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Mayoral Candidates Address Police Chief Search, Plowing, Gun Violence At Debate

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Cooperation with City Council continues to be a hot button issue in the Pittsburgh mayoral race with Jack Wagner putting Bill Peduto on the defensive Thursday during a debate about not cooperating with some members of council.

"I've been down there 19 years. I don't remember a time when all nine got along together," said City Councilman Peduto. "We're going to have differences and that's going to happen."

"If you disengage with a council member, you are in essence saying, 'I am ignoring your constituent base,'" said Wagner, former auditor general.

KDKA's John Shumway Reports:

The candidates were asked by KDKA Radio listeners if the new police chief will come from within or from a national search.

"We've got to clean house, and the way that you do it is you open it up and you bring new people in," said Peduto.

Listen to the full debate here:

Democratic Debate

"I believe you do have to do a national search," said State Rep. Jake Wheatley.

"I will look first and foremost within the police bureau," Wagner said.

But there's agreement that paving and plowing needs to go transparent online.

"Be able to see live, real-time where the plow is, what direction it's going, and click on your street and see when the plow was there," Peduto said.

"So, it's a systematic way to identify when and where you're coming in, and not based on who you know," said Wheatley.

Also, everyone agrees the city must take a more concerted effort to stop gun violence.

"The mayor has to be a strong advocate of getting the guns off the street, first and foremost," said Wagner. "Secondly, the hot spots where we know there's serious drug activity in this city, we need to have a stronger, more directed focus in that neighborhood."

"No longer are people going to be overlooked, forgotten and forsaken, especially underneath an A.J. Richardson administration," said candidate A.J. Richardson.

Opening Statements:

Candidates On Parking:

Disparity Among Neighborhoods:

Candidate To Candidate:

Working with City Council:

Candidates On Crime:

Closing Arguments:

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