It’s official – Pittsburgh has a new mayor.
Bill Peduto took the oath of office during a ceremony at Heinz Hall Monday. The city’s 60th mayor vowed to help build the next Pittsburgh.
“Pittsburgh has grown and changed and grown again from the day a small campfire burned at the confluence of our three rivers and heralded the new boundaries of the American nation,” Peduto said in his inaugural speech. “But we did not only inherit this city from our forbearers, we are also borrowing it from our children.”
Peduto pointed to his advisory committees, which handed him some 1,1000 pages of recommendations on what the city can do going forward.
“In the coming months I’ll take many of those ideas and turn them into an agenda for the future," Peduto said. "I will do this by placing our tasks into three broad categories: accountability, responsibility and sustainability.”
He said accountability means a government that is open as possible; sustainability means creating a culture of governance of that will last beyond any one administration; and responsibility means facing financial realities. Peduto said he is taking office in a city still recovering from the disastrous effects of spending money it did not have on things it could not afford.
“As a result, we’re under a state recovery plan,” he said. “I promise you that when the day comes to declare ourselves fully restored, that declaration will be grounded in solid fact, and not wishful thinking.”
Peduto also outlined past successes of the city and its past mayors, but he said, “the things we do in the next few years, the efforts we undertake together, as a city, will determine the fortunes of generations to come.”
He said the city has produced wealth, knowledge and vision, but added that what the city has already done can’t be the end of Pittsburgh’s story.
“We must live in the present tense with our eyes fixed on tomorrow. Yes, we ought to remember our past, but never at the risk of forgetting our future,” Peduto said.
For the future, Peduto said he’d like to see a city of revived neighborhoods and a city where children graduate school and stay, rather than leave. Peduto was inaugurated as a major cold front moved into the area. Even though temperatures are cold he told the crowd, “Let’s warm our city with the fires of reform and the sunlight of a new era.”