PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh City Council gave preliminary approval to a bill making it easier for food trucks to operate within the city.
But it came after a surprise attempt at an amendment, and some tension between the present and former council presidents.
“Councilwoman!” said president Bruce Kraus in an exchange with Darlene Harris. He struck the gavel.
“Councilwoman, there is order in this meeting and you don’t have the floor right now!”
Harris had just offered an amendment to exempt the North Side from food trucks.
It all happened as council took a preliminary vote on whether to allow food trucks to operate at four hour intervals rather than half hour intervals and at city parking meters, which they are not permitted to do now.
At a city council public hearing yesterday, some truck operators argued the city is way behind the times on allowing food trucks to operate in more areas.
The current bills still restricts food trucks in Market Square and Schenley Plaza for example.
But Harris proposed a new restriction for the North Side as well.
“And the North Side is requesting at this time, other than if they permit it, and they invite them in, that they would not like this,” Harris said.
It became clear that council was not in favor of such an amendment and Harris withdrew it. The sponsor of the original bill, Dan Gilman, stands by his claim that food trucks are a good deal on many levels.
“I believe this is a great way for people to start their business,” Gilman said. “Over 40 percent of food truck owners become brick and mortar restaurant owners. It’s particularly good for minority and women owned businesses who lack the startup capital,” he said.
Council takes its final vote next week but that North Side issue could come up again.