Archive: May, 2008
Catherine LuceyMayor Nutter has appointed a former Philadelphia Gas Works vice president as the city’s director of human resources, a job previously known as personnel director.
Albert D’Attilio last served as vice president of human resources for PGW. Nutter said he expected D’Attilio to modernize the renamed department.
“I am tremendously confident that Al is more than equipped to transform this department,” Nutter said.
The city’s previous personnel director, Tanya Smith, resigned two weeks ago after an inspector general investigation showed that she had tampered with a civil-service test to help a friend.
Nutter said that episode should not diminish the entire department.
“I think fortunately for us that was an highly unusual situation,” he said.
Catherine LuceyThe pressure is on for 3-1-1 to be up and running by year's end.
Elmer Smith writes about the plight of the mentally ill homeless.
And because it's Friday, here's the info if you'd like to apply to be one of the Daily News' "Sexy Singles."
Catherine LuceyMayor Nutter was careful to not assign blame today over allegations that the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative may be $30 million short to pay for property acquisitions.
"I'm not going to point fingers at anybody. I'm not going to make any accusations," Nutter said. But he stressed "we're very concerned about this."
NTI was former Mayor Street's signature anti-blight program. Nutter bristled at the suggestion that the public questioning of NTI's finances could be interpreted as a criticism of Street.
"I would say that is, at least for today, the most absurd thing I've heard," Nutter said. "It is my responsibility to figure this out."
Catherine LuceyNutter today recommended Rue Landau -- an longtime attorney for Community Legal Services and former co-chair of the Liberty City Democratic Club -- for the job of executive director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.
"I believe that Rue will revitalize the commission and further expand its programs," Nutter said.
The commission, established in 1951, enforces civil rights laws and manages conflict in the city. Nutter said he would also soon announce a number of new commissioners.
The commission recently made headlines for a showdown with South Philly cheesesteak shop Geno's. In 2006, the commission chairman filed a discrimination complaint against the eatery for displaying a sign that read "This is America: When ordering please speak English." But in March a split three-member commission panel ruled that the sign was not discriminatory.
Landau yesterday said that case was closed. "It's in the past," she said. "We've got a new mayor. It's a new day."
Catherine LuceyThe Neighborhood Transformation Initiative faces an audit after the administration finds financial mismanagement.
The city decides to pull back a previously awarded 3-1-1 contract and put it out for bid.
More on Mayor Nutter's homeless plans.
John Baer thinks the Clintons have lost their minds.
Ronnie Polaneczky says the Boy Scouts must pay up or move out.
Catherine LuceyMayor Nutter attended a VIP screening of the new "Sex and the City" film last night at the Ritz Five cinema. He introduced the movie and stayed for the entire screening. Clearly he enjoyed it.
"I'd say at least three stars," the mayor told us this morning.
Catherine LuceyMayor Nutter this morning announced a series of new initiatives to fight homelessness in Philadelphia.
"We have to build this city," he told the crowd assembled in Dilworth Plaza for the announcement. "We have souls and lives to save."
Nutter said the city will create 75 new beds for chronically homeless people with behavioral or substance abuse problems. Two overnight cafes -- drop in centers that provide food and help during the winter -- will be operated throughout the summer. And the Philadelphia Housing Authority will make 500 existing housing units available specifically for people who are in transitional housing and need permanent homes.
Nutter said that, as of last week, 389 people were sleeping on the streets in Philadelphia. And roughly 6,600 were in emergency or transitional housing.
"This is a first step," Nutter said of the day's announcement. "We're here today collectively to say first and foremost we can do better."
Catherine LuceyThe local Boy Scouts sue the city to stay in their headquarters.
SEPTA plans major upgrades in 2009.
More cops accused of brutality.
Catherine LuceyThe Inky's Michael Klein reported this weekend that Mayor Nutter will be at a VIP screening of the "Sex and the City"
movie tonight. Nutter even gabbed about his favorite characters:
Nutter told Klein he liked Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), "who was always getting into all kinds of dilemmas," and Charlotte (Kristin Davis), who was "wonderfully naive, yet there's a smart way about her."
Um, what about the only character on the show with half a brain, Miranda? Mr. Mayor, we are very disappointed.
Catherine LuceyThe local Boy Scouts of America have filed a federal lawsuit against the city for saying that the organization either has to defy its national policy barring gays as members or start paying rent on their city-owned headquarters.
Our courts reporter Michael Hinkelman sums up the suit like this:
The lawsuit -- filed Friday -- says that because the city was opposed to the local Boy Scouts' "constitutionally protected expression," the city decided to "punish" it by demanding that the local Scouts "repudiate" the national membership policy. When the locals refused to do that, the lawsuit says the city "took punitive action" and demanded it vacate its local headquarters or pay $200,000 annual rent. The local Boy Scouts currently pay $1 annual rent for space at N. 22nd and Winter Street.
The city has given the local scouts until May 31 to revise its policy or pay $200,000 rent. (The local chapter adopted a non-discrimination membership policy in 2003 but was ordered to revoke it by the national council.)
The lawsuit also said that by "singling out" the local boy scouts for "disfavored treatment," the city's actions constitute "viewpoint discrimination" which former Supreme Court Justice William Brennan said was "censorship in its purest form."
The lawsuit also says that many other organizations limit membership or maintain certain viewpoints but enjoy similar privileges (that is, use property owned or managed by the city) without punishment or threat of punishment, including the Zion Baptist Church ($25 a year to lease city property for the Clara Baldwin Home for Seniors) and the Women for Greater Philadelphia and Colonial Dames of America.