Ten years ago – the state declared Pittsburgh “financially distressed.”
Two oversight panels were created –
And every year – they had to sign off on the city’s one-year budget –
And a five-year spending plan.
The idea was to look beyond short-term fixes –
To make sure the city met all of its financial commitments –
Not just some of them.
For a decade – city employees saw raises disappear –
Jobs cut –
And they struggled to pick up the slack.
Residents watched streets go unpaved in summer –
And waited longer for snowplows and salt trucks in winter.
Pittsburgh’s finances have improved –
So before he left office –
Luke Ravenstahl asked the state to release the city from Act 47 oversight.
The new mayor just rescinded that request.
It’s too soon for Pittsburgh to be free of state accountability.
Bill Peduto has made the fiscally responsible decision – and deserves time –
To look at the books –
To get the non-profits to pony up more cash –
And to work out a long-term exit plan.
Otherwise – we could see history repeat itself.