Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Peduto for mayor

Mayoral candidate Bill Peduto has been answering questions about his plans for the city over at Pittsblog, including a question I submitted:

If you are elected, would you pressure the URA to sell of the properties it has been sitting on Downtown, in the hopes of spurring private development?

Yes. We need to return these properties to the tax rolls. Fifth and Forbes has been an embarrassment. I will not let parts of downtown decay while city leaders wait for a “suitable” all-encompassing retail project.

Pittsburgh needs to change from the current model of focusing on attracting national big box retail to downtown, to supporting and creating opportunities for locally owned enterprises. We must avoid trying to play catch-up with cities like Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Baltimore, and instead create a one-of-a-kind local flavor. New urban development promotes the uniqueness of a region, and it doesn’t choose winners and losers.

I give him an "A."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

But what does that *mean*?

9:20 PM

Blogger Mark Rauterkus said...

I'll give it a "B."

An "A" would be, put a price tag on the building and put it on the market. Don't sell off things so quickly that the entire marketplace dives deeper into dispair. But a rolling sell off and total liquidation of the URA is desired.

Bill said, I think, that downtown development needs to be more "organic" and less "wholistic." -- As in I can't believe I ate the whole thing.

I agree.

But do you think Bill would really move to sell off the URA assets?

10:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are dangerously flirting with endorsing a candidate. The last time you began this sort of inquiry, mysterious Kerry for President logos appeared atop your blog and, then, the electorate had to suffer the inevitable crapfest of Heinz & Kerry.

While Peduto is an all around nice guy, I feel your endorsement might prove political hari-kari for him.

If you really want him to do well, why not publicly, iteratively and quite loudly cheer for Lamb?

Choose. Choose wisely.

10:18 AM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

Indeed, that's a point worth considering, though I hardly think I alone am responsible for the demise of the Kerry campaign. (Though considering how many other scapegoats he's blamed, I might be on his list somewhere.)

I fear Peduto has spent too much time talking to the East End blog set and not enough time doing retail campaigning in neighborhoods across the city. I say that a bit sheepishly, as I had wanted to volunteer for his campaign but found not enough spare time this spring to make good on that commitment.

1:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


So, I'm driving astride West Park to get to 279 and I look to my left and, voila, there are a gagillion Peduto signs tacked to every abandoned, boarded up URA property around the Garden Theater.

I'm going to assume this is the work of the Campaign to Elect Scott Township's Own and not Mr. Peduto, himself, who certainly would know a great deal about the Garden and its, ahem, history with the city.

Either that or astute, retail campaign metrix have determined that Peduto's chief support in and around the Mexican War streets involve (1) URA bureacrats making their biannual visit to abandoned dreams; (2) the myriad of crack heads and homeless who hang out in West Park; (3) denizens of the porn palace, the furtive, graying men in mini-vans who slink about the block, avoiding the direct gazes of the above-mentioned crackheads and good citizens like me; or, (4) everyone who is going to vote for O'Connor anyway.

2:45 PM


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