Statement before                 Glenn A. Walsh

Pittsburgh City Council:              P.O. Box 1041

    Permanent Closing of                         Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

     Historic Hazelwood                  Telephone: 412-561-7876

       Library Building              Electronic Mail: < >

                                                             Internet Web Site: < >

                                                                                2004 March 10


Good morning. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mount Lebanon. Today, I am representing no formal organization.


Despite the opposition of the majority of residents in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Hazelwood, Carnegie Library has announced that the historic Hazelwood Library building built by Andrew Carnegie in 1900, will close, permanently, this-coming Saturday, March 13 at 5:00 p.m. Amazingly, Carnegie Library has given no firm date for the opening of the proposed Second Avenue library site; on the library’s web page, they simply say, “Look for our reopening at the end of March.”


Carnegie Library has abandoned the legacy of their founder, Andrew Carnegie, and continues to ignore the widely-expressed wishes of the majority of residents of the neighborhood of Hazelwood.


What is even more disconcerting is that the pleas of these City residents have fallen on deaf ears here in Pittsburgh City Council, despite a well-attended City Council public hearing on this issue on November 5. This confirms the fears of many, that people living in a distressed, inner-city neighborhood have no influence on Grant Street.


This City Council would rather ‘bend-over-backwards’ to accommodate a special interest, a large bureaucracy in Oakland that pays no City property taxes—Carnegie Library--rather than support the wishes of the majority of taxpayers of a City neighborhood such as Hazelwood


Why do you think suburbanites are so against metropolitan government? This is exactly the reason. It is not a race issue. Suburban residents are afraid of losing control of their neighborhood, to a centralized government that is more interested in special interests than in the wishes of the local taxpayers.


This is exactly what has happened in Hazelwood. At two well-attended public meetings, the majority of residents of Hazelwood made it quite clear that they oppose the abandonment of the historic Hazelwood Library building by Carnegie Library. Yet, this City Council looks the other way as Carnegie Library implements an agenda that has complete disregard for the wishes of the residents.


What would you think, if you lived in a suburban community? Would you want your municipality to merge with the City of Pittsburgh, when City Council brushes aside the well-expressed wishes of current City residents?


Suburban residents are watching you—very closely. If you continue to do nothing to prevent the abandonment of the historic Hazelwood Library building, then suburbanites will know that they would be treated the same way in any merged City-County government. They will continue fighting such a merger. And, many suburban residents may continue opposing anything that would help the City of Pittsburgh.


The Hazelwood Library building is City property. This Council can stop the abandonment of this City building by Carnegie Library. Failure of this Council to do so will clearly show both city residents and suburbanites that residents of this City do not count, unless they are aligned with a favored special interest.


Is this the image this Council wants to project? The decision is up to you!


Thank you.