Mayoral hopeful Bill Peduto said he hasn't spoken to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl -- or rapper Wiz Khalifa -- in months.
Mr. Peduto, who is in position to take over the mayor's office after winning the Democratic nomination Tuesday, said Friday he has not spoken to the current mayor since the first week of February and has not seen him since the first week of March. He said he hoped -- but doubted -- the Ravenstahl administration would work with him as he prepares for the likelihood of transitioning into the office come January.
"I would hope that this administration will reach out and say, 'You know what, we've had battles in the past but for the betterment of the city we're reaching out to you to help with the transition.' Whether they're going to do that or not I don't know," he said at the taping of "KD/PG Sunday Edition." "After the past several months, I don't think that's a real possibility. We'll see."
Mayoral spokeswoman Marissa Doyle repeated Mr. Ravenstahl's pledge to be cooperative.
"As the mayor has stated, he's committed to working with the winner of the upcoming general election to ensure a smooth transition between administrations," she said.
Mr. Peduto, a longtime councilman from Point Breeze and rival of Mr. Ravenstahl, pledged to work more cooperatively with the legislative body if and when he moves across the fifth floor of the City-County Building. He pointed to the Tom Murphy administration, which he said met with its political opponents even while tangling with them.
"You have to take away the personal and make it on the policy. If I'm going to succeed as a mayor, I have to be able to say, 'You know what, we disagree on that issue, but how's the housing project coming because I really want to see that work for the district,' " Mr. Peduto said. "I've got to be able to not cut people off and use public resources as political tools and public employees as political operatives. I have to change an entire culture Downtown."
The Democratic nominee will face Republican Josh Wander in November and possibly city Council President Darlene Harris, who last month changed her registration to independent to allow for a general election run.
Mr. Peduto said he is keeping on some campaign staffers and will bring back more after Labor Day. He supports holding four more debates this fall in different compass points of the city.
His election is rather assured in the Democrat-controlled city and he is already planning policy changes -- from revamping development and public safety decision-making to selling off city assets to help its long-ailing pension fund. Already a supporter of the new food trucks cropping up around the city, he wants to go mobile with a "City Hall Truck" that would bring permits and other government resources to neighborhoods.
"If we're going to have a really healthy region, the first thing we're going to have to do is make sure we have a very healthy city," he said. "Doing that means we have to make sure that we rebuild neighborhoods."
KDKA-TV anchor Ken Rice surprised Mr. Peduto at the end of the show with a question about successful rapper Wiz Khalifa, a marijuana-loving native of Hazelwood who wore a hat saying "DOPE" while accepting a proclamation from the councilman in December. "How much of your victory do you suppose was due to the stoner community, who rallied behind you after your appearance with Wiz Khalifa at city hall?" he asked.
Mr. Peduto laughed and said, "I think most of the stoner community was on the couch on Election Day."
The show broadcasts at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on KDKA-TV.
Tim McNulty: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1581. Follow the Early Returns blog at earlyreturns.sites.post-gazette.com or on Twitter at @EarlyReturns. First Published May 25, 2013 4:00 AM