PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — City Council passed another plan to keep the state from taking over the city’s pension fund Wednesday.
After summoning the mayor to their meeting, they quickly learned that he was not on board any plan.
So, council passed its own rescue plan that will dedicate $13 million from the city’s parking tax to the pension fund.
The mayor says he will veto the bill and council is expected to override the veto Thursday and all of this has frayed relations between council and the mayor.
Although they were together in council chambers, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and City Council just could not seem to agree on how to avoid a state takeover of the pension fund.
“If the goal is to somehow make amendments or modify this in order to get my signature, I’m being as direct as I can,” Ravenstahl said. “That’s not going to happen.”
He rebuffed Council President Darlene Harris’ repeated efforts to find common ground. No surprise she says since he won’t return phone calls and keeps canceling meetings.
“They’ve all been canceled by the mayor’s office,” she said.
Council says the mayor believes it’s his way or no way.
“The mayor is an obstructionist,” City Councilman Doug Shields said. “The mayor has charted us on a course to disaster.”
City Council Finance Chair Bill Peduto says Ravenstahl won’t compromise or give up his original garage and meter lease plan.
“We’ve tried. We have tried,” Peduto said. “But for whatever reason, he is wed to one idea that we must lease these garages.”
The bad blood goes both ways with Ravenstahl weighing in on council.
“This council has essentially been – you want to talk about absent, didn’t do their homework, didn’t go to class, now it’s time for the final exam, and we’re trying to figure out how to put all the pieces back together,” he said.
The mistrust has lead council, rightly or wrongly, to think they’re the only ones who can save the city’s pension fund from state takeover.