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Following Landslide Win, Peduto Looks Ahead

Deanna Garcia
90.5 WESA

Bill Peduto does not move into the mayor's office until January, but he said his work has already begun.

Peduto said Wednesday his first order of business was to notify all directors to hold off on hiring new people and not to move forward with plans that would impact future years without consulting his chief of staff Kevin Acklin.

The 49-year-old Peduto captured 84 percent of the vote in Tuesday's election, easily defeating a pair of opponents in a city where Democrats heavily outnumber Republicans.

The mayor-elect plans to restructure city government, which he said hasn’t been modernized since the 1980s.

“We want to open it up and create a more transparent system where people can see their government at work and at the same time holding all departments accountable, and that’s part of why we’re going to be restructuring the mayor’s office as well,” Peduto said.

He said his newly formed mayor’s office will serve more as an executive office than an administrative office.

According to Peduto, his administration must first mend the relationship between Pittsburghers and their government.

Peduto said there has been a “breaking away” from city operations the last several years and there’s a lot of work to do to pull it back together.

“It certainly goes beyond public safety, but we’re really going to have to do a lot of work in getting the trust rebuilt between the police bureau and the public, and even within the bureau itself there’s low morale right now,” Peduto said.

He said they are going to take a disciplined approach to finding a new police chief and public safety director, but the process will take several months.

Peduto told 90.5 WESA’s Essential Pittsburgh his administration will also work on Pittsburgh’s transportation system.

He said he knows people want a subway or light rail system, but the city just can’t afford that.

Instead, he and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald both support a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system between downtown and Oakland.

“BRTs have been utilized worldwide, the way that technology now operates with them, they are like a light rail system on wheels, and we want to see that happen in a six year period,” Peduto said.

Jess is from Elizabeth Borough, PA and is a junior at Duquesne University with a double major in journalism and public relations. She was named as a fellow in the WESA newsroom in May 2013.
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