Give Mayor Peduto credit and room to lead on Amazon

February 28, 2018
By: Charles Lamberton

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette has unfairly and naively criticized Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto for his efforts to persuade Amazon to locate its second headquarters in the Steel City. His plan is too secretive, the newspaper says, as though business negotiations of this kind are conducted publicly. They aren’t. Preliminary plans and negotiations are always confidential, and yes, that’s true even when one of the parties is a public entity. Even the Post Gazette must acknowledge that the Peduto Administration is one of the most open and transparent in the Country. Spend 10 minutes on the City’s website and you will find a trove of information ready for any curious resident to download and read. Want to see who testified on such and such date before City Council? You can because the City posts videos of Council meetings. Want to see every last line item in the City’s budget? You can download that information with the click of a mouse. Bill Peduto, his staff and other community leaders should be praised for making a proposal that edged out the majority of other competitors and secured Pittsburgh a spot on Amazon’s list of 20 finalists. If Amazon chooses Pittsburgh, it will become the City’s second largest employer, and will bring with it a diverse, skilled, well paid and youthful workforce, making an instant impact and propelling Pittsburgh forward as it continues to evolve into one of the most sophisticated tech centers in the world. And the only reason Amazon is even looking at Pittsburgh is because of the foresight and hard work of leaders like Bill Peduto. The PPG need not thank him, but its criticism of him is profoundly misplaced.