More Changes Needed in Pittsburgh Oversight Groups

More Changes Needed in Pittsburgh Oversight Groups

The recent addition of Ms. Dugan to the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (known as the oversight board) was a tremendously positive step for the Governor to take in addressing the lackadaisical approach of the board and its habit of too often being irrelevant to the job at hand-guiding the City’s financial matters with strict discipline.

But more remains to be done to bolster the resolve and performance of the oversight board and the Act 47 recovery team. The Republicans in the House should move quickly to replace the appointment made several years ago by then Speaker Perzel. The appointment of a Democrat union leader by the House Republicans was disappointing in that it gave the Democrats a four to one majority on the board. Leaving this appointee in place keeps the board in the hands of a majority likely to be friendly to the City’s employees and higher spending and less likely to be worried about the taxpayers, fiscal discipline and the business climate.

At the same time the Governor, through the Secretary of DCED, should evaluate the performance of the Act 47 coordinator with an eye to replacing the group with someone less intimidated by the Pittsburgh government and its political and civic supporters.

The latest report from the City Controller, showing Pittsburgh spent more than it took in last year along with the debacle over the City’s massively underfunded pension plans, point to seriously inadequate financial oversight for the last seven years. What do Pennsylvania’s taxpayers have to show for the millions of dollars spent since 2004 for the two oversight groups? Not much apparently.