Mayor Byrne stayed in the high-rise for several weeks and the crime rate went down, and the gangs had to learn to speak to each other because they were losing out on drug sales due to the mayor’s, and the constant police, presence.
Even Mayor Bloomberg rides the subway to work during the week. Maybe if Mayor Nutter took a page from their playbooks and spent some legitimate time in the crime- and drug-ridden neighborhoods, he might be able to understand the issues and actually work with people to solve their problems, instead of just holding press conferences, and standing in City Hall telling people what they should be doing.
So, then, who was?
I am writing from the State Department with a correction.
In Dom Giordano’s piece, "Everybody Can’t Be Valedictorian," he begins by citing several well-known people who were once their high school’s valedictorian, including Secretary Hillary Clinton. Secretary Clinton was actually not her high-school valedictorian.
U.S. Dept. of State
Casting a pol on editorial
We were disappointed to read your recent editorial, "State Roadblocks," because Harrisburg does have, and should have, a place in our city’s property-tax conversation.
As I’m sure you know, Pennsylvania’s School Code governs every aspect of schools in every corner of Pennsylvania, in areas as varied as academic standards, continuing-education requirements and student transportation.
State laws impose restrictions on property-reassessment revenues in every one of the 66 counties and 499 school districts outside Philadelphia — and those restrictions are far more severe than anything we have proposed.
State laws are not a mere "technicality" that unfairly single out Philadelphia. Our proposals would not prevent the Actual Value Initiative (AVI) from taking place this year, nor would it prevent the School District of Philadelphia from getting one penny more in revenue.
Our legislation would force an honest discussion about the true nature of AVI and making the school district — an entity that has squandered millions of dollars over the last decade — more accountable. The way Philadelphia assesses its properties desperately needs reform, but the mayor shouldn’t be calling it anything but what it is: a backdoor tax increase.
We agree that the state takeover of the school district has been a failure. Millions have been lost, and the cuts to programs and services have been devastating to the educational future of our city.
The current School Reform Commission (SRC) is appointed by the mayor and governor, yet it seems that the SRC is accountable to no one. That must change.
For better or worse, difficult decisions get made only under difficult circumstances. Now is the time to provide Philadelphia’s taxpayers the honesty they deserve, and to challenge the district to be more accountable to City residents, parents, teachers and our children.
State Sen. Larry Farnese
First Senatorial District State Rep. Brendan Boyle
170th House District