PWSA employees concerned about leadership; mayor's chief of staff responds

Sources inside the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority indicated on Friday that some supervisors aren't happy with the mayor's decision to extend acting PWSA director Col. Bernard Lindstrom's contract.

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Mayor Bill Peduto's chief of staff, Kevin Acklin, met with PWSA supervisors on Friday. After the meeting, Acklin defended the decision to keep Lindstrom.

"We think he has excellent skills in terms of organization management, and we think again at this time, this critical time in this authority's history, that continuity is important," Acklin said.

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Last week, three board members resigned, citing time demands. In light of those resignations and ongoing efforts to restructure the PWSA, Acklin met with employees to calm fears and search for solutions.

"We are going to make sure we do the right thing to build the water authority," Acklin said.

While the authority has been plagued with problems, Acklin said the criticism leveled at the mayor and PWSA is unfair.

"Politicians and candidates are going to take advantage of crises for their own political gain. That's not what we are here to do today. We are here to resolve this situation, to make sure that the residents of the city know that we are not asleep at the switch," Acklin said.

Acklin said the mayor's Blue Ribbon Panel is studying ways to improve the authority and will meet for the first time next Friday. He said the mayor hopes to have three new board members in place by next week.

Stay with Channel 11 News and WPXI.com for continuing coverage.

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