Mayor Gainey’s transition team makes sweeping set of recommendations to implement ‘city for all’

Mayor Ed Gainey officially brought an end to his transition to office today. His four transition committees officially handed him 120 pages of detailed recommendations.

Now comes the hard part.

“And that’s why this report is the beginning and not the end,” Gainey said at a press conference Thursday. “It’s a report that we want to make the living document of beginning to transition this city and to the city we all want to see.

The recommendations include everything from a plan for picking up more litter to improving community and police relationships. Gainey highlighted how diverse his transition team was, and many of the recommendations target low-income and minority residents.

The recommendations are some of the first hints at how the new mayoral administration is going to start implementing his campaign priorities. One of the committees recommended creating 1,000 units of affordable housing per year for the next 10 years. Gainey reiterated his campaign promise to make this a “city for all.”

“We’ll do it through increasing affordable housing because we understand how important that is to stabilize our neighborhoods, to make sure that everybody has quality living, affordable housing so that they want to stay,” he said.

Oliver Morrison


90.5 WESA

Mayor Ed Gainey waiting to formally receive his transition team’s recommendations.

To pay for this, his transition committee recommended increasing the amount of money the city spends on affordable housing from $10 million to more than $50 million per year by diverting revenue from taxes on home sales. The committee also recommended borrowing $100 million to create affordable housing even faster.

“I’m definitely in agreement with the goal,” said Michael Lamb, the city’s controller. “I’m concerned about how they fill the gap. If they are going to take $40 million out of the budget, how are they going to fill that gap? That’s my concern.”

Christine Mondor, the co-chair of the committee for infrastructure and the environment, said her committee heard a lot of complaints about litter and sidewalks. In response, one of the committee’s recommendations is that the city should close 90% of the sidewalk gaps in the city by 2030. Her committee’s recommendations are both broad and specific, including ideas for cleaning the air and drinking water and expanding the city’s bike-share fleet to 3,000 bicycles.

“There are things that the mayor can do tomorrow,” she said. “And then there are things that are going to take years, maybe beyond this term.”

The mayor answered multiple questions about how he was going to address increasing gun violence in the city on Thursday, including whether or not there had been shots fired near his own home. Gainey said only that the shots were not fired at his home.

The mayor says he hasn’t read all of the recommendations yet. And his spokesperson says there isn’t currently a deadline for when the community can expect implementation. But some of the recommendations, she says, could happen in his first term.

The transition committees made recommendations, according to a city spokesperson, but the mayor’s office then employed a consultant to select only those recommendations that are within the mayor’s legal ability to change.

“Of course, you can’t do everything at one time,” Mondor said. “So there will be some prioritization. And then beginning to put it into action will fall to the agencies and authorities and the mayor’s office.”

The full report can be read on the mayor’s transition website here.

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