Pittsburgh City Council is going on its annual August vacation recess, so even though it gave final approval today to a referendum on amending the city charter to permanently ban shale drilling, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl could still put the plan on ice.
He has opposed council on its anti-drilling measures before and could drag out a veto of the referendum, keeping council from getting the ballot question to the elections department. From Joe Smydo:
Mr. Ravenstahl has 10 days, beginning tomorrow, to act.
But if he waits the full 10 days, council members said, they won't get the referendum to the Allegheny County elections office in time to be on the November ballot. Council members said legislation authorizing the referendum must be at the elections office Aug. 9, eight days from today.
A veto override isn't a sure thing either -- the referendum bill passed with the bare six votes needed to override the mayor.