Back in the last century when Jack Wagner was president of city council, the city negotiated contracts with city unions that limited salary increases in favor of large pension benefits. That was a justifiable tradeoff for the unions and those legally negotiated benefits must be honored. But by not fully funding those pension plans, those leaders just kicked the fiscal can down the road. The can finally hit the road in 2003 when the city nearly became bankrupt and Act 47 was imposed.
How do we voters know that a Wagner administration would not just repeat that earlier fiscal irresponsibility? It would certainly be easier to do so if Act 47 is lifted, as the current administration and Mr. Wagner want and that Bill Peduto wisely opposes.
When Mr. Peduto was elected to city council, he had to deal with the fiscal problems that he did not create. The negative Wagner mailer sent to my house has the gall to criticize a Peduto 2003 vote to cut costs and a 2004 vote to raise revenue that averted the looming fiscal crisis. It is clear from his record on city council that a Mayor Peduto would not pursue the fiscal irresponsibility of politicians of Mr. Wagner's era. I hope Pittsburghers will take this opportunity to refresh city government and elect Bill Peduto mayor.