serve beer at the Greek Picnic."
In his news release, Street made no mention of Gibson's latest misstep, which was detailed in a letter to Street from the employee, Helen Boyce.
Street's statement said Gibson's resignation letter "cited his concern that his personal style may divert attention away from the important work of the commission and his pride at having served as the catalyst for the adoption of more inclusive commission policies."
Last week, a furor erupted over Gibson's comments suggesting that the Dad Vail Regatta was "segregated" and ought to leave the city. Councilwoman Joan Krajewski called for Gibson's resignation, but Street came to his defense in a blistering tirade in Council chambers.
On Thursday, Street and Mayor Rendell tried to put the issue to rest by announcing a minority outreach program paid for in part by a $100,000 commitment from Comcast Metrophone.
Gibson reportedly had minor surgery on Thursday and did not attend the Rendell-Street press conference.
Yesterday, the Daily News reported that Gibson had become angry during an April 14 call to Mifflin when Boyce, who is black, as is Gibson, refused to pass on his request for white waiters to her boss.
Boyce, who has been Mifflin's secretary for 18 years, said she considered the comment racist. In a second call five minutes later, she said that Gibson told her to give Mifflin the message: "Fire Helen Boyce."
Gibson followed that up with a letter demanding Boyce's firing. Mifflin refused.
In his statement, Street said, "Rich Gibson has been sincere and diligent in his role at the Park Commission. During his brief tenure, he has made an important contribution to this city that will perhaps be more fully appreciated in the years to come."
Krajewski said she was pleased that Gibson resigned. "He made some awful statements," she said.
Councilman James Kenney agreed, saying Gibson's style had been "extremely intemperate and divisive."
Councilman Michael Nutter said Gibson "had the best of intentions," but his comments had "overshadowed his real interests."
Jones, who serves on the boards of the Fairmount Park Historic Trust Preservation Corp. and the Fairmount Park Ranger Corps, said he had no disagreement with Gibson's goals of trying to increase minority participation in rowing activities on the river.