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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – With his right hand raised in front of state Supreme Court Justice Debra Todd, the 60th mayor of Pittsburgh took the oath for another four years at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland.
That was the official requirement for Bill Peduto.
The rest was mostly fun, including performances by the an eclectic group of musicians: the Westinghouse “High Steppin’” Alumni Marching Band, the Rodman Street Baptist Church Choir, opera singer Amanda Neatrour, the Joe Negri Trio, Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root with Dirk Miller, and the Shelf Life String Band.
In between there were lots of videos hailing the accomplishments of the first four years of Peduto, and a live appearance by Gov. Tom Wolf who sang the mayor’s praises as well.
“I can’t think of a more important time to have someone like Bill in this office,” said Wolf to the crowd of over 1,000 friends and supporters. “Pittsburgh is in the middle of an amazing renaissance. Pittsburgh has come out of tough times to once again claim its place as a world class city.”
But the mayor’s 22-minute address, using visual aids, outlined his ambitious agenda for Pittsburgh’s next 12 years.
“Pittsburgh by 2030 will have pre-K for all children,” said the mayor.
“By 2030, we will eradicate all lead pipes in PWSA (Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority),” he claimed.
“We’re going to be creating a new program called Rec to Tech, which utilizes our community centers not so kids have an opportunity to play basketball after school, but that they’ll get education and training in technology and digital,” he added.
And referencing a favorite picture of the city he described as a heart, the mayor concluded, “I see the heart of a city that has the potential to do absolutely anything if we just work together.”
With all the references to 2030, people can be forgiven for thinking Peduto has a 12-year term, instead of a four-year term.
But the mayor is always keen at laying out a long-term vision.
While Peduto didn’t say much on it, the governor hinted that the state would lift the city’s Act 47 bankruptcy status within a few weeks, a sign the city’s finances are back on track.
The celebration continues Wednesday night at the Carnegie Museum — open and free to the public.
Then, it’s back to work for the mayor.