Thursday, June 25, 2009
Independent mayoral candidate Kevin Acklin says he wants to see a change in the way Pittsburgh’s mayor appoints members of boards and authorities. Acklin says he would like to see the mayor get approval from the city council for all board and authority appointments and he thinks those appointees should be allowed to serve out their terms unless the mayor can show just cause to remove them. He says dismissals should also be approved by council. He says the boards are too important to be impacted by politics, “A lot of city business is conducted through boards and authorities and these have been created primarily for good government purposes. To insulate those decisions that should be insulated from political processes. Acklin’s announcement comes in the same week Mayor Luke Ravenstahl dismissed Stadium Authority board member Debbie Lestitian. It was widely speculated that the mayor did not agree with how she was voting on north shore development projects. The mayor’s office says her term had expired more than a year ago and she had never been replaced or reappointed. Acklin says having an expired board member voting on important contracts is even more concerning than removing her for her voting record. Acklin says having a mayor with too much power looks more like an autocracy than a democracy. The candidate has sent a letter to the city council president asking him to introduce legislation to make the new process law.