Editorial: Top priorities for next Allegheny County executive

Editorial: Top priorities for next Allegheny County executive

The race for Allegheny County Executive is still very open with only a few more days until the primary on May 16. Six candidates are running for the Democratic ticket, and one is running for the Republican ticket.

Rich Fitzgerald will be replaced by whoever wins the general election in November. Rich Fitzgerald is known for his work ethic, business-friendly approach and strong work ethic.

As the primary draws near, we do not endorse any candidates. However, there are certain issues that we hope the new county executive will prioritize.

The first step is to work closely with Mayor Ed Gainey and the City of Pittsburgh. Since the city is at the heart of the county, the two governments must work together on topics such as public health, economic growth, and others. They must work together to find ways to encourage more businesses to move into the Central Business District, and to streamline other processes.

It is also important to develop a plan for revitalizing downtown to prepare the area for a time when there won't be as many workers as before.

The county executive should also work hard to stop the brain drain in our county and surrounding region. The U.S. Census Bureau's most recent estimates of population for 2022 revealed that Allegheny County has seen its population decline by over 12,000 people from 2021-2022 and more than 16,000. Only 13 of the 50 largest counties in the U.S. experienced a faster decline in population since 2020.

We need to hire more people to compete with other markets. If we are to thrive, grow, and attract new business, we will also need to create more jobs.

To reverse this trend, the incoming administration will need to be innovative and creative in working with stakeholders across the region.

The new county executive must also work with the business community. Speak to them, listen to their concerns and find out how public-private partnerships could help the region.