January 23, 2014 |
Bill Green is a smart but difficult man. He does not play well with others, and the difficulty often arises when he shows them how smart he is. Then again, Green's a member of City Council, where there's not much competition for summa cum laude and Penn Law graduates, and veteran members view themselves as royalty and expect reverence. Green managed to annoy most of them in no time flat, for which I am eternally grateful. But Green might have achieved more with less arrogance.
December 9, 2013 |
Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke is an accomplished old-school pol, a disciple of John Street. He is a master of prerogatives, mostly for the self-important body he governs. Council believes it is in the business of fixing all things in a city where so much is perpetually busted and broken, when that is actually the job of the executive branch. Council is supposed to legislate - except when it isn't about to enjoy a six-week holiday break because January seems too bleak to work.
November 17, 2013 |
Ten days after inviting supporters to the start of his 2015 Philadelphia mayoral race, Tom Knox announced Friday that he had decided not to run after all. "Leading this great city as mayor has been a lifelong ambition, but it's simply not to be," he said in a statement distributed to reporters. "I put my family through one arduous mayoral campaign. I can't put them through another. " He said he decided after "much soul-searching and many difficult conversations with my wife, children and trusted advisers.
November 13, 2013 |
FLORENCE, BEIJING, Tianjin, London, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Birmingham, Grand Rapids, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C. No, that's not the list of stops on Miley Cyrus' Twerk Tour 2013. It's a list of places the mayor of Philadelphia has traveled to - in the past year. Since taking office in 2008, Mayor Nutter's travels outside Pennsylvania have cost Philly taxpayers $243,000, according to records obtained through a Right to Know request. Included in that total are expenses for Nutter's entourage, which usually includes a couple of top administration officials, an assistant and a handful of Philadelphia police officers for security.
November 6, 2013 |
LONDON - Bill Rumble and Mayor Nutter formed a tag team Monday, and a roomful of British business executives never had a chance. Rumble, chief commercial officer of Mark Group USA, softened up the crowd with his unqualified endorsement of Philadelphia as a place for a British company, such as his own, to set down roots in the United States. "We are really, really happy we located in Philadelphia," Rumble said, referring to his weatherization firm's decision to open its North American headquarters in the city.
August 23, 2013 |
The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, asked to take a pay cut and accept other concessions to help solve the school funding crisis, launched a series of ads Wednesday targeting Mayor Nutter. The campaign, which includes print, online, radio, and TV ads, links Nutter with Gov. Corbett, who has been criticized nationally for cutting education funding. "Over the past three years, Mayor Nutter has stood with Gov. Corbett as he gutted funding for Philadelphia public schools," a voice-over says in the 60-second radio spot.
July 30, 2013 |
IT WAS JANUARY 2009, and the stars seemed to have aligned over Philadelphia, signaling what should have been a Golden Age of government transparency in our erstwhile corrupt-and-contented city. Pennsylvania's new Right-to-Know Law - with its key clause that all government records are presumed to be public - had just gone into effect. No longer must citizens prove why records should be available to the public. Under the strengthened law, government agencies must prove why not . And Philly had elected as mayor a reform-minded councilman, Michael Nutter, who was wrapping up his first year in Room 215. Open government is his thing.
June 26, 2013 |
Throughout his 2007 campaign and five-plus years as mayor, Michael Nutter has promoted the virtues of government transparency and open records. At a U.S. Conference of Mayors event in Philadelphia last month, described as an "innovation summit," Nutter patted himself on the back for releasing 47 data sets covering everything from crime to property values. But in the last year, the administration has created new procedural and legal hurdles, with attendant delays, for people seeking access to city records.
June 10, 2013 |
In journalism, we have a saying: Three makes a trend. A few weeks ago, I ran into three different movers and shakers on our city streets. Each one first shared disillusionment over the usual suspects rumored to be running for mayor in 2015, and then expressed disgust with the current occupant of the office. One's face twisted in disdain as he spat out the words: "The guy is irrelevant, and has been since the morning after his reelection. " Another noted, "It took six years to build the Hoover Dam; six years in, this guy still can't figure out how to collect delinquent taxes.