Bill Peduto’s techniques for recruiting talent have put a bunch of really able and well-qualified people into important City positions. That is no longer in dispute.
The Mayor is good at sticking to his guns. Some thought his internal and external processes too tardy, slow, cumbersome, silly or prejudicial, but there was never any question of his hastening or curtailing them. Even when perhaps three or four out of his scores and scores of designees for Directorships, Deputy Directorships, staff, as well as Authority or Commission seats caused the slightest commotion, he fought tenaciously in defense of them.
The strategies are paying off. We have seen the cavalry arrive
at the Bureau of Building Inspection. We have witnessed a Department of Public Works better attuned to dominate the freeze-thaw cycle with cold patching and an expanded and much-enhanced City 311 response line. We are encouraged by an attentive, perceptive and dauntless Director of Public Safety, and we are impressed with a Municipal Investigations director capable of enterprising independence. These are all great places to make progress out of the gate.
We sense that on a few particular policy initiatives, progress is stalled at conceptual stages. People wonder what is specifically going to happen with programs like Responsible Banking, or Clean Technology, or Open Data, or Land Banking, or the Ethics function.
We realize Peduto has committed to a less autocratic and more openly participatory government model. Often on the campaign trail he related a certain Lao Tzu quote about leadership, providing refreshing contrast to the rhetorical approach of both his predecessor and competitor. To apply such insight as an officeholder is praiseworthy.
But the Supreme Ultimate is a matter of balancing yang with yin, not of reversing its imbalance.
For example, on the Produce Terminal redevelopment, bids to handle the redevelopment came back, and the primary reaction has been to say, “My, that’s all fascinating. What do you think?” And on Hill District redevelopment, deadlines approach, the dynamics of negotiation seem no different than several years ago, and the Mayor appears poised to mull over the gridlocked pieces even longer.
It looks as though Peduto is now telling us to “Wait for it, wait for it… wait for it” as we await the results of some interim working group roundtable task forces to align with policy papers, Talent City ideas, Transition Team reports and Mindmixer.
The Mayor’s boldness in the face of adversity is one reason he is good for this role. He had to respond to the trashing of the North Shore, and he did it liberally with the bully pulpit and conservatively with new procedures. His conviction to protect public assets and interests even into political headwinds inspires confidence.
These same courageously enlightened instincts were on fine display when State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Deleware) at tail end of his fact-finding / listening / inhaling tour crashed on Grant St.
“I’m firmly for the use of marijuana for medical purposes,” Peduto said before the meeting.
Peduto added that his administration has more pressing needs to address, such as gun violence and hiring a police chief, before talking about decriminalizing the drug in Pittsburgh.
“Really, that isn’t an issue that this administration is going to deal with this year,” he said. (Trib, Bob Bauder)
As you know, the year is more than halfway finished. Nooice!
We thank Mayor Peduto for continuing to motivate his team to hit benchmarks for reform. He is a valued asset to our organization. We should give his forward-leaning proposals extra time and attention to improve his transformational task-management.