SQUIRREL HILL (KDKA) — Politics and paving go hand in glove.
Streets like Beechwood Boulevard are in terrible condition and the mayor and council are pointing fingers. Today, the mayor took aim at the pet projects of some council members.
The mayor says he’s heard the complaints from residents loud and clear, but his paving budget is woefully insufficient to address the problem.
In an earlier report by KDKA’s Andy Sheehan, Council President Darlene Harris has earmarked funds for the restoration of a Spring Hill spring and the reconstruction of this pedestrian bridge. The mayor would like her to release that money to go towards paving.
“We don’t have the money to deal with a Spring Hill spring,” Ravenstahl said. “We don’t have the money to deal with a bridge that maybe a handful of people will use. There are bigger infrastructure needs here and we have to be financially responsible.”
“It’s an attack on Darlene Harris,” said Councilman Doug Shields. “It’s well known that the mayor is trying to have her unseated.”
Shields says that with council elections coming up, the mayor is choosing to play politics rather than pave roads.
“My advice to the mayor is to make your priorities and get things done instead of pointing fingers,” Shields said.
Shields contends that there is as much as $17 million in the capital budget that could go towards the paving of streets.
“Now if the mayor wants to come back to the table with a revised capital budget to address the problems that this city has with its roads, then the council will be happy to entertain whatever the mayor’s plan is to do,” says Shields, “but he can’t sit there everyday and say, ‘Look, it’s council’s fault.’”
Regardless of who is to blame, the problem remains. The streets are in atrocious condition and it’s pretty clear the mayor and council have to come together and forge some kind of solution.