The City-County building. (Photo by Kat Procyk/PublicSource).

When Pittsburgh and Allegheny County ‘piggyback’ on contracts, are taxpayers getting the best deal?

Piggybacking can save governments money and time by allowing them to bypass the sometimes protracted steps of negotiation and approvals. But, according to some critics, with fewer checks and balances built in, piggybacking contracts make it difficult to know if local governments are getting good deals and if they are being responsible stewards of taxpayer money. Critics also say the practice can open up governments to fraud.

In the wake of the shooting at Tree of Life, Pittsburgh City Council promises action on gun control. What is even feasible in Pennsylvania?

City Councilman Corey O’Connor said now is the time for Pittsburgh to take bold action on gun control, even if it means confronting lawsuits and the ire of a Republican-controlled state Legislature and powerful gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association. “We will fight this. Pittsburgh will take a stand,” O'Connor said, holding back tears at a council meeting three days after a heavily armed man killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue. “And we will get sued... You want to fight?