Pa. primary elections 2019: A voter’s guide for Allegheny County and beyond

Julian Routh | Thursday, May 16, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

For voters in Western Pennsylvania, the municipal primary elections on May 21 are a chance to have a say in the day-to-day governing of city and county governments and school boards and in who becomes judges.

Even though there’ll be a general election in November, many of the candidates that voters choose in the primary will be on a fast track to power, with no official challengers declared on the other side. Pittsburgh City Council seats? The Democrats who win their primaries next week will almost certainly be sworn in next January. Allegheny County District Attorney? Same thing.

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Allegheny County lacks resources to scrutinize tax breaks for ‘Big 4’ charities

Natasha Lindstrom | Monday, March 11, 2019, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Allegheny County says it lacks the resources to scrutinize hundreds of tax-exempt properties owned by the region’s so-called “Big 4” charities, further delaying an oversight probe that was supposed to be completed years ago, the Tribune-Review has learned.

Four massive nonprofit organizations with billion-dollar portfolios control the county’s most valuable, tax-free real estate: UPMC, Highmark/Allegheny Health Network, the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

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Fragmented local government a challenge in addressing pockets of high child poverty in Allegheny County

Kate Giammarise | Wednesday, January 16, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Allegheny County’s patchwork of highly fragmented municipal governments, combined with a reliance on local property taxes for services, is an obstacle to tackling concentrated pockets of high child poverty and need, officials said this week.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week launched a series, Growing up through the Cracks, focused on how poverty impacts children, families and communities. There are seven Allegheny County municipalities in which half or more of the children live in poverty: North Braddock, Mount Oliver, Rankin, Duquesne, McKeesport, Clairton and Wilmerding.

“You’ve got real haves and have nots in this county,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald in a December interview, after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette presented him with the data used as the basis for Growing up through the Cracks, a series which started this week.

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Judge orders city, county to release Amazon HQ2 bid

Mark Belko | Wednesday, October 31, 2018, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

An Allegheny County judge has ordered the release of the region’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters.

In a four-page ruling Wednesday, Common Pleas Senior Judge W. Terrence O’Brien said he found no basis for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County to keep the 300-page proposal secret.

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Sides clash over who decides whether Allegheny County gets new voting machines

Wednesday, October 17, 2018, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

An activist group that wants Allegheny County to replace electronic voting machines it says are vulnerable to hacking squared off in Commonwealth Court on Wednesday with county lawyers who say the group’s proposed ordinance violates the law.

OpenPittsburgh and several other plaintiffs had appealed a ruling by Common Pleas Judge Joseph James, who sided with the county in rejecting the ordinance proposed last year.

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Allegheny County finding few takers for free lead removal program

Theresa Clift | Tuesday, December 12, 2017, The Tribune Review

Only 25 homes in Allegheny County have been approved to receive free lead remediation services during the first eight months of a federal grant intended to help low-income residents of 175 homes.

The Allegheny Lead Safe Homes Program, which the county launched in April, is funded mostly by a $3.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Pittsburgh no longer ‘financially distressed,’ according to state oversight team

Bob Bauder | Thursday, November 16, 2017, The Tribune Review

Pittsburgh’s state-appointed financial overseers Thursday recommended the city’s release from state-run fiscal oversight, marking what could be the beginning of the end for the city’s “financially distressed” status.

In a report released Thursday, coordinators appointed by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development said Pittsburgh has met all requirements to leave state supervision.

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Port Authority of Allegheny County hires CEO from Tampa-area transit agency

Theresa Clift | Wednesday, November 8, 2017, The Tribune Review

A search committee has selected a new Port Authority of Allegheny County CEO, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced Wednesday.

Katharine Eagan Kelleman, who will be the new CEO, was previously the CEO of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority in Tampa, Fla.

“The Port Authority is one of America’s bedrock transit systems, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to combine 21st century mobility with an excellent customer experience,” Kelleman said in a statement. “I’m incredibly excited to get to work.”

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Podcast – C&G’s “The Public Forum” on KQV 1410 – January 19, 2015

In case you missed it, here is the Podcast from our January 19, 2015 show.

Hosts were Rob Vescio and Nello Giorgetti and the guest was, Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive.

Our next show will air on Monday, February 16, 2015 at 7:00 PM.  The guest host will be Kim Hileman with guest Senator Wayne Fontana.  The topic will be Economic Development.

We hope you will join us!!!

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If you have questions please contact Michelle Vezzani at MVezzani@cohenlaw.com or the public affairs professional with whom you work.