Save our schools, firehouses, Army bases, etc.
Pittsburgh's elected officials have been faced with some tough decisions the past few years (largely because they put off making them when they should have, but we'll save that discussion for another day), and few are as painful as whether and where to close firehouses and schools. City Councilman and mayoral candidate Bill Peduto has suggested that some kind of independent body decide which firehouses to close, and I think it's a suggestion that the Pittsburgh school board should consider when it comes to closing schools. Few people would argue that the school district isn't overbuilt, given current enrollment, but no one wants to see their child's school close. They protest, pressure their school board members, and often succeed, simply because they might be better organized and more vocal than a group of parents across town.
Now, the district has commissioned facilities studies in the past, and ignored them. So getting an independent body to make tough decisions doesn't entirely remove politics from the process. But it might help.