This story was originally published by PublicSource, a news partner of NEXTpittsburgh. PublicSource is a nonprofit media organization delivering local journalism at publicsource.org. You can sign up for their newsletters at publicsource.org/newsletters.

By

A little more than a year ago, then-Mayor Bill Peduto announced what he hoped would be a triumphant milestone in his years-long quest to get tax-exempt nonprofits to contribute more to the city. The OnePGH Fund would be the financial solution Pittsburgh had been waiting for.

The future of OnePGH was thrown into doubt when Ed Gainey defeated Peduto last May and became mayor this year. But the new administration may not scrap the project entirely: Gainey has appointed two high-profile administration officials, Deputy Chief of Staff Felicity Williams and City Planning Director Karen Abrams, to its board while he simultaneously negotiates with major nonprofits.

“We’re in a ‘to be determined,’” said Grant Ervin, OnePGH’s board president and a former city planning resilience officer under Peduto. “The tool and the organization is there for [the Gainey administration’s] utilization. It’s incumbent on the mayor and his team to set the course on how to utilize it and what those priorities are.”

Deputy Mayor Jake Pawlak told PublicSource that the administration is looking at ways to use the nonprofit and that it will continue to exist, but they do not intend to use it as a conduit for major funding from the likes of UPMC and other large nonprofits.

“We are figuring out the right way to situate it in the city’s toolbox for seeking outside funding,” Pawlak said. “It’s fair to say we have a more limited view of that than the previous administration.”