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Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey says police chief will be named in next two weeks

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey.
Jakob Lazzaro
90.5 WESA
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey during an interview on WESA's "The Confluence."

On today’s episode of The Confluence:

The tax-exempt status of 26 properties in Pittsburgh is being challenged in the first round of properties targeted in a city-wide review.

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey says this first batch of properties are ones that clearly do not fit into the “purely public charities” test, a state multi-pronged analysis. These challenges were submitted to the county’s property assessments office. But Gainey noted there’s still room for conversation with these large nonprofits.

“We will continue to negotiate and we continue to get there,” he says. “But the reality is that we had to start a process that was fair to the taxpayer. And in doing this, this is why we came up with the review process so that we can review parcel by parcel to see if it's passing the purely public charity test.”

Gainey also confirmed in the next two weeks, he will announce the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police’s new chief. The mayor confirmed his team met yesterday with the finalists to discuss priorities if given the role. Although the mayor wouldn’t indicate the number of finalists, he did say they spoke of the city’s potential as a factor for wanting the position.

Last June, the mayor’s office unveiled its “Plan for Peace,” which looked to address violence in the city through a public health approach. He says one approach that’s worked is improving police presence downtown.

“I made a promise to the city that we will make this city safe and we're working towards that,” Gainey says. “Last year, you know, we were coming in, we were finding out and assessing exactly what we needed and what we had to do. This year, we want to drive down crime. That's been our number one goal and we've been able to do it so far. Things are looking up, but again, it takes time.”

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Friday at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here for wherever you get your podcasts. 

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