Archive

ShareThis Page
Legislators agree to help in mediating Pittsburgh dispute with ICA | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Legislators agree to help in mediating Pittsburgh dispute with ICA

A state-appointed board that oversees Pittsburgh finances is seeking a bipartisan panel of Pittsburgh-area legislators to help mediate a long-running dispute with the city, two of the lawmakers said Thursday.

Democratic state Rep. Dom Costa of Stanton Heights and Republican Sen. Randy Vulakovich of Shaler said they agreed along with Rep. Harry Readshaw, a Carrick Democrat, to step in if necessary.

“The three of us have been approached, and the three of us agreed to do it if needed, but this is a little premature at this point,” Vulakovich said. “There’s nothing formal about this yet.”

Mayor Bill Peduto’s administration and the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority have been at odds for months over state gambling tax revenue the ICA is withholding from the city.

Tim McNulty, Peduto’s spokesman, said city officials are willing to meet with the legislators, a sentiment ICA Chairman Nick Varischetti echoed in an emailed statement.

“The ICA welcomes the input of the members of the legislature,” Varischetti said.

Pittsburgh has sued the ICA, which has legal authority over city budgets, seeking the release of $12.8 million in gambling money.

The ICA, which has legal control of the money, won’t release it until the city implements a payroll system, scheduled to go live in January, and complies with other financial demands.

On Wednesday, the ICA board rescinded its approval of Pittsburgh’s 2015 budget and rejected Peduto’s 2016 budget proposal.

Pittsburgh officials say the ICA is illegally withholding city money and contend Wednesday’s board meeting was illegal because, with only two members, there aren’t enough to form a quorum.

The ICA board said it had the legally required numbers.

“The ICA is a board that was lawfully put in and whatever is going on there, the city suing them or them suing the city, is not good,” said Costa, a former city police chief. “I was a hostage negotiator for years, and think I have the skills and know-how to help.”

Readshaw could not be reached for comment.

Vulakovich and Costa said they would try to determine where the sides agree and disagree in an attempt to find middle ground.

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or bbauder@tribweb.com.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.