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City Controller Michael Lamb: Running for Reelection in 2019

Michael E. Lamb was elected Controller of the City of Pittsburgh in November 2007, and took office on January 7, 2008. In February 2019, Lamb announced that he would run for reelection to a fourth term. He has been endorsed by the City of Pittsburgh Democratic Committee and the Allegheny County Labor Council, and is running unopposed in the May 2019 Democratic primary.

 

An Independent Voice for Taxpayers

As Controller, Michael Lamb has been an independent voice of reason on Grant Street, focused on making Pittsburgh government more transparent and accountable to taxpayers. In April 2019, Lamb launched the newly upgraded Fiscal Focus Pittsburgh website, which gives taxpayers unprecedented access to information about the City’s budget operations. Lamb also created Open Book Pittsburgh, a website that allows citizens to search and view all City contracts, as well as all campaign contributions and expenses of all candidates running for office in the City of Pittsburgh.  Lamb also released Pittsburgh’s first Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR), a user-friendly version of the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) that gives taxpayers a clear, accessible picture of the state of Pittsburgh’s finances and information on Pittsburgh’s demographics and government.

Making Government More Efficient

Michael Lamb 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.  Working with officials from neighboring municipalities, Michael was instrumental in the creation of CONNECT, The Congress of Neighboring Communities, which helps Pittsburgh and surrounding communities save taxpayer money and deliver services more efficiently.

Leading the Fight Against Privatization

Lamb led the fight against various privatization proposals in the City, most recently related to the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA). Audits conducted by the Controller’s Office have led to significant improvements to make the Authority more effective and efficient and more responsive to customers. Despite calls to allow private companies to take over the Authority, Lamb has focused on working with and improving the PWSA, arguing that privatization will inevitably lead to price increases and service cuts. Lamb also successfully led the fight against privatization of the City’s Parking Authority, offering an alternative plan to divert parking tax revenue into the City’s Pension fund, creating a dedicated revenue source that is now improving Pittsburgh’s finances instead of lining the pockets of Wall Street investors. Lamb points to the success of that plan, and the subsequent upgrades to the City’s bond rating, as proof that it’s in taxpayers’ best interests to keep public assets public. 

Reformer Who Puts Taxpayers First

An aggressive political organizer, Michael Lamb has managed successful political campaigns in Allegheny County and in the City of Pittsburgh, including the Allegheny 2000 Citizens Committee, which advocated for the County Home Rule Charter. As the County Prothonotary from 2000-2007, Lamb put taxpayers’ interests before his own and was an outspoken supporter of row office consolidation, even advocating for the elimination of the Prothonotary’s Office, his own elected position.  In 2005, the citizens of Allegheny County voted to consolidate the County’s row offices, and Lamb became the last Prothonotary of Allegheny County.

Active in Our Communities

In addition to being City Controller, Michael Lamb is active in the community. Lamb serves on the boards of the Kane Foundation, the Catholic Youth Association, the Downtown Pittsburgh YMCA and the 3 Rivers Wet Weather Demonstration Project. He is a member of the Mount Washington – Duquesne Heights Community Development Corporation, and the Board of Fellows of the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics.  Lamb was also the founding co-chair of A Plus Schools, the community alliance for Pittsburgh Public education.

Born, Raised, and Educated in Pittsburgh

Michael Lamb is an attorney admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He received his Juris Doctorate from the Duquesne University School of Law, his Master’s Degree from Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz School of Public Policy and his Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University. Lamb is also a graduate of the Local Government Academy.

A lifelong resident of Allegheny County, Michael Lamb was raised in the Beechview neighborhood of Pittsburgh where he attended St. Catherine’s School. He then went on to South Hills Catholic and Seton LaSalle High School. Lamb resides in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Pittsburgh with his wife Jill.