In a standing committee meeting today, Pittsburgh City Council voted to disapprove of the annexation by approving the ordinance that disapproves the petitions in Allegheny County courts case GD-21-014817. This all but ends the current annexation attempt. The final vote will occur next week but is expected to mirror this one.
Voting against the advancing ordinance from committee were council members Coghill and O’Connor.
The whole discussion runs around 45 minutes and you can watch it here.
WF is particularly proud of council member Kraus’s poignant remarks that start around 1:51:45.
Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining […] A development corp against the wishes of a duly elected body wishes to see this happen for one reason and one reason only: development. […] This is about land acquisition. This is about banks that will come into enormous sums of money once this annexation were to take place.
Following the vote was approval of an effort to study annexation, merger, and other similar laws to see how municipal annexation in the future would benefit Pittsburgh. Originally worded to include any municipality, it was amended before passage to be limited to only Wilkinsburg. Council approved a six month study.
This investigation seemingly commenced almost immediately in a pre-scheduled, post-agenda meeting wherein several analysts presented their initial reports. During his earlier remarks, council member Kraus rightfully criticized the speaker list for this meeting for its omission of any Wilkinsburg residents unrelated to the disgraced Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation or the Wilkinsburg School District.
Wilkinsburg SD has undertaken its own investigation in a resolution adopted in December 2021. School districts are permitted to merge independent of their municipalities by vote of each board and with state board of education approval. See WF FAQ for more information on that process.
TribLive quickly reported a number of municipalities weighed in city council’s municipal annexation study, including strong rebukes from the mayor of Penn Hills and Brentwood borough council and disinterest from Dormont borough.
Coverage from around Pittsburgh newsmedia:
- As Pittsburgh considers studying mergers, neighboring communities say they’re not interested, TribLIVE
- Pittsburgh City Council will vote down Wilkinsburg annexation, but it’s not over yet, WESA
- City Council will say ‘no’ to Pittsburgh’s annexation of Wilkinsburg — for now, Post-Gazette
- Pittsburgh Council rejecting Wilkinsburg annexation in 2022, opens door for 2023 vote – WTAE
- Pittsburgh council drops Wilkinsburg annexation, still exploring possibility for other areas – WPXI