Peduto fills five more key positions

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Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto on Thursday announced five hires for his nascent administration, including one for a brand new post who will facilitate work between the city and nonprofits.

Betty Cruz, 36, was hired two weeks ago as the city’s nonprofit and faith-based manager, a position that will pay $65,249. Prior to being hired by the city, Ms. Cruz was the director of the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership, a coalition of 350 local nonprofits of a variety of stripes.

In a speech to the partnership in November, Mr. Peduto said nonprofits and faith-based groups would be an integral part of his plan to lift struggling neighborhoods from poverty. He created a whole new branch of the mayor’s office to focus on communities that have been left out of the city’s transformation.

Thursday, he said Ms. Cruz will serve as a liaison between the city’s nonprofits — many of which perform critical social service functions — and the neighborhoods and populations in greatest need. His goal is to bring city resources to bear to “help them to do their job better.”

“Betty’s job is to go out and meet with them and say, ‘What do you need?’ ” he said. “It’s the same way a mayor’s office would deal with a big developer.

“With the nonprofit and the faith-based community, they are literally at the frontlines of the underserved communities.”

Ms. Cruz has been meeting with nonprofits for the last two weeks and says she’s been greeted with enthusiasm by nonprofits that are “excited to have a voice in the office.”

Mr. Peduto announced other hires on Thursday. Sonya Toler, 43, will become the city’s public information officer, handling communications for public safety bureaus. Ms. Toler was the mayor’s interim communications manager and also managed communications for his campaign. Her salary will be $71,125.

Grant Ervin, 37, has been hired as the city’s sustainability manager and started work shortly after Mr. Peduto was inaugurated. He comes from 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, a statewide group that promotes smart growth. His salary will be $71,125.

Timothy McNulty, 44, a former Post-Gazette reporter, started Thursday as the mayor’s communication manager. His salary will be $71,125.

Katie O’Malley, 30, a host for PensTV, will become his assistant communications manager. She will start in mid-March. Her salary will be $51,055.

Mr. Ervin, Ms. Toler and Mr. McNulty were hired through Talent City, a foundation-backed initiative that uses outside committees to screen candidates. None of these positions has to be approved by City Council.

Moriah Balingit:, 412-263-2533 or on Twitter @MoriahBee. First Published February 20, 2014 10:25 AM

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