued today:

Pittsburgh, Pa -- Councilman Patrick Dowd has decided to cancel his participation in the European Union Visitors Program (EUVP), a project of the Delegation of the European Commission to the United States of America. This trip had been scheduled since September, 2009.

Councilman Dowd has decided to cancel this trip because of the looming discussions, debates, and votes that are critical to his constituents and the City of Pittsburgh. Councilman Dowd did not want to be absent from the city for these discussion and debates, particularly regarding parking garages and meters and the budgeting process.

"The upcoming discussions and votes will affect the direction of District 7 and the City for the next 5 decades.  I cannot afford to leave my constituents without a vote at this time," states Councilman Dowd.

The EUVP invites government officials and others from countries outside the European Union to understand first-hand the EU's goals and policies and to increase mutual understanding between professionals from non-EU countries and their EU counterparts.

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