PITTSBURGH - Kevin Acklin, Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto’s chief of staff, announced his resignation Thursday morning, saying it was a very difficult decision, but he wants to spend more time with his children.
He became very emotional when he talked about his grandfather, a Pittsburgh firefighter.
“My grandfather was really my biggest influence. His helmet is over there on the shelf,” he said, fighting back tears. “My mother texted me during the meeting and said I would have made him proud.”
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Acklin cited financial and family reasons for leaving. He says he needs to devote more time to his three children – ages 12,11 and 6 – and save for college.
“I worked for the last four years alongside of 3,000 employees of the city to serve 300,000 residents of the city, and now it's time to work for three of my favorite residents: George, Teddy and Caroline,” he said.
Among Acklin’s accomplishments: pulling the city out of financial difficulty and facilitating a renaissance, balancing development with the needs of residents.
“Now we are on the cusp of growth, where people are coming here because of our universities, because of our investment, the innovation that we have here – not only in government, but business,” he said.
Acklin, who grew up in South Oakland, went to Pittsburgh Central Catholic and earned his law degree from Georgetown, says he doesn't have a job yet but will likely return to the legal profession. He will stay on as the chair of the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
Acklin also thanked his boss for the past four years.
“He cares about the city more than anybody I've ever met, and thank you, Mayor, for giving me this opportunity to serve Pittsburgh and make my family proud,” he said.
Peduto declined a request for an interview, saying it was Acklin's day.
In a city council meeting earlier Thursday, he praised Acklin's work and devotion to the city and said he will be sorely missed.
The mayor has not yet chosen a replacement.
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