As we close 2010 I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the faith that you have placed in me to be your city councilman. It is both an honor and a privilege to serve you in this capacity. I have spent the year learning the innermost workings of city government and how the work is accomplished, and I am pleased to provide you with a year end report documenting some of our service provided to you.
This year we made a concerted effort to immediately address the many day-to-day quality of life issues that often affect us all the most. It was a blistering start to 2010, punctuated by the winter blizzard that brought with it record snowfalls, the office busily responding to calls and following up with the Public Works Department to ensure streets were cleared.
Through this experience council recognized we needed to strengthen our ability to address snow removal in the future and have done so via our snow removal taskforce. With the thaw of spring and the coming of the summer months the focus shifted to addressing pothole repair requests, maintenance of vacant lots and overgrown weeds and other miscellaneous requests of day-to-day quality of life issues.
It was an interesting year for policy at city council. The first major piece of legislation I had the good fortune to support was the passing of the prevailing wage bill, which ensured that contractors who provide food and building services to the city pay their employees wages that match those of the private industry. Such issues of equity are ones that I will continue to support throughout my tenure in council.
Other legislative highlights included a redrafting of the appointment process for members of the Citizens Police Review Board to ensure and strengthen their independence and power, and legislation to address the issue of storm water volume reduction standards.
For the former, a flawed system had led to a minor controversy earlier this year when the terms for certain members of the board expired. Working in conjunction with other council members and the office of Mayor Ravenstahl, I successfully sponsored legislation that clarified the process and ensured the board’s integrity into the future.
For the latter, the provision of stricter standards to reduce storm water volume in projects subsidized by the city not only guarantees greater protection of the environment, but also ensures that Pittsburgh remains at the forefront of such initiatives on a national level. It is this focus on the future that will continue to highlight Pittsburgh as a city of reinvention, an attractive destination for its residency and prospective businesses.
As we enter into 2011 I hope to strengthen our ability to improve your lives via city services as well as work to improve your lives through development, issue advocacy and legislation. In pursuit of this path, I will be able to remain true to my pledge to make District 6 more attractive, safe and prosperous for everyone.
In closing, whether you observed Hanukah, celebrated Christmas or practiced the principals of Kwanza, I hope you had a happy and safe holiday season and have a healthy and prosperous New Year!