Mayor Nutter was elected chairman of the Redevelopment Authority this morning in the agency's first meeting since he appointed himself and two others to the board last Thursday. Terry Gillen, one of his most trusted aides, was approved by the board as the agency's new executive director.
Robert Guerra, the Redevelopment Authority's longtime general counsel, lost his job in the agency shake-up. "It was really just a changing of the guard and he was part of it," Gillen said of Guerra. "The mayor seriously wants to revamp the Redevelopment Authority. This is just part of that revamping."
Nutter replaces electricians union chief John Dougherty, who stepped down as the RDA's chairman after losing an April Democratic primary election for the state Senate. Mike Fera, leader of the Cement Masons and Plasterers Union, Local 592, also recently left the board. Nutter appointed to the RDA board his deputy chief of staff, Wendell Pritchett, and Jennifer Rodriguez, director of community and economic development at Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha.
Gillen, who is keeping her title as a senior adviser to the mayor and member of his cabinet, will focus first on RDA accounting problems which may have contributed to a major funding gap for former Mayor Street's signature "Neighborhood Transformation Initiative." Nutter's administration recently said that anti-blight program may be short by up to $30 million for planned property acquisitions.