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Ravenstahl marks final week as Pittsburgh mayor with portrait hanging

Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Mayor-Elect Bill Peduto points to a portrait of Ebenezer Denny, the first mayor of Pittsburgh, in the Mayor's Conference Room, where a new portrait of outgoing Mayor Luke Ravenstahl hangs over his left shoulder. Peduto and advisors went through their new offices in the City-County Building, Downtown, on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. Peduto, inspired by the placement of presidential portraits throughout the White House, said he will move around the portraits and only keep the portrait of Denny in the conference room.

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The Tribune-Review chronicled Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's service during the last months of his term, which ends Monday.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl popped into City Hall last Monday for a ceremonial hanging of his portrait among those of Pittsburgh's 58 other mayors.

He has not made a public appearance since.

Spokeswoman Marissa Doyle said Ravenstahl and family and close friends gathered for the event in the conference room off the mayor's office. The portraits are photographs etched into metal plates through a process known as intaglio.

Ravenstahl's portrait hangs next to that of his predecessor, the late Bob O'Connor, above a door leading to the mayor's office.

O'Connor's death elevated Ravenstahl to office on Sept. 1, 2006, at 26. As City Council president he was next in line to replace O'Connor. He was elected in 2007 to fill out what remained of O'Connor's term and re-elected to a full four-year term in 2009.

Doyle said she wasn't sure if the mayor showed up for work on Tuesday because she had the day off. He hasn't been back, she said. His last day in office is Monday. Mayor-elect Bill Peduto will be sworn in at a ceremony at 1 p.m. in Heinz Hall. Doyle was unsure if Ravenstahl would attend.

Top Ravenstahl directors vowed to keep the city running through the weekend and as long as they are needed during the Peduto transition. Directors are at-will employees and not guaranteed a job with the new administration.

Public Safety Director Mike Huss and Public Works Director Rob Kaczorowski said they would remain on the job until instructed otherwise. Solicitor Daniel Regan, who is being replaced Monday by Lourdes Sanchez Ridge, said Law Department employees would be at work Monday as usual.

“(Ravenstahl) instructed all of us to work with the new administration to ensure a smooth transition,” Regan said.”

Pittsburgh residents paid Ravenstahl almost $2,100 last week. Pittsburgh mayors earn $108,000 annually.

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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