PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — City Council met Friday to put the final touches on a plan to save the pension fund from a state takeover.
They passed the latest plan to dedicate nearly $735.7 million in parking tax revenue over the next 30 years into that fund and raise parking meters and garage rates to fill the hole in the budget that this causes.
Council had to redo the bill because the state gave them wrong requirements earlier in the week.
“The state told us to use a 5 percent discount rate when determining all of our outlying numbers,” Councilman Bill Peduto said. “They then came back the next day and said use eight percent.”
But with numbers corrected, council moved quickly with one new supporter – Councilman Ricky Burgess.
“This plan has an opportunity to prevent state takeover, and I will vote for it because I have been consistent that a state takeover is the worst of all possible realities,” he said.
Council President Darlene Harris signed the unanimous bill which City Clerk Linda Johnson-Wasler walked down the hall to Mayor Ravenstahl’s office for his signature only to find his office closed up tight.
An aide to the mayor eventually showed up to take the bill to him which he vetoed, requiring council to meet again to override his veto, making the mayor, once again, the odd man out.
“I would love the city to be working together,” Harris. “There’s the controller, nine council members, and we would love to have the mayor.”
In the strange world of politics, Ravenstahl insists he did cooperate with council by vetoing the bill in time for them to override it before midnight.
He did do that.
But council is feeling good that even without the mayor they found a way to keep the city’s pension fund in city hands.
They say they have guaranteed city residents, city workers and retirees a happier new year.