Friday is the deadline for city leaders to either comply with or appeal to the Court of Common Pleas an order from the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records to reveal details of its application to have Amazon establish its second headquarters in Pittsburgh.
PGHQ2, a collaboration of Mayor Bill Peduto, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and university and business leaders, has rejected media inquiries to learn the details of the city’s proposal to Amazon, citing non-disclosure agreements and proposals between private entities.
“If we put ours out there while the other 19 [finalists don’t], they could take a look at ours and it would make Pittsburgh less competitive,” Fitzgerald said.
The county executive added that if the other 19 cities revealed their proposals, so to would Pittsburgh.
“We have nothing we’re putting in there that we’re ashamed of,” Fitzgerald said. “Like the Steelers that don’t put out their playbook to the team they’re playing in the upcoming week, we don’t think we’re going to put our playbook out for the other cities that would compete against us.”
While Fitzgerald wouldn’t say definitely whether officials will appeal the order, he said they would “follow the court’s ruling.”
When Amazon announced it January that Pittsburgh was on its list of 20 finalists, the company indicated it there would be site visits to at least some, if not all of the cities.
So are Amazon officials visiting Pittsburgh? A smiling Fitzgerald refused to say.
“I’m smiling because one of the things that we’re going to make sure of is we keep confidence in Amazon, keeping private," he said. "We’re not going to divulge details of where they’re coming and when they’re coming and if they’re coming."
He refused to say whether Amazon has already done a site visit.
“If we ran to the press and to the public every time somebody came here, some of those companies would quit coming here and we would lose some of the competitive advantage,” he said.
“We’ll work with (Amazon) according to their plans and the process they have set up," he said.