An innovation center? Allegheny County Courthouse/PG photo
Here's the latest on the latest Raja press conference in his county exec bid versus Rich Fitgerald:
Republican executive candidate D. Raja announced plans today to form an Allegheny County "Department of Innovation," which would plumb employees, businesses and residents for ideas on improving government services and budgeting.
The idea is the latest policy proposal from the tech company president from Mt. Lebanon to mesh private sector ideas with government practices, following previous papers on job creation and modernization.
Mr. Raja -- who announced his plans today in an event at Carnegie-Mellon University's business incubator Project Olympus -- said the innovation department would take ideas for improving government, test them and if they seem promising implement them countywide. He said the department would improve morale among employees and relations with county residents and businesses.
In related plans, he said he would seek continued support of local and university-related start-up firms from state and county resources, with a special emphasis on firms seeking to build on Marcellus Shale exploration.
UPDATE: Fitzgerald campaign manager responds:
D. Raja’s latest “plan” is yet another example that his rhetoric doesn’t match reality. In fact his “plan” is not even much of a plan as it says it will create a new “Department of Innovation”, but when pressed by the media, Raja could not even say how many employees would work in the department or how much it would cost.
“Raja’s latest innovation is to develop ‘plan’ after ‘plan’ that contains no specifics and are designed to gloss over his failed record as a Mt. Lebanon Commissioner,” Rich Fitzgerald’s campaign manager Mike Mikus said. “When he ran for Commissioner, Raja promised to cut property taxes by 20 percent but never even introduced a proposal to match his campaign rhetoric. Now he is running for County Executive and his big proposal is to create a brand new department to oversee the county’s suggestion box.”