Mayor Ravenstahl boots Fontana from SEA board after he backs foe Peduto
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl appointed his aide and former campaign manager on Friday to a high-profile public authority's board, ousting state Sen. Wayne Fontana days after he endorsed one of Ravenstahl's political foes for mayor.
Fontana, D-Brookline, had served on the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority since the late Mayor Bob O'Connor appointed him in 2006. His term expired in 2010, but board members serve until replacements are named. He was elected chairman of the board for the third time last month.
Fontana endorsed City Councilman Bill Peduto of Point Breeze, a Ravenstahl foe, on Tuesday for the Democratic nomination in the mayor's race. Ravenstahl is not running for re-election.
Ravenstahl appointed Paul McKrell, the city's government affairs manager, to replace Fontana. City Council does not need to confirm appointments to the SEA board, which oversees the stadiums, the hockey arena and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
Ravenstahl's chief of staff, Yarone Zober, said the move was not retribution for Fontana's endorsement. He provided a list of 21 appointments Mayor Tom Murphy made in his final year in office, including naming Anthony Ross to the SEA. Ravenstahl reappointed Ross on Friday.
“I don't know why people would make this into something political,” Zober said. “The mayor has been making a number of appointments and reappointments.”
The Pittsburgh mayor appoints three of the seven SEA board members.
Fontana questioned why, with just 10 months left in office, Ravenstahl appointed someone to a five-year term.
The mayor declined to appoint a permanent police chief after Nate Harper's resignation last month, saying that's a decision best left to the next administration.
“I certainly accept his decision,” Fontana said. “If he wants, on his way out, to remove me and not let the next mayor make the decision, that's up to him.”
Mike Wereschagin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- No federal funds to help enforce Pa. ban on texting by drivers
- Allegheny County Council wants to hike members’ $3K expense accounts
- Defying the odds makes this Thanksgiving particularly poignant
- Newsmaker: Christine Pease-Hernandez
- U.S. Steel to relocate corporate headquarters on former Civic Arena site
- Group’s proposed fracking moratorium for Allegheny County parks to go on council agenda
- Brentwood police chief to get nearly $200K as part of settlement agreement with borough
- U.S. Steel Tower tenants stand to benefit from company’s relocation
- Millions in pollution fines went unused for decades in Allegheny County
- Nude photos of Penn Hills High School students spur investigation
- 6 shot at Clairton speakeasy; police seek suspects