Public invited to give its two cents for Pittsburgh's next five-year recovery plan
May 6, 2014 4:53 PM
How should Pittsburgh spend its money the next five years? A public meeting next Tuesday offers a chance for input.
By Moriah Balingit / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The public has been invited to weigh in on how the city formulates its next five-year recovery plan, a blueprint that guides how Pittsburgh spends its money.
A meeting open to the public will be held on the first floor of the William Pitt Union on the University of Pittsburgh's campus at 7 p.m. next Tuesday.
The city is in the process of developing a third financial recovery plan, which is required because it is under the state's Act 47 program for financially distressed cities. It entered the program about a decade ago when it was on the verge of bankruptcy.
The program also puts it under the tutelage of two coordinators, Jim Roberts of Eckert-Seamans and Dean Kaplan of Public Financial Management, who will host next week's public meeting.
Mr. Roberts said the meeting will start with a short presentation, then residents are invited to comment on anything, "what they think the plan should focus on, what they think the city is missing, whatever they want to say."
Mr. Roberts and Mr. Kaplan have been meeting regularly with staff from Mayor Bill Peduto's office to develop a new recovery plan, which has to be approved by city council. Mr. Roberts said this plan will be less prescriptive than the previous two since the city is in better financial shape.
The city's Act 47 status will also shape how negotiations proceed with unions representing city employees, including the police and fire unions. Mr. Roberts said that as in 2009, the city plans to give each bargaining unit a pool of money to work with, allowing them latitude to choose how they spend it.
Mayoral spokesman Tim McNulty confirmed that's how the city planned to proceed with bargaining units and added that "the administration is continuing to work with the city's financial overseers on the plan and its economic projections."
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