Housecleaning with Pittsburgh Mayor-Elect Bill Peduto

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Pittsburgh Mayor-in-waiting Bill Peduto wants to pay 130 patronage employees to take an early retirement:

“For those who choose not to take advantage of the program, they should prepare to get ready to work in January under a new system of greater accountability and transparency,” said Kevin Acklin, Peduto’s chief of staff.

Some people find this unseemly, but as with Peduto’s previous request to sundry appointed Board members to voluntarily resign early, I love it. Burrowing of political appointees is a serious problem for political accountability. Bill Peduto’s going to be judged on whether he keeps his campaign promises. If he can’t keep his promises because some burrowed machine hacks are running the various agencies incompatibly with Peduto’s campaign agenda, guess who’s gonna get blamed?

(via Andrew McGill)

This entry was posted in Miscellany.

3 Responses to Housecleaning with Pittsburgh Mayor-Elect Bill Peduto

  1. Pingback: 11/13 Morning Buzz | PoliticsPA

  2. Tom says:

    Who is going to get blamed? Everyone but Bill Peduto. Seriously, he lashed out with sarcastic comments about raising taxes because of property tax bills that haven’t been paid and didn’t even take the time to read past the Post Gazette’s attention grabbing headline.

    There is a reason that there is overlap from administration to administration on board appointments. It gives the boards some independence so that the entire board doesn’t just do whatever the mayor asks them to do. Peduto said it himself in 2006:

    “There are at least a few board members who are being replaced that have had alternative opinions than the administration on development,” said Councilman Bill Peduto. “Last year I was removed from the Stadium Authority for that reason. I think it’s a loss for Pittsburgh that professionals like Alice, David Toal and Debbie Lestitian are being removed; their independence was one of their greatest strengths.”

    In 2009 he said this when Ms. Lestitian wasn’t re-appointed to the a board appointment:

    “Debbie was a voice for the people,” Peduto said. “They’ve now effectively taken the two people off of the board that asked questions. Apparently you’re not allowed to ask questions on the Stadium Authority board.”

    So now Peduto is going to get rid of anyone that doesn’t agree with him politically even if they still have time on their term. This isn’t a dictatorship.

    For the record, I voted for Peduto and was leaning his way before Ravenstahl dropped out. I just think he is acting a bit like Rich Fitzgerald (who I also voted for) and thinks he can now push everyone around with his new title.

  3. Jon Geeting says:

    If Bill Peduto’s agenda doesn’t get enacted, people are going to blame Peduto, not random board heads.

    Note that none of those Peduto comments reflect a preference for independence from the Mayor as a virtue in and of itself. It’s just something he’s saying because he *agrees with these people* politically and didn’t want people he’d disagree with to get appointed. That’s the right attitude.

    Appointing people you agree with isn’t a “dictatorship” – they’re Mayoral appointments! That’s the mechanism that makes these boards accountable to the public. And the closer these people are to Bill’s political agenda, the more accountable they are.