PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Over 1,200 citizens took part in drafting what Mayor-elect Bill Peduto calls a blue-print for the city, yielding 47 different reports on how to improve city services.
“Over 200 recommendations, 1,100 pages, it’s a five-inch binder,” Transition Committee chair Kevin Acklin told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Tuesday.
Acklin, an attorney, will be the new mayor’s chief of staff. He says the committee proposals have similar themes, marking a shift from the Ravenstahl years.
“The committees want open government, they want a culture change, they want to know that people come to work in city government working for them, they want to see an adoption of technology,” noted Acklin.
To run city government and implement change, Peduto and Acklin are now interviewing final applicants for senior department heads after a nationwide search and screening by a non-partisan group.
“For those 42 positions I think we had about 1,200 applications,” he said.
Acklin says some current city directors are in the mix, too.
“There are existing incumbents that have reapplied for these positions that we are currently reevaluating as well,” said Acklin.
With the swearing-in almost here, there’s also the logistics of moving the Peduto team into the mayor’s fifth floor offices.
Under the city’s home rule charter, Ravenstahl remains mayor until Peduto is sworn in at 1 p.m. on Monday.
Until then, Ravenstahl is under no obligation to vacate his office.
While the shelves of one conference room were bare, Acklin says Ravenstahl has not told them if and when they can get in to prepare the offices.
Acklin is not worried.
“We’re going to work with what we have. If we have to sit on boxes for two weeks and do the work of the city before moving in furniture, we’ll do that,” said the incoming chief of staff. “What’s more important is that we get our team in place.”