County Executive, Allegheny County
The county’s top elected official, Rich Fitzgerald is in the last year of his third and final term as County Executive. Widely recognized for his work ethic, Rich is one of the county’s biggest champions and is well known for bringing together people and organizations on regional issues. Under his leadership, the county has concentrated on economic development and job creation and boasts high-quality jobs, a diverse and growing economy, low cost of living, and an excellent quality of life.
The 2020 Census numbers have underscored the success of those efforts. For the first time in 60 years, the county’s population grew over the last decade. Just as importantly, the area is also becoming more diverse. From 2010 to 2020, the county saw an 80% increase in the Hispanic population, a 72% increase in the Asian population, and a 100% increase in people identifying as multiracial. This region also saw a 20% increase in the 25-34 age group when the national average was only 11%. The increased diversity and vibrancy will continue to move this region forward.
Under his leadership, sustainability is an important component of all of the work being done. The has reduced its reliance on fossil fuels and continues moving towards using 100% renewable energy sources. It has also committed to building capacity by investing in locally generated, clean energy by partnering with a company to build a 17.8 MW low-impact hydropower facility on the Ohio River. When it comes to air quality, the county has planted over 8,000 trees in the last decade, enacted a clean construction ordinance, continues to invest in alternative fuel vehicles, and reduced building energy use.
For the third year in a row, all air quality monitors in the county have met federal air quality standards and the county is in the midst of the process to be designated as an attainment county. Since 2010, the county has accomplished an 80% decrease in hazardous air pollutants, as defined by the EPA.
Improving the financial stability of the county has been a hallmark of the administration. Through strategic and targeted actions, he increased the county’s fund balance from an unacceptable $5 million when elected to over $50.5 million today. As a result of that change and fiscally responsible budgeting, Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s rating agencies gave the county its highest bond rating in 40 years. That work allowed the county to invest in its infrastructure and ensure that sustainable practices and quality of life improvements were continued. The County Executive also reduced the county’s debt per capita and did so without increasing the millage rate or raising property taxes. As a result of these investments, county property values increased 2.5 times while taxes for the average homeowner remained the same over a 12-year timespan.
Born and raised in the City of Pittsburgh, Rich graduated from Carnegie Mellon University. He and his wife, Cathy, live in Squirrel Hill. They have eight children.