After 34 years, Allegheny Co. borough exits Act 47 protection | Five for the Weekend

‘This fiscal independence just proves that when you stay focused, committed and work together — all things are possible,” Rankin Borough Council President William H. Price III said

By: - May 27, 2023 6:38 am
The Rankin Bridge (Photo by Rankinbr/WikiMedia Commons/Public Domain).

The Rankin Bridge (Photo by Rankinbr/WikiMedia Commons/Public Domain).

While Pennsylvanians gather with friends, family and loved ones this weekend to honor the Memorial Day holiday, the residents of Rankin Borough, a tiny community just outside Pittsburgh, will have an extra reason for gratitude.

After 34 years, Rankin exited Act 47 protection, the state’s regime for financially distressed municipalities, the Shapiro administration said this week.

The community of just 1,864 people is the 23rd Pennsylvania municipality to recover from distressed status, the administration said.

The administration announced the news on Wednesday, as state, county, and local officials joined to mark the occasion.

“Rankin Borough’s celebration of exiting Act 47 has been a labor of love for our community,” Borough Council President William H. Price III said in a statement. “I commend the current and past council members, mayors, and our staff and residents. Their commitment and persistence to stay on course to reach this moment is a wonderful reflection of each and every one of us. This fiscal independence just proves that when you stay focused, committed and work together — all things are possible. This is the beginning of endless possibilities for Rankin.”

The state green-lighted the borough’s exit from protectorship due to its “ability to effectively utilize the tools offered through the program to significantly improve its financial position and management infrastructure since entering Act 47,” the administration said in a statement.

State Department of Community & Economic Development Secretary Rick Siger, who signed the paperwork making the exit official, congratulated local officials for their efforts.

“Today is truly a day to celebrate Rankin Borough and congratulate all of those who worked together to put it on sound financial footing,” Siger said. “It’s been 34 years since Rankin Borough entered Act 47, and I’d like to acknowledge the local officials, community leaders, businesses, and the residents of Rankin Borough for working together to make this day a reality. DCED is committed to working with its people and businesses to ensure Rankin prospers in the years to come.”

As a part of this proposed $44.4 billion budget for the new fiscal year that starts July 1, Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro called for a $1.25 million increase in funding to help local governments to avoid financial distress and Act 47 status.

“The commitment my community has made to allow us to reach this point of being able to exit out of Act 47 is very commendable,” borough Mayor Joelisa McDonald said. “It speaks volumes to not only where we are headed, but also how far we have come. It is monumental for places like Rankin to be in a position full of hope and possibilities all while being fiscally responsible. We owe it to our future generations to keep the momentum going.”

As always, your top 5 most-read stories of the week start below.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images/The Minnesota Reformer).

1. Through a visitor’s eyes: What you say when you fly confederate colors in Pa. | Charles D. Allen

This year marks my twentieth as a member of the U.S. Army War College faculty and resident of the greater Carlisle community.

Each year we receive a new cohort of War College officer-students attending the resident education program. They come from diverse backgrounds and locations from across the nation.

In addition, we have about 80 International Fellows from more than 70 countries.

TRUCK PA ART
(Getty Images)

2. Pa. House bill would give commercial drivers with disqualifying convictions a second chance

Pennsylvanians who are permanently banned from holding a commercial driver’s license because of a drunk driving conviction or other offenses would have a second chance under a bill before the state House.

The legislation, which was voted out of the House Transportation Committee on Monday, would allow people with lifetime suspensions of their commercial driver’s licenses to apply to have them reinstated after 10 years, subject to several conditions.

State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, House Bill 1092’s prime sponsor, said she was contacted by a constituent who lost his CDL 25 years ago and wanted to return to truck driving.

“Over the years, he’s done nothing but good work. He’s been helpful and useful in the community. He has had to switch careers but driving was always the one thing he wanted to do,” Hill-Evans told the Capital-Star.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for his arraignment at Manhattan Criminal Court on April 04, 2023 in New York City. With the indictment, Trump becomes the first former U.S. president in history to be charged with a criminal offense. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

3. If the GOP won’t do it, Democrats will have to block Trump’s nomination for them | Bruce Ledewitz

Democrats may have to act radically to deny Donald Trump the 2024 Republican nomination. We cannot rely on Republicans to do it. They do not understand the stakes involved.

Take the case of Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett.

Barnett is America’s leading constitutional conservative. He is the originalist’s originalist.

It was Barnett who almost convinced the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 that Obamacare was unconstitutional.

Barnett is now campaigning against Trump.

That is the good news.

Democratic Allegheny county executive nominee Sara Innamorato (center) with Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey and U.S. Rep. Summer Lee, D-12th District, on Tuesday, May 16. 2023 (Photo courtesy of the Innamorato Campaign).

4. In W. Pa., a progressive wave washed away the competition. How they did it and what it means

On Tuesday, Sara Innamorato continued her streak of victories, winning the Democratic primary for Allegheny County Executive.

The 37-year-old, three-time state representative from the city’s Lawrenceville neighborhood beat Democratic Party stalwarts John Weinstein, Allegheny County’s treasurer since 1999, and Michael Lamb, Pittsburgh city controller since 2008, according to unofficial tallies.

“We knew we had a path to victory, but I didn’t get into this because I wanted to be a politician,” Innamorato told an audience at her victory party on Tuesday. “I always wanted to just be in it to serve my community.”

The people powered her campaign, Innamorato said.

“Government is a reflection of us, is a reflection of our identity, our values, our priorities, our worlds. And if we do not see that reflected back to us it’s our duty to change that.”

GOV Lead Map 2022
2022 Gubernatorial Results. Key: Navy – 65%+ Shapiro, Blue 60-64.9%, Royal Blue 55%-59.9%, Dodger Blue 50%-54.9%, Light Sky Blue <50%. Light Salmon <50% Mastriano, Coral 50%-54.9%, Orange Red 55%-59.9%, Red 60%-64.9%, Maroon 65%+. Ties are yellow (Map by Nick Field/Dave’s Redistricting).

5. Inside Josh Shapiro’s 2022 landslide — and what it means for 2024 | Analysis

In one of the most closely watched campaigns in America, Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro recorded one of the most impressive victories of the entire 2022 midterm cycle.

The Capital-Star set out to examine just how he did it and what this all means for the future of Pennsylvania politics. While last year’s Gubernatorial contest was thoroughly covered at the time, I feel that the most comprehensive review can only be done in retrospect.

So let’s take just such a reflective view of this race, from the very beginnings of the campaign right down to the final precinct-level results, and see what we find.

And that’s it for this week. See you all back here on Monday.

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