PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s a new kind of administration, with strange new titles.
Debra Lam is Chief Innovation and Performance Officer. Grant Ervin is the city’s sustainability manager. Mayor Bill Peduto says these new positions are making government more efficient and effective.READ MORE: Police Investigating South Side Shooting
“This is how modern governments work,” said Peduto. “And we’re just catching up to what other cities have done decades ago.”
The mayor has created another half-dozen new positions at high-paying salaries.
A chief education and neighborhood reinvestment officers and chief urban affairs officer, both at $102,000 a year.
A small business and redevelopment manager and a nighttime economy manager, each at $65,000 a year.
Controller Michael Lamb says they are extravagances at a time when the city is raising taxes and fees.
“We are increasing spending for a number of positions that have very little to do with keeping people safe and keeping neighborhoods clean,” Lamb said.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: Sunny Saturday
Property taxes are going up, $42 a year on a house valued at $100,000.
And so is the cost of metered parking by $1 an hour in downtown and $.50 an hour in busy retail districts like Squirrel Hill and Shadyside.
But that’s not all. There’s proposed increases to permit and fees, including the cost of renting a shelter in the city’s parks.
In addition, the administration hopes to raise $13.6 million in new revenues.
“When you’re creating a department that has nighttime coordinator, and an education coordinator and a small business coordinator — all these, good people and good work, but it’s not our core mission,” said Lamb.
Peduto says the increases are primarily paying for more police, firefighters and building inspectors. These new positions are essential in making government more efficient.
“They’re the ones who are creating the route smart system for that garbage truck to be more effective,” Peduto said. “They’re the ones that are working to make sure that our EMS are going through training and getting federal grants so that they don’t have to pay for it to make sure that when your loved one has a heart attack, they’re going to be saved.”MORE NEWS: Moratorium On Rent Evictions Comes To An End, Federal Assistance Available To Renters
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