Mayor Bill Peduto’s administration has disbanded the Redd Up crew that cleaned trash, boarded up abandoned buildings and beautified vacant lots for the past eight years.
Former Mayor Bob O’Conner called for a citywide cleanup before the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at PNC Park -- and ever since the team of eight city employees has been “redding up.”
“It's been around for so long, I feel bad,” said Judy O'Connor, 69, of Squirrel Hill, the mayor's widow. “I also know that you need changes, too.”
Peduto spokesman Tim McNulty said that work will now be handled by the city's six maintenance divisions. McNulty said no jobs will be lost.
McNulty said in an email that Peduto has great respect for the O'Connor family but believes the city can do a better job of cleanup through efforts supervised in divisions spread strategically across the city.
“Basically it goes back to the way things were before Redd Up was created,” McNulty wrote.
Kevin Quigley, a former assistant public works director who supervised the crew, lamented its loss. The Peduto administration terminated Quigley, 50, of Brighton Heights this year.
“They were the most professional hardworking guys that I've ever worked with,” he said. “Not only did they remove 850,000 tons of debris, boarded up over 5,000 houses and greened up somewhere around 80 blighted lots, they also did snow operations in the South Side Slopes, Mt. Washington and other places.”
Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.