Mayoral nominee Peduto plans city hall house-cleaning if he's elected
Fixing city government's image requires “top-to-bottom” changes resulting from Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's scandal-plagued administration, Pittsburgh Councilman Bill Peduto said Wednesday.
Peduto, who won the Democratic nomination for mayor in the primary on Tuesday, said he's made no decisions on who would stay or go if he wins the fall election as expected, but promised to choose an administration based on ability and professionalism, “not political connections.”
Don't send a resumé, he warned, because he won't look at it.
“Show me what you're doing to make Pittsburgh better,” he said.
A political analyst said such changes are more easily said than done.
“What's the culture of City Hall? It is a place for elected officials, and what it's all about is politics, and he's one of them,” said Jerry Shuster, professor of political communications at the University of Pittsburgh. “Cleaning up wholesale City Hall doesn't work. They're the ones who know how to do the job.”
Peduto, 48, of Point Breeze faces Republican Josh Wander, 42, of Squirrel Hill in the November election, but a 5-to-1 Democratic city voter registration edge virtually assures him a victory. Pittsburgh has not had a Republican mayor since the 1930s.
Peduto has important choices to make on a police chief, top financial adviser, point-person on development and someone to help with union issues, said Moe Coleman of the University of Pittsburgh's Institute of Politics. Ravenstahl forced police Chief Nate Harper to resign in February weeks before a federal grand jury indicted Harper on corruption charges.
“He needs strength in finance, absolute strength in the police department,” said Coleman, a mayoral adviser in the 1960s. “He has a high regard for neighborhood development, so he needs someone to work closely with all those community groups.”
Peduto said he would go outside the police bureau for a chief. Coleman said Peduto might look to the private sector for a development guru.
“He needs someone he can trust and someone (developers) can trust,” Coleman said.
Appearing before reporters in his East Liberty campaign headquarters, Peduto said he hasn't heard from Ravenstahl since the election. The mayor's office issued a statement congratulating primary election winners.
“We all share a common love for our hometown, and I look forward to working with the victor of the mayoral general election to ensure a smooth transition between administrations,” Ravenstahl said.
Peduto's campaign chairman, Guy Costa, who served for years as Pittsburgh public works director and resigned in 2009 after clashing with Ravenstahl, smiled when asked whether he would join a Peduto administration in January. He said he would return to his job on Thursday as Allegheny County's assistant director of economic development, but didn't immediately rule out a job with the city.
Peduto said he made no commitments to potential job seekers, who began approaching him during his victory party, and won't until after the election.
He said he plans to spend the summer talking with supporters, businesspeople and residents and “building a new coalition.” He plans a performance review of department officials, but said he's unsure what form that might take.
“We'll invite those who might have been on the other side to join us in creating a new Pittsburgh,” he said. “Anyone who has an interest to be a part of this has an opportunity.”
Staff writers David Conti and Jeremy Boren contributed to this report. Bob Bauder is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
- Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions
- Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
- Inside the Steelers: Williams’ quickness out of backfield evident in drills
- McCutchen, Pirates cruise to interleague victory over Twins
- Steelers notebook: LB Dupree sits out backs-on–backers drill
- Tight ends’ role in Steelers passing game continues to lessen but players remain selfless
- West Liberty pitcher hones skills in South
- Pirates notebook: Melancon bails out Watson with extended outing
- Vallozzi’s Pittsburgh transfers great fare it’s been known for in the Pittsburgh region to the Steel City
- Gameday: Pirates at Reds, July 30, 2015