(Pittsburgh) November 13, 2018 “The end of the competition for Amazon’s HQ2 should also mark the end of the secrecy surrounding the Pittsburgh region’s bid, which should be released immediately. The City and County have resisted multiple administrative and court rulings ordering the release of their proposal, claiming that compliance with Pennsylvania’s Right to Know law would imperil Pittsburgh’s bid. With even this highly questionable justification for skirting the law now moot, it is time for our residents to know what our elected leaders were willing to promise the world’s wealthiest man.
“It has been stated repeatedly that, succeed or fail, the Amazon bid would represent a blueprint for future efforts to attract development. If this is true, then our citizens deserve the chance to begin to digest the promises made in their name, and decide if they desire for them to be replicated. What cannot be repeated is the more than a year of secrecy and lack of disclosure of a proposal that would have transformed our region in many ways. This approach has since been deemed unacceptable by the state agency responsible for interpretation of the Right to Know law and by a judge, as it was developed in large part by public employees, and included commitments of taxpayer resources from our highest elected leaders.
“Now that this episode of the Amazon game show is over, it is time to recommit to government transparency, the letter and spirit of the law, and the basic concept that the citizens should have input into the actions of their governments.”