The unique incompetence of Luke Ravenstahl

The winter storm hit nearly a week ago, and Pittsburgh still has yet to clear the roads. It’s not as though it can’t be done. The surrounding municipalities, at least in the east, managed to clear the roads promptly. Wilkins Township, where I live, is not particularly well run, but it had the roads cleared the day after the storm. Even Wilkinsburg (a poor suburb) has managed to clear its major roads. But not Pittsburgh.

Why is Pittsburgh unable to accomplish what nearly everyone else in the area can accomplish? Bad management can muddle along in normal times; it’s during a crisis that the quality of leadership is tested. We see now how bad that leadership is.

Luke Ravenstahl has been mayor since 2006, and was on the city council for three years before that. He has created a city administration that is unable to perform its basic functions in a crisis situation. Then, on the eve of the storm — a storm that everyone knew was coming — he left town to celebrate his birthday at a ski resort.

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