City in Transition
11:34 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Peduto's 'Wide Net' Cast for More Positions

Pittsburgh Mayor-Elect Bill Peduto is going to lean a little more heavily on the Pittsburgh Foundation and the University of Pittsburgh Institutes of Politics when it comes to filling out non-union city staff positions and appointments to boards, commissions and authorities. 

It was announced Oct. 22 that the Pittsburgh Foundation was funding an effort to run a website to take applications for the top position in each city department and their direct reports. Those applications would then be put through an assessment process with the help of the Institutes of Politics.

On Friday the Peduto transition team announced that it would not only be using the Talent-City.org website for those top positions, but also for all at-will positions and the slew of appointments the mayor’s office is required to make to a long list of entities. 

In a written statement Peduto said, “Building a new Pittsburgh requires us to look outside of the typical channels and locate talented individuals who want to join us and work hard on behalf of city residents.”          

On Thursday, Peduto released the names of seven of his top eight advisors and brief descriptions of their positions. While some of the names on the list are long-time political insiders, such as Guy Costa as Chief Operations Officer, others like Debra Lam as Chief Innovation & Performance Officer are new to the halls of the city-county building.

No jobs have yet been posted on the Talent-City.org website.  A note on the site says positions should be posted later this month.

In the meantime, the Peduto transition team announced Friday that it is sending letters to all existing directors, at-will employees, and members of boards, authorities and commissions “to explain the Talent City process and invite them to re-apply.”

“Everyone will be given an opportunity to apply, decisions will be made based on talent, and nobody will be evaluated based upon who they supported at the ballot box,” Peduto said.   

Peduto said he hopes to have nearly all of the positions filled by January.