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Peduto Says He's Ready to Make Changes, Break From Ravenstahl

Pittsburgh mayoral candidate Bill Peduto gathered reporters Wednesday just hours after Democratic voters chose him over three other candidates in Tuesday’s primary, and already he is looking at how the structure of the city will change.

As he prepares for a general election that is all but assured to go his way, Peduto said he plans to start looking at every aspect of the city’s operations.

“Putting out ideas on what a mayor’s office should look like ... how the structure of (city) departments should be and where the priorities should be,” Peduto said. “Creating an entirely new process for budgeting that’s based on outcomes not just based on what last year’s amount was plus five percent.”

Peduto said changes in the Police Bureau will have to be among his firsts tasks should he make it through the general election. He thinks if his administration does not make massive changes, the U.S. Department of Justice will take over the operations of the bureau.

“I want to cut that off, which means bringing in new people to be a part of the administration of the Police Bureau,” said Peduto, who believes there needs to be a national search for a new chief. “We need to make sure at the same time that we are increasing morale, which is probably at the lowest I have ever seen.”

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl issued a written statement congratulating Bill Peduto. It went on to say, “I look forward to working with the victor of the mayoral general election to ensure a smooth transition between administrations."

Peduto said he had not heard directly from the mayor and while he will remain open to working with him through a transition period he is not sure how much help he will want.

“I think a lot of what has occurred over the last several years has given whoever the next mayor is a mandate to clean up city hall, to make changes that people do expect and to not allow this type of behavior to continue with the new administration,” Peduto said.

Democrats in Pittsburgh enjoy a nearly insurmountable voter registration lead, and Peduto was quick to note that most of the registered Republicans live in his district and have supported him in the past.

Republican Mayoral candidate Josh Wander said he is up for the challenge.