As the County’s top fiscal officer, Controller Chelsa Wagner leads the fight against inefficient and inequitable spending, working to root out fraud, waste and abuse in County government. Chelsa brings a fresh, outside perspective focused on making County government more transparent and accountable to taxpayers. Chelsa ensures the Controller’s office is a direct, effective advocate for Allegheny County, this region, and most importantly, the taxpayers.
Chelsa’s priorities have included implementing the City of Pittsburgh’s integration into the County’s financial management system, a merger which will save the City millions while bringing revenue to the County and opening doors to further cooperative ventures with other local government entities; launching a comprehensive examination of the county’s controversial property reassessments, including reviewing contracts with Tyler Technologies, Inc.; improving invoice payment processes to ensure payments are made efficiently and in compliance with contracts; and beginning technology advancements which will greatly increase the transparency of County government, including posting all contracts online.
While representing southern and western neighborhoods of the City of Pittsburgh and South Hills suburban communities in the state House of Representatives from 2006 through 2011, Chelsa served on the Education, Transportation and Urban Affairs committees, and as Secretary and Vice Chair of the Allegheny County Democratic Delegation. She led the fight to stop the closings of neighborhood library branches in Pittsburgh and throughout Allegheny County, and to devote gaming revenues to strengthening the library system. She has been an innovative leader in the area of collaboration between communities, initiating efforts for planning along the ‘T’ light rail line and the Route 51 corridor. She fought consistently for Allegheny County’s legislative priorities and budgetary needs, and has always advocated for the entire region, beyond just the borders of her district.
Chelsa was raised in the South Pittsburgh neighborhood of Beechview and now resides in the city’s North Point Breeze neighborhood with her husband and their two sons. She graduated from Seton-LaSalle High School and went on to earn a degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. After college, Chelsa took her passion for policy and became a Business Analyst for a large private corporation, working to reform large state and municipal governments across the country. She returned home to attend law school at the University of Pittsburgh. She worked as an attorney in private practice until 2006, when she was elected to the legislature.