Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Meteoric Rise of Patrick Ford

So Pat Ford gets named URA Director, and Alecia Sirk gets tapped for Press Secretary. (P-G, Rich Lord)

The latter is a great move. Obsessive readers of the Burr Reporr will surely recall Sirk's chipper, blog-savvy approach toward defusing the URA / Streetface / Edelstein uproar.

In a follow-up comment, Sirk made a point of noting this:

mr. ford (my first husband, if anyone is keeping score) wanted me to note for y'all that he is not the mayor's chief advisor, but instead the mayor's advisor on economic development issues.

Pshaw, there's no call for modesty!

2002-2004: Zoning adminisator
February '06: appointed City Planning Director
November '06: appointed Director of Community & Econ. Development
Sometime around then: appointed to Southwestern PA Commission
June '07: moonlights for Law Deptartment, misleads Planning Commission
September '07: appointed URA Director

Considering our Mayor's very short tenure, the rapid ascension of Pat Ford should offer an excellent window into both Ravenstahl's policy preferences and personal administrative style. We also think it merits exploration of what the Ford Doctrine is all about.

This is about all we've been able to find:

"Together we will create an environment that is conducive to development," Ford said in a statement. "I will challenge city staff at all levels to be more accountable in assuming responsibility for their jobs and to improve customer service in their interactions with residents and businesses." (PBT, Tim Schooley)

Pretty boilerplate, so far.


  1. What kind of background does Pat Ford have in economic development?

    How do you go from a zoning administrator in Florida to the leader of economic development/legal advisor of a major American city in less than three years?

    In addition, his connection to Wylie Holdings is unsettling.

    I think I'd be more comfortable with the Hill district ministers in charge of economic development.

  2. or Urban Redevelopment - the title doesn't have much meaning anyways.

  3. It is easy to be a shooting star and look great in a sea of .... uncertainty.

    Pat Ford is a breath of fresh air to people on Grant Street because he is on Grant Street with those people.

  4. I'm in favor of the move - Pat Ford is definitely a change from the normal path towards authority "leadership".

    The city needs his kind of private and public sector experience, and the fact that he comes with a perspective formed outside of pittsburgh should be a welcomed change.

  5. thank you, bram, for the kind words! it's always a balance to know when to jump in or let it slide, so i guess, once, i chose wisely.

    and now i'm jumping in again... but then how could i miss this chance?

    behind the gold-rimmed glasses, pat ford has quite a brain for development. he holds an undergrad and masters in urban planning from uva and worked for roughly 15 years in the private sector.

    during that time he was a vp for an architecture and engineering firm in baltimore, facilitating and authoring comp plans for cities in a number of states.

    i actually met him as a journalist when i was covering a public hearing and he was the speaker!

    true that his rise my seem like a shot, but pat has put in many a long hour working his way up the ranks. but it's cool that you noticed him - he looooved the headline on the post!

  6. What is his connection to Wylie Holdings?

  7. let's see. back when he was zoning administrator he met joe from wylie and they became good friends.

    when we moved back from florida, we lived for 9 or so months in a wylie apt., which you all know, and yes, we signed a lease and paid rent.

    other than that, he has dinner with joe occasionally, as do i. he's been a tremendous friend to us - the kind of guy who still calls you after you leave town - and that's about as complicated as it gets!

  8. Reading the Post-Gazette article, titled "Brash Changes In Style For URA", Mr. Ford states quite frankly that he and Mr. Edelstein are "best friends" but then denied knowing anything about Edelstein's criminal past....not his 2 years of incarceration...never saw the articles and the news reports cracking up over how he tried to get out of his prison term because his wife was having fertility problems and the district attorney stating that he need not be present for his wife to get pregnant(that was a good one!)....convenient. Did they miss the Team 4 Investigation in May too??? Do they watch the news or read the paper?? I would think that when a Team 4 investigation shows that Edelstein has more URA loans than anyone else, provided fake bids, and cannot tell where the money went that Ford, Sirk and Luke the Fluke would have at least in this day and age Googled this creep at some time. And that was back in May!!! Ford was appointed in September if I am correct. But no there is Ford big horse's ass smile on his face defending his relationship with this man and laughing at us all! By they way, Alecia, smartest think Luke the Fluke did was to shut down your blog! You are beyond smart mouthed, using launguage in your blog and on others that not at all proper let alone professional, cannot imagine what you are like in person...don't think I would be at all impressed by your husband either. Don't care what your backround is, neither of you smell like a breath of fresh anything!