Michael Lamb

Government & Politics
4:34 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Emergency Services Audit Finds Response Times Steady, Despite Rise in Demand

The City of Pittsburgh’s Bureau of Emergency Services (EMS) has seen increased call volume in recent years, and responders have kept pace. That’s according to an audit released Wednesday by Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb.

“Back in 2006/2007 we were looking at almost 116,000 calls, now we’re up to almost 122,000 calls in that two-year period [2012-2013], and despite that increase in call volume, we found that average response times pretty much held steady,” said Lamb.

Read more
Infrastructure
2:49 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Controller Lamb Talks ALCOSAN Audit, Hydro-Electric Power

The 140,000 gallons of water that flow into the Ohio River from the ALCOSAN plant every minute are a potential source of hydro-electric power.
Credit Google Maps

Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb said Wednesday that he didn’t find any evidence of nepotism at the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority in his latest performance audit, but the perception of such favoritism is hurting the organization.

“There’s this continuing perception that everything at ALCOSAN is pay-to-play, whether it’s contracting, personnel hiring, any of these issues,” Lamb said. “We wanted to get in and make sure these procedures are in place, because we know ALCOSAN is going to grow over the next 20 years.”

Read more
City Government
11:12 am
Thu July 3, 2014

City Lost More Than $70,000 In Bad Checks In 2013

An example of a check returned to the city by the bank because it was illegible.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Since 2008, the city of Pittsburgh has lost more than $380,000 from checks returned by banks, due to non-sufficient funds or other problems.

Controller Michael Lamb announced the losses at a press conference Wednesday, saying he had just issued recommendations to the Department of Finance about how to fix the problem.

Chief among his recommendations: compile a list of all the points of entry for payments by check coming into the city.

Read more
City Government
5:07 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Debt Is Down and Spending Is Up, Says Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb

City of Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb says an interactive version of the Popular Annual Financial Report will be available online for the first time this year.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

There’s good news and bad news.

That was the message from city of Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb Wednesday, as his office released its 2013 Popular Annual Financial Report. Lamb called the report the “layman’s version” of the city’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which was released early this year.

The good news, said Lamb, is that the difference between the city’s liabilities and its assets shrunk by $4.1 million in 2013, to $423.8 million. In 2007, the gap was close to $600 million.

Read more
City Government
3:55 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Controller Lamb: Pension Board Vote Was 'The Right Decision for Pittsburgh'

Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb said Thursday’s board vote to lower the pension fund’s projected rate of return was good financially for the city.

The fund’s assumed rate of return was lowered from 8 percent to 7.5 percent after a 5-2 vote led by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's allies. Supporters of Mayor-elect Bill Peduto then accused Ravenstahl of political maneuvering.

Ravenstahl was opposed to lowering the rate during most of his tenure.

Read more
Government & Politics
4:31 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Pittsburgh Public Works Doesn’t Know What Equipment It Has, Audit Shows

When auditors from the Pittsburgh City Controller’s office went to Public Works storage yards this summer, they found some equipment was missing, but they also found equipment that was not on any list.

Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb said he does not think there was any criminal intent. Instead, he thinks it was just a matter of not properly using the right management systems.

Read more
Pittsburgh Police
3:36 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

City Controller Releases Police Secondary Employment Audit

City of Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb released Tuesday a performance audit of the secondary employment procedures utilized by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.

The audit is just one part of a larger bureau-wide audit. Lamb said he wanted to release this portion early due the ongoing changes and public interest in secondary employment procedures.

The report takes a hard look at Cost Recovery Fees, or CRFs, which until recently, were not codified in city law.

Read more
Government & Politics
3:05 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Cash Management at Pittsburgh Bureau of Animal Control Found Lacking

As part of a series of audits of departments within the city of Pittsburgh, Controller Michael Lamb has released a report on the Bureau of Animal Control. It found that the department’s cash management practices could lead to misappropriation of funds and a lack of ability to detect such a problem.

“Basic record keeping, bookkeeping type problems are what we’ve seen,” Lamb said. “We have not suggested that there’s been theft. What we’re suggesting is that we need a better system of record keeping.”

There are 10 findings total:

Read more
City Government
9:46 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Pittsburgh Projected to Finish the Year with Budget Surplus

The city of Pittsburgh is on track to finish 2013 with a budget surplus, according to the Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) released by Controller Michael Lamb.

The earlier, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), showed the city ended 2012 with a surplus in excess of $20 million. Lamb also gave an update on how the city is doing so far this year.

Citing a national report out this week, Lamb said this year the Pittsburgh region is experiencing moderate growth, while many other parts of the nation are experiencing slower, modest growth.

Read more
City Government
4:46 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Pittsburgh Parking Revenue Up, But Concerns Remain Over Meter and Scrap Inventory

Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb released findings of an audit of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5/WESA

Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb has released an audit of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority — and found a bit of a mixed bag.

First, the good news: Lamb said the Parking Authority is mostly in compliance on their contracts and have good policies and procedures which are largely followed. Plus, revenues are up from 2012 amounts.

Read more
Speaking Volumes
3:57 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Cloak & dagger, sword & sorcery picks from Michael Lamb

Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb didn't expect to be blown away by George R.R. Martin.
Credit Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

When Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb isn't busy minding the city's books, he's reading history and genre fiction. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Michael Lamb Dropping Out of the Race: What Happens to the Dem's Endorsement?

City Controller Michael Lamb withdraws from the Pittsburgh mayoral race and endorses Jack Wagner.
Credit Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb withdrew from the city's mayoral race Monday and endorsed former Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner.

So what does that mean for Lamb's Democratic Party endorsement? Does it fall by the way-side?  Does this mean committee-people are free to publicly back anyone they wish? Pittsburgh City Paper Editor, Chris Potter gives us the details of Lamb's announcement.

Gun Violence
3:40 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Pittsburgh Mayoral Candidates Offer Opinions on Gun Laws

(From left to right) CeaseFirePA's Regional Coordinator Rob Conroy and Pittsburgh mayoral candidates Jake Wheatley and Michael Lamb discussed universal background checks for all gun purchases in the state on Thursday.
Credit Emily Farah / 90.5 WESA

On Thursday more than 100 events, organized by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, hoped to bring attention to the country's gun violence policies.

Twenty of those events were in Pennsylvania, including one in the Hill District, organized by advocacy group CeaseFirePA.

Read more
Mayoral Race
2:51 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Pittsburgh Mayoral Candidate Wants More Neighborhood Engagement

Under a Michael Lamb administration the Pittsburgh Office of Neighborhood Initiatives would be renamed and have its powers expanded.

Lamb, a Democratic mayoral candidate and current City Controller, announced that if elected he would rename the department the Office of Neighborhood Engagement.

The current Office of Neighbor Initiatives oversees projects like Green Up Pittsburgh, an initiative that works to create green spaces out of vacant lots, and Operation Weed and Seed, a partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice to improve neighborhood safety.

Read more
Mayoral Race 2013
6:06 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

Six Dems for Pittsburgh Mayor Face-off

Credit Emily Farah/90.5 WESA

Sparks did not fly but the six remaining Pittsburgh mayoral candidates did begin to outline some of their platform planks Sunday in a forum hosted by the Barack Obama Academy's Youth and Government Club.  It was the first such gathering since candidates had to have their nominating petitions submitted.

All invited candidates attended with the exception of State Senator Jim Ferlo who announced Friday that he was withdrawing from the race. 

  Each participant had a maximum of 60 or 90 seconds to answer the questions posed to them, one by one.

Read more
Election 2013
3:00 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

The Race for Mayor of Pittsburgh Continues Without Ravenstahl

With Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s announcement that he is withdrawing from the campaign, the race for the mayor’s office has, for now, become a two-man contest but neither candidate believes their tactics over the next three months will change much.

Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb, who along with Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto, is running for the mayor’s office.

Read more
Ravenstahl Bows Out
12:00 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Why Pittsburgh Mayor Ravenstahl Ended His Reelection Bid

Just 11 days after launching his reelection bid, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced he is no longer seeking a second full term. In front of a room packed with reporters, Ravenstahl said he began his political journey ten years ago as an ambitious and determined 23-year-old.

“The city I ran for office to represent in 2003 no longer exists,” he said, “it’s so much different today, it’s evolved into a bigger and better place, it’s become a place that’s recognized as America’s most livable, it’s become better.”

Read more
Pittsburgh Police
10:17 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Pittsburgh Controller Wants Receipts from Secret Police Account

The ongoing investigation into possible business and spending malfeasance in the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police has uncovered the existence of an account at a local credit union that might have been used to hide spending from public scrutiny.  Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb has sent a request to the Mayor’s office asking for receipts supporting all transaction involving the account.

Read more