It’s a good thing Bill Peduto spent months preparing to hit the ground running as mayor of Pittsburgh. He had to start marshaling city forces even before taking the oath Monday as his first big challenge arrived in the form of dangerously cold weather.
After calling on the police bureau to help move homeless people into a Downtown shelter and the Bureau of Animal Care and Control to assist in rescuing strays, Mr. Peduto, 49, made his way to Heinz Hall for his inauguration. It was typical of the hands-on style displayed by the longtime council member from Point Breeze, an approach to government that Pittsburghers deserve after the missing-in-action tenure of his predecessor.
Prior to Monday’s celebratory events, in an exercise both practical and symbolic, Mr. Peduto and his chief aides spent part of Saturday mopping the floors of their offices on the fifth floor of the City-County Building, preparing to move in and amplifying the message of the Peduto campaign — to sweep clean the practices that have damaged the reputation of city government.
Given his promise to focus on rebuilding neighborhoods and bring fundamental changes to all operations, it was appropriate that the inauguration ceremony began with the Pittsburgh CAPA High School Choir singing Fred Rogers’ anthem, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” After swearing to execute his duties as Pittsburgh’s 60th mayor, Mr. Peduto referenced the city’s founding and eras of progress, then turned to a future he said would be achieved through “good faith, square dealing and hard work.”
He reiterated his pledge of accountability through openness; responsibility to face facts, particularly the city’s financial realities; and sustainability, to create a city that will thrive for generations — all qualities that Pittsburgh will need not only to face the 21st century but to thrive in it.
“I can’t wait to get started,” he told the crowd of supporters. All of Pittsburgh can’t wait to see what this promising new mayor, with his optimistic and idealized vision, can deliver.