Just over a month after he fired 11 high level City administrators and immediately following a reported announcement firing all middle management, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today asked all City of Pittsburgh residents to leave.
In a statement, the mayor said he was "not satisfied with the condition of the City" and will conduct a nationwide search for the best candidates to become new Yinzers and move Pittsburgh forward.
He asked for resignation letters from the nearly 350,000 residents and asked that they continue to live in the city in an acting capacity. He encouraged them to reapply for their residencies "in order to prove they are the best persons for the job."
The statement, which was read by Chief of Staff Yarone Zober, told Pittsburghers "you just don't get it do you? I mean, seriously, you don't. Get the hell out. Just go."
Residents of the City were confused by the order. Jeff Zellerman, 46, a computer consultant from Point Breeze asked, "Can he even do that?"
When questioned, George Specter, the City's Acting Solicitor responded by saying "How the hell should I know? I'm just the acting Solicitor. I'm apparently dumber than a box of rocks. Seriously, I don't really care anymore."
While the City Home Rule Charter lays out broad discretionary powers for the Mayor, there is no explicit expulsion power.
Duquesne Law Professor Robert Fillip postulated that this was a pre-emptive salvo in the upcoming November election.
"If the City has no population, other than Ravenstahl supporters, Luke will easily win over [Republican challenger] DeSantis. He must be really worried that DeSantis is going to poll over 30%... or else he's nuttier than Mr. Peanut's family reunion."
The Mayor's Office would not issue comment on why he was taking such an extreme step nor clarify how the Mayor intended to enforce the eviction decree.
Wilkinsburg, Plum, and Mt. Oliver have already begun setting up refuge camps, while an armed group calling themselves "The People's Army of the 14th Ward" has secured and is holding the Squirrel Hill business district.
Mr. Ravenstahl said some of the denizens may be asked to stay and he refused to discuss any specific individuals, although County Executive Dan Onorato was refused entrance into the City early this morning. He said he may use a professional head-hunting firm to find candidates for some positions.
The Mayor has until January to refill the City population.