Essential Pittsburgh
3:37 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

How Will History Look at Mayor Luke Ravenstahl?

Credit Deanna Garcia

As Pittsburghers gear up to elect a new mayor, a week from now, Luke Ravenstahl seems to be ramping up his public appearance schedule in an effort to clean up his image.

“It’s like he’s almost trying to spin the last seven years into something that reads better on his epitaph,” says Bob Oltmanns, President of OPR Group, LLC, an independent public relations consultancy.

When Ravenstahl failed to be present during “Snowmageddon,” made a concerted effort to stay away from the media, and other political missteps, Oltmanns says, "Ravenstahl may have been forgiven if he had really assumed the leadership mantle."

“You can’t really change much during the final period of your term. Most politicians accept the fact that they are lame-ducks and wind down, they don’t try to ramp it up,” says Joseph Sabino Mistick an associate professor at Duquesne University School of Law.

In their opinion, what has really been lacking over the past seven years is leadership. Had he accepted the mantle of responsibility as mayor, perhaps the public would have been more forgiving of his lack of appearances, says Oltmanns.