ChoicePGH: New Partners, Political Reactions

Peduto coalition event

There’s an excellent article on the mayor’s race in Urban Media Today under “features”:

[PA Sen. Dem Leader] Jay Costa says he has worked closely with Peduto on a number of issues during the past 12 years. “I’ve never seen anyone make such a commitment to seeing our city grow. We look forward to an ongoing working relationship with Bill Peduto and a city administration that participates in the conversations we have in Harrisburg to advance the city of Pittsburgh.” (UMT, Nancy Hart)

Councilman Peduto here attributes many of the problems in City government to an inherited, legacy regime that has grown too insular, arrogant and stagnant — where only a few interests have grown out-sized, and many others not seriously represented.

Jack Wagner, meanwhile, attributes problems such as years of theft and agenda-mixing in the Police Bureau, favoritism in contracts and services, a BBI that hardly functions, and obtuse resistances to transparency and open communication largely to a City Council that does not play nice enough among itself. To hear Wagner tell it, Peduto should not have criticized the “leadership” of Mayor Ravenstahl over the years, which thereby forced Ravenstahl’s yes-men on Council to take constant pot shots at him in return — fomenting just the kind of “bickering” meant to distract from holding a Mayor’s administration accountable.

That much is still going on. Business as usual.

Speaking of Ravenstahl allies and favoritism, it’s a shame that shots-fired detection cameras aren’t already set up today across Pittsburgh — they might come in handy — but Councilman Ricky Burgess is applying one of his full-court presses to allege we’re all murderers if we don’t rush to purchase these cameras, today.

Doing what Mr. Burgess proposes might get the devices in place more quickly, but it would subvert the competitive bid requirement. There are already too many local examples of government contracting abuses — scandals involving the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the city’s own police bureau are among the most recent. (P-G, Edit Board)

What does the Rev think this is, his Housing Authority?

In terms of making a significant reduction in gun violence in poorer Pittsburgh neighborhoods, ShotSpotter surveillance cameras might be a part of the puzzle — but the Comet would prefer universal gun purchaser background checks paired with enforcing “lost and stolen” gun regulation any day. And neighborhood-by-neighborhood policing strategies. And universal early childhood education. And community-based planning buoyed by a land bank aided by skilled apprenticeships. And, and, and…

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