Doven Calls On County Council, County Executive to Initiate VisitPittsburgh, Sea Merger
Doven says public funding should be overseen by a true public entity.
(PITTSBURGH, PA) Apr. 14 Allegheny County Council Candidate Joanna Doven today weighed in on County Controller Corey O’Connor’s audit of VisitPittsburgh. VisitPittsburgh refused to disclose employees’ salary information, even though taxpayers fund their salaries, among other oddities for a taxpayer funded entity, including a sky-high office lease.
It’ time to get rid of the corruption, eliminate redundancy, and restore trust in local government,” said Doven, noting that the tourism entity is currently controlled by a board that barely includes leaders whose industries are greatly impacted by tourism, such as cultural, sports institutions and Downtown small businesses. Doven was a former VisitPittsburgh board member when she worked for the Mayor in 2010. She resigned in protest after learning that tourism funding was pulled from the Cleveland market in order to give bonuses to executives.
“I was appalled. At the time there was only one other board member who was willing to say something. I talked with the late Senator Ferlo, who shared my disgust,and anytime I could communicate about the lack of transparency, I would.”
One of Allegheny County Council’s key duties is to not only ensure transparency in how tax dollars are used for public good, but to ensure regional growth, economic development and vibrancy. Tourism is one of the region’s key economic drivers.
“I’m not only calling on county leaders to initiate an immediate merger so that we don’t waste one more taxpayer dollar. We need an immediate reset and that will only happen if leaders find a way to withhold their public funding now — this will initiate change fast.”