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Pittsburgh Controller

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    Michael E. Lamb
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

What are your top three priorities for this office?

Every elected office has obstacles that make it hard to accomplish its mission and responsibilities. What obstacle do you plan to work to remove if elected?

What policy changes would you recommend to improve police accountability?

Last Name Lamb
First Name Michael
Middle Name E.
Age 57
Campaign Phone (412) 670-2747
Education Seton LaSalle High School; Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Penn State University; Masters in Public Management, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University; Juris Doctorate, Duquesne University School of Law; Graduate, The Local Government Academy.
Qualifications for office As City Controller, Michael Lamb has been an independent voice of reason on Grant Street, focused on making Pittsburgh government more transparent and accountable to taxpayers.He has worked to make the Controller’s Office more effective and the City more efficient. Audits by the City Controller’s Office under Lamb have exposed waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars in many City departments and authorities, and pushed City departments and authorities to improve the way they serve and interact with taxpayers.
Facebook Michael Lamb
District City of Pittsburgh
My first priority is always to protect city tax dollars from waste, fraud and abuse. We do this by auditing all city spending and reviewing the performance of all city departments and authorities. Second is my goal to bring transparency to city government and its finances.Through a number of initiatives including Open Book Pittsburgh, Fiscal Focus Pittsburgh, and the Popular Annual Financial Report, we go beyond providing information to actually engaging the citizenry in the issues of the city. Third is to continue as an independent voice, working to make the city more efficient and effective.
Our two biggest obstacles are limited resources and retaining talent. During the years of the city's distressed financial status the Controller's Office was forced to make drastic budget cuts. We had to redirect resources to our most core functions while staff salaries were frozen. The result has been to lessen the scope of some audits, to limit our review of spending and to make salaries less competitive as compared to other sectors. We are addressing this through new technology,improved working conditions and wider opportunities for employee training, education and promotion.
Awareness and communication play a big part in police accountability. Officers need an understanding of backgrounds of people and the cultural differences that can exist across communities. Also, it can be difficult for an officer, who has been trained in a very direct line of communication, to participate in a more casual give and take with citizens. In the city this is beginning to be addressed through better training but we need to ensure that this training also occurs beyond the city line.