As a part of the state legislature’s response to the ongoing fiscal problems being confronted by the City of Pittsburgh, Senators Jane Clare Orie and Jack Wagner approached members of Allegheny County Council and Pittsburgh City Council about convening a meeting where policy makers would have opportunity to talk about possible cooperation between the two entities. On February 12, 2004, representatives and members of the Governor’s Office, State Senate, State House of Representatives, Allegheny County Council, Allegheny County Chief Executive, and Pittsburgh City Council attended an initial meeting at the Allegheny County Courthouse.
At the February 12th City-County Summit, participants discussed various opportunities for shared services, consolidation, and cooperation. As part of that discussion, it was determined that working groups would begin convening to address each of these opportunities in more detail. The participants set a 40-45 day window for each of those groups to report back to the full group with specific recommendations that could be presented to the Oversight Board and Act 47 Team.
Eight working groups were established: Economic Development, Facilities, Information Technology, Parks, Public Safety, Public Works, Purchasing, and Tax Collection. Four of the groups were chaired by a member of County Council; four were chaired by a member of City Council. Each group had representation from the General Assembly, the County’s Legislative and Executive branches, and the City’s Legislative and Executive branches and began meeting shortly after the Summit.
Each Chair was charged with completing its task and submitting a report to the organizers of the Summit by Friday, March 26, 2004. The City-County Summit would reconvene on Thursday, April 1, 2004 to allow each Chair an opportunity to present a summary of the working group’s recommendations to the full body. These recommendations were then presented to the Oversight Board and Act 47 Team, with copies to Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Mayor Tom Murphy. Each of the eight reports is contained on this page.
As a result of the City of Pittsburgh fiscal insolvency crisis, the merging of City and County departmental services and/or the wholes of both governments has become a pre-eminent issue in the crisis. Several initiatives and bodies have been formed to analyze merging opportunities. In an unprecedented move, the City of Pittsburgh Council and the Allegheny County Council have formed the “City-County Summit on Consolidation”, and established eight committees to study various functional areas of City and County services which have potential for consolidation.
City Councilman Bill Peduto, County Council President Rich Fitzgerald, County Council Member Jan Rea (the primary leads for the Summit) agreed that a systems team from the Heinz School of Public Policy could play an important role in the work of the Summit by reviewing the completed reports and using that information to formulate an implementation plan that focuses upon those areas identified as ripe for consolidation or merger. The students’ final report is contained on this page, entitled “A Starting Point: A Strategy for City County Consolidation.”
All files are PDFs