"Why he would support a guy from Pittsburgh, as opposed to a hometown guy, gives me pause about his political wisdom," Williams said.
It's not easy to take out an at-large candidate without a candidate to unite behind (a clear choice has yet to emerge), and Councilman Green will have the power of incumbency and wide name recognition. With five members running at large, there is also potential for collateral damage to the other incumbent at-large Democrats on Council - Blondell Reynolds Brown, W. Wilson Goode Jr., William K. Greenlee, and James F. Kenney.
But Williams sounds motivated, and why not? He and Bill Green are considered strong contenders for mayor in 2015.
Of the commotion, Councilman Green said: "Just like when you do anything, people have views on it, and people are expressing their views. I'll let my record do the talking."
But he has clearly gotten the message about the politics he faces on the Sheriff's Office issue. He said Sunday that he may have acted in a "ready, fire, aim," manner instead of approaching it more deliberately, and he is already placing the bill on life-support before it has a hearing.
"To be frank, based on a survey of my colleagues and others," he said, "I don't think this bill is going anywhere."
- Jeff Shields
DROP a leading election issue
What is one of the most widely recognized names in politics right now?
City Controller Alan Butkovitz says it's not a person but a program - DROP, Philadelphia's controversial retirement perk.
Voters are outraged over the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, which Mayor Nutter asked City Council to abolish two weeks ago after a Boston College report said the program had cost Philadelphia $258 million over 10 years, Butkovitz said.
He expects City Council members running for election will take a lot of heat about it.
"Normally, it's quality-of-life issues - streets, crime," Butkovitz said. "But right now, DROP looks like it's going to be the No. 1 or No. 2 issue. It's got name recognition."
- Miriam Hill
Hounded during the dog days
When the cat's away, the mice will play, except possibly in the mayor's press office.
With Mayor Nutter vacationing in Mexico for two weeks, life in City Hall has slowed a bit.
And that has mayoral spokesman Doug Oliver hankering for Nutter's return.
"It's death by a thousand cuts when the mayor is away," he said. "The quantity and quality of inquiries deteriorate significantly."
How so? "Rather than talking about larger government-wide questions or political issues, you find yourself talking about what time certain city buildings open and parking tickets."
Parking tickets? Yes, random citizens with parking-ticket questions phone the press office in search of help. "When you have your hands full, you may not notice, or it certainly doesn't bubble up to me," Oliver said. And getting those issues resolved can be tedious.
"We want to help and will get those questions answered," he said. But of Nutter's temporary disappearance, he said, "It's like, man, I can't wait till you're back and there's a plan."
That day will be next Monday.
- Marcia Gelbart