Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto loses taste for $1,800 coffee maker
The Pittsburgh mayor's office canceled the purchase of an $1,800 coffee machine when questions started percolating about it.
City Council on Wednesday approved Chief Innovation Officer Debra Lam's request for a Multi-Max Single Cup vending machine. The company's website says depending on the model, the machine offers either 25 varieties of Keurig coffee or 12 varieties of coffee packets. The mayor's office nixed the purchase on Thursday afternoon because the Tribune-Review questioned it in the morning.
“There was a review of it, and it was decided that it wasn't a wise use of city money,” said Tim McNulty, spokesman for Mayor Bill Peduto. “It's real easy to get coffee in this building.”
Controller Michael Lamb said the machine was in the City-County Building, Downtown, this week. An office inspector checked it on Monday, he said, and he was withholding payment until council approved it. It was unclear whether Lam's office returned it.
“I don't know where it stands in the pipeline, but it's not going to be installed,” McNulty said.
Department directors are permitted to sign off on purchases under $2,000 and submit them to council for approval. Lam referred questions to McNulty.
McNulty said she requested the machine thinking the city would recoup its money through purchases. The machine accepts dollar bills and coins.
City Council members said they were unaware of the coffee maker when they approved 102 purchases by 14 city departments.
Council President Bruce Kraus said he asked council budget Director Bill Urbanic to investigate the purchase.
“He's going to brief me on it, but I won't have that until the morning,” Kraus said.
For $1,800, the city could have purchased a 12-cup Mr. Coffee at $17.99 for each of the 60 employees in the Department of Innovation and Performance headed by Lam and had 40 left over.
Lamb noted that officials are debating a five-year financial recovery plan that includes a proposed tax increase on property owners.
“We need to be careful with every dollar we spend, and buying an $1,800 coffee maker doesn't seem to be the best use of public dollars,” he said.
Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or email@example.com.
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.
- Snow, freezing rain, bitter cold coming to Western Pa.
- Gulls fleeing frozen Great Lakes fill skies over Pittsburgh’s Point
- CMU software eases task of mining prostitution ads
- Pa. Turnpike claims software fraud, wants $45M
- Charge against ex-Steeler dropped after community service
- 2nd lawsuit filed against Gov. Wolf seeking reinstatement of open records director
- New CEO eager to revitalize Pittsburgh International Airport
- Newsmaker: Ron Croushore
- Police say couple in Oakland murder-suicide had ‘troubled’ relationship
- Pittsburgh mayor denies ethics investigation into his ‘Undercover Boss’ performance
- Sting highlights demand for Pappy Van Winkle bourbon