Friday, May 20, 2022

Local media has reported that City of Pittsburgh leaders have hired a consultant to review prospective opportunities to merge with neighboring communities. While Brentwood Borough is aware of the acrimony that has surrounded a proposal to incorporate Wilkinsburg Borough into Pittsburgh, our officials did not have prior knowledge of the city's plans to allocate public funds toward efforts to expand its boundaries via the absorption of municipalities that have no desire to lose their identity. Borough Council is of the position that, if it is asked to contribute to this study, it will decline to participate. Brentwood Borough is financially viable and has the capacity to provide its residents with high quality services, and a merger would produce no benefits to our residents or business owners. Residents can rest assured that, while Pittsburgh officials are free to engage in this review, its results will have no impact on Brentwood, as consolidation cannot transpire without resident consent. Unlike in certain Southern or Western states, under Pennsylvania law, a city cannot simply petition the courts or the legislature for the rights to annex land. Rather, a merger could only occur if a referendum in support of such action received the approval of a majority of Brentwood voters. While Brentwood is willing to engage with other communities and organizations to consider options for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of our outputs (such as through our participation in a joint purchasing agreement and a multi-municipal refuse collection contract, both of which are managed by the South Hills Area Council of Governments), our primary duty remains to independently provide professional, locally-oriented services to our residents.