South Pittsburghers, along with the rest of the city, have an opportunity they haven’t had since 2005: to choose a new mayor without having a sitting mayor in the race.
Along with having to decide which of the four Democratic and one Republican candidates would be best for the city on the November ballot, they will have to decide which of those candidates will be best for South Pittsburgh. Barring a write-in upset, Joshua Wander will be the Republican candidate.
With its diverse population, geography and set of challenges, a new mayor will be have to be at the top of their game just to keep up, let alone make forward progress.
In our South Pittsburgh neighborhoods, the South Side Flats is challenged with an abundance of nightlife and the problems associated with it: Rowdy bar crowds and not enough parking to make residents or business owners happy are two of the most talked about.
The Hilltop neighborhoods have different challenges: an infrastructure that’s suffered from decades of being ignored; declining property values; and, high unemployment and mortgage foreclosure rates among others.
At the South Pittsburgh forums, the Democratic candidates attending agreed things have to change on Grant Street; a more open city government is needed. And things have to change in South Side and on the Hilltop.
The best candidate for the job is Bill Peduto.
Considering his experience with the revitalization work in his City Council district, Mr. Peduto is ideally prepared to contribute to ongoing revitalization efforts now going on in neighborhoods like Allentown, Beltzhoover and Carrick. With his vision, the commercial corridors of Brownsville Road and Warrington Avenue could see their own renaissance.
Mr. Peduto has also been a supporter of Councilman Bruce Kraus’ work in South Side with the RHI and understands a balance is necessary between the wants of a thriving commercial corridor and busy nightlife and the needs of a neighborhood.
With his experience in city government and the support he has received, Mr. Peduto has demonstrated he will be able to work with county and state elected officials to bring about the changes that will benefit the City of Pittsburgh as a whole.