Eight transition teams have been formed around the executive team announced by Mayor-elect Bill Peduto last week. The application period is now open for any city resident interested in participating.
“His (Peduto’s) vision for this administration is to build a new Pittsburgh, and we want to provide an opportunity for resident and community leaders and others to come to the table and be a part of that,” said Kevin Acklin, Peduto’s chief of staff.
The transition teams are:
- Economic Development (Chair: Kevin Acklin)
- Innovation & Performance (Chair: Debra Lam)
- Administrative & Finance (Chair: Debbie Lestitian)
- Operations & Infrastructure (Chair: Guy Costa)
- Housing & Urban Empowerment (Chair: Valerie McDonald-Roberts)
- Education & Neighborhood Reinvestment (Chair: Curtiss Porter)
- Public Safety (Chair: Mayor-Elect Peduto)
- Law & Ethics (Chair: Lourdes Sanchez Ridge)
The groups will work on specific issues, for example the Economic Development group will look for ways to evaluate current development projects going on in the city and to find ways to streamline permitting and approval procedures. Innovation & Performance will, among other things, look for ways to incorporation technology to “make Pittsburgh a world-class city.” Operations and Infrastructure will offer recommendations to overhaul all operational functions of city government and to improve the delivery of services to city residents.
“A lot of the focus there is to get city government out of the silos,” Acklin said, “to make sure that city departments are working hand in hand with authorities so there’s not miscommunication or an inefficient deployment of resources.”
The Housing & Urban Empowerment and Education & Neighborhood Reinvestment groups will focus on neighborhoods that haven’t shared in the economic prosperity some areas have experienced.
“So on Housing and Urban Empowerment it’s really a focus on developing plans to rebuild housing in neighborhoods like Homewood and The Hill and Lincoln/Larimer and Sheraden,” Acklin said.
One of the goals of the transition teams is to open city government to the public, and Acklin said it will help keep the incoming Peduto administration accountable.
“We care about what people care about,” Acklin said, “and they know more about their own neighborhoods than we ever do. We take those messages very seriously and that has become part of our legislative agenda moving forward for next year.”
Applications for the transition teams are open now through 5 p.m. Nov. 18. Selections of transition team members are expected to be finalized by Friday, November 22 with the work staring the following Monday, November 25.