Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today presented to the people of Pittsburgh a 2007 budget that is structurally balanced, with tax cuts and a projected healthy $57 million fund balance, the “rainy day fund” on revenues of $425 million and expenditures of $420 million. The budget was presented in council chambers.
Mayor Ravenstahl said “The budget I present today continues our dedication to fiscal prudence, allowing us to meet our on-going financial obligations while delivering the high-quality services Pittsburghers deserve.”
Mayor Ravenstahl outlined his agenda in three critical areas; honoring the O’Connor commitment to safe and clean neighborhoods, creating a 21st century government, and investing in Pittsburgh’s future.
“We have increased our investment in safe and clean neighborhoods,” said Ravenstahl. We will work to increase our police force to a responsible and optimal 900 police officers, and invest over $7 million in vehicles, primarily public safety and public works vehicles that serve our neighborhoods 24/7. The budget also includes $2 million for building demolition, which will improve our efforts to raze about 425 structures next year.”
“The Public Works budget includes $500,000 to double my commitment to the Redd Up program, which will allow us touch every neighborhood of the City. The additional resources will enable the crews to remove over 12,000 tons of trash from our neighborhoods, clear and secure over 1,000 vacant and abandoned properties, and remove up to 5,000 graffiti incidents.”
“We will also provide $200,000 to reinstate the Rodent Control team, a service that has been unfunded, and greatly missed, over the past few years.”
“Second, this budget reflects my efforts to create a new, 21st Century government by investing in cutting edge technology and management tools. Establishing a vibrant City requires a government that is run efficiently and effectively. A government that is more accountable and transparent. As a result, this budget includes increased investment in technology and a number of key management initiatives, including the following:
Over $1.5 million for automation and information technology, including $200,000 to begin improvements for the code enforcement and permitting functions.
“This budget breaks new ground in the fight for fiscal responsibility, transparency and accountability. It establishes a new bar by which to evaluate not only the cost of City government, but - equally important - the quality of the services we deliver. Managing Pittsburgh effectively is not only a matter of dollars and cents- what government costs. It’s also about what you, the taxpayer, get for your money.”
“My 2007 budget includes significant initiatives that will not only continue to maintain fiscal stability, but also reinvest in our City, our neighborhoods, our Pittsburgh cannot simply be about the business of managing decline.”
“Over the last four years, Pittsburgh couldn't see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Today we see a light burning brightly at the end of that tunnel. Pittsburgh’s future is bright and we are headed in the right direction.”
“Our goal now is to continue to improve. To innovate. To do more with less. To become better at what we do. To approach the business of governing in a new way by providing accountability and transparency to its citizens. To build a Pittsburgh that in the end is better than we found it. That’s my mission. I ask you to join me. With this budget as our foundation, together we can build Pittsburgh’s future - today. Thank you all and God bless Pittsburgh.”
Monday, November 13, 2006
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Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687