18% of Pittsburgh Democrat voters have chosen Bill Peduto as their candidate for Mayor of our small Second Class city. We are actually only 57,000 away from dropping to Third Class city with merely 307+ thousand residents left. For perspective's sake down from 604,332 the year before I was born in 1960. We were the 16th largest city in that year down from our high point of 8th in 1910. In 2010 we were ranked 59th. Of course a big reason for that was the redistribution of wealth (industry) from west to east as we allowed environmentalists and big labor to facilitate steel making and associated industry to move to Japan and then China. Just a quick shout out to all you green types....the open hearth and other types of mills are still operating with virtually no regulation out east. All we lost were jobs and population.
For the last 70 some years Pittsburgh leadership has been dominated by single party rule. That in itself is unhealthy, and it really doesn't matter which party is in control. When you have one party rule you get things like 2 terms of a kid like Luke Ravenstahl. You get under river tunnels for trolleys when there are myriad bridges. You say goodbye to Kaufman's, Gimbels, Pittsburgh Brewing etc. If you live in the Hill District, Homewood, Arlington or other majority black neighborhoods ask yourself how much better has it gotten in those 70 years. Anyone who remembers Wylie Avenue before the Civic Arena probably just rolled their eyes.
The problem with one party rule is that there are no checks and balances. The Post Gazette virtually declared Bill Peduto the Mayor last night and they were probably accurate. That is a shame and the point of this entry. This story is not about Bill Peduto it is about Pittsburgh, trends and our future. Politicians in this situation naturally take some constituencies for granted such as the black community that Reverend C.L. Bryant addresses here . They also ignore the opposition party, in our case Republicans because they have this one party town sewn up. A huge legacy has been left for our children and grandchildren here, and in every one party city in the land and it is big bucks. Unionized public servants are breaking the bank and to speak of this disaster immediately bring Alinsky type outrage from every angle. In a one party city with unions invariably endorsing and pouring money into Democrat campaigns and then being rewarded with unsustainable contracts, what could possibly go wrong ? Please don't stoop to the level of I hate cops or I want your house to burn down, it's time for adult conversation. The following is an excerpt, the definitive excerpt, from the 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report:
The liabilities of the City exceeded its assets at the close of the most recent fiscal year by
$424.6 million. As of December 31, 2012, the City, in its statement of net position, has a net
position unrestricted deficit of $535.3 million. The accumulated deficit results principally
from the City’s outstanding general obligation bonds being issued over the years to finance
projects that do not result in recording assets; specifically, to fund the payments to the
Pension Trust Fund ($223.1 million outstanding as of December 31, 2012), the City’s
borrowings to finance economic development efforts (including projects to the City’s
Authorities, principally the URA), and maintenance expenditures on City infrastructure and
Did you know that PNC Park and Heinz Field were built before Three Rivers Stadium was even paid for ? If the electorate in my city remains so monolithic that the Democrat primary winner is inaugurated in May and the General Election is not until November then at least know the facts so you can apply the proper pressure to your party. Pittsburgh is broke. Pittsburgh is worse than broke it is in unsustainable debt. People are fleeing, there are upticks but the overall trend is clear . We need to restructure and without strong opposition the Democrats will kick this down the road for our kids to deal with. Look at the numbers, don't listen to platitudes. In the future you will hear more class warfare and ways to increase revenue and business and the segment of the population that actually pay taxes will vote with their feet. Cranberry Township is booming, just ask North Catholic High School.
In closing I would ask you to think about one party rule and it's effects on all things government. I don't expect that Joshua Wander will win in a landslide, but support for the opposition party is healthy and tends to bring ruling parties sobriety. The bottom line is numbers. Any CEO with the results the Democrats have given your children would be fired. I love Pittsburgh.