Monday, January 26, 2015

New mysterious government office is now official

Mystery solved.

New mysterious government office is now official

Mystery solved.

Earlier this year, Philly Clout reported on the “Case of the Mysterious Government Office” -- a new two-person department that was called the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and that seemingly had nothing to do with hammers and wrenches.

Today, Mayor Nutter made it official, signing an executive order to create MONUM -- pronounced “moe-numb” by city staffers -- which aims to be a hub of technological innovation for city government.

The office is based on one by the same name in Boston and will be staffed by Jeff Friedman, who was chief of staff for the city’s chief technology officer, and Story Bellows, who used to direct the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, in Washington.

Their salaries total $200,000, and Nutter said he is “not anticipating any additional expense” from the department.

Many of the department’s projects will be public-private partnerships that focus on engaging Philadelphia residents with their government. One project, City How, will be a wiki “that helps people share information about how to accomplish civic projects,” Friedman said.

They will also work closely with the grants department to bring money into the city from outside groups.

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to
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