February 10, 2011
SMART GENERALS avoid battles they can't win. In the second Punic War, when Roman Consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus took on Hannibal in 216 B.C., almost 80 percent of the entire Roman army left the field in shrouds or in chains. When the Spanish sent their Armada against the English in 1588, more than half the ships and troops went to the bottom. Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812, and Hitler's re-creation of the folly in 1941, ended in disaster. A smart general doesn't pick fights he can't win, and I don't believe City Council Majority Leader Marian Tasco can be defeated in November when she runs for her Lucky Seventh term on Council.
January 20, 2015
ISSUE | SCORECARD Too few prosper in Nutter's Phila. The Inquirer's review of Mayor Nutter's performance left out one important fact - that Philadelphia has become the poorest among large American cities ("Nutter counts down, adds up," Jan. 12). In other words, a sizeable portion of this city has a lower standard of living than in other large cities. In light of that, consider the following Nutter policies: hundreds of millions in tax abatements; money set aside for the Convention Center; and millions spent on interest payments on municipal bonds.
June 13, 2013 |
Philadelphia City Council gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill that would cap the 10-year tax abatement on new residential construction at $500,000 of value. The cap would go into effect in July 2015. The committee took a rare roll-call vote on the divisive issue, and the bill passed by 9-7, with Marian B. Tasco absent. The bill, sponsored by W. Wilson Goode Jr., could receive final approval on June 20. During testimony on the bill, Goode and Symphony House developer Carl Dranoff had several testy exchanges on the merits of the current tax abatement, which does not have a cap. The abatement has been credited with sparking a building boom - mostly in Center City and surrounding neighborhoods - but has been derided as an unnecessary tax credit to rich homeowners.
November 5, 2015 |
Philadelphia voters elected at least four new members to City Council on Tuesday, not the largest overhaul in recent years but still a substantial shake-up sure to change the dynamics of the 17-member body. A fifth newcomer could come from the race for the two at-large seats reserved by law for minority-party candidates. As the final votes were being tallied, three Republicans were separated by a few hundred votes. But incumbent David Oh and challenger Al Taubenberger appeared to have slight, if not quite comfortable, advantages over incumbent Dennis O'Brien.
November 14, 2014 |
Eight months after UIL Holdings Corp. signed an agreement to buy Philadelphia Gas Works for $1.86 billion, it finally got a hearing Thursday night before City Council. It lasted about 10 minutes. At the end of nearly six hours of testimony about future options for PGW since City Council has blocked consideration of a sale, Alex V. DeBoissiere, UIL senior vice president, was granted an opportunity to speak. It was the first time a UIL official has had a chance to speak at a Council hearing since Mayor Nutter chose the Connecticut company to buy PGW. Council members told DeBoissiere they believed that the sale agreement could not be amended _ that the Nutter administration had given them a take-it-or-leave-it deal.
February 28, 2011
There's an unseemly rush by the city Board of Ethics - with ample prodding from City Council - to get new rules in place that would free city workers from the decades-old ban on political activity. No matter what the timing, it's a bad idea that risks even more politics in the day-to-day operations of City Hall. With his passion for ridding the city of its pay-to-play political culture, Mayor Nutter should be in the forefront opposing such a backward step. With no credible opposition to his own reelection, it's even more troubling that the mayor is just going along.
October 31, 2015 |
Philadelphia's 12 Democratic members of City Council endorsed Common Pleas Court Judge Kevin Dougherty for the state Supreme Court on Thursday, The event was a final push to drum up interest in one of the most competitive races in an election that could see dismal turnout numbers. The judge thanked the Council members and quoted Maya Angelou, saying, "'I'm sustained by the love of family,' but when I look around this room and I see the people who are standing behind me, I can share with you that Philadelphia truly is the city that loves you back.
May 21, 2015 |
Two Philadelphia City Council incumbents, including 15-year veteran W. Wilson Goode Jr., failed to win the Democratic Party's endorsement Tuesday, guaranteeing there will be four new members on the 17-seat legislative body next year. Goode and Councilman Ed Neilson, both at-large members, were outpolled by three newcomers - Derek Green, former aide to retiring Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco; Allan Domb, a developer known as the city's "condo king"; and education activist Helen Gym - who were seeking to become among the party's five at-large nominees.
January 8, 2014 |
City Council wants to hire a consultant to explore whether there is a "higher and better use" for the Philadelphia Gas Works than privatizing it. Council last week issued a request for proposals from experts to analyze potential uses for PGW in light of new discoveries of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation. The deadline for the proposals is Jan. 29. The consultant specifically would look at whether the city could get more use out of its liquefied-natural-gas (LNG) plant in Port Richmond, where gas is stored in liquid form for use on peak winter days.