Archive: February, 2012
What a difference a week makes for the Philadelphia City Commission. Last week, the old and new guard on the three-member panel clashed when second-termer Anthony Clark tried to bring up something not on the agenda and rookie Stephanie Singer, the chairwoman, told him that wasn't allowed. This week, Clark tried again after following new rules that say he must have his agenda items listed by Monday morning before the Wednesday morning meetings.
The issue: Clark wanted to make a motion supporting staffer Greg Irving as the commission's next voter registration administrator. Irving has been acting in that capacity since Bob Lee retired in October. The board voted unanimously to assure Irving that he is on his way to replacing Lee. But Singer noted that the commission's entire organization chart is being reworked, so the job may have a new name when that dust settles.
"I don't think we can say with confidence exactly what that job title will be," Singer explained. "If we could say officially that Mr. Irving will be the new Bob Lee, that's what we would say."
Tune into today’s Philadelphia Media Network’s own soap opera.
Iraqi refugees resettle in Philadelphia.
The state Legislature is trying to clean-up a redistricting mess.
The city’s mental health, homeless and human services programs would be cut to the bone should Gov. Corbett’s proposed budget pass and city officials warn its bad news for Philly’s most vulnerable.
Corbett’s proposed $27.1 billion budget calls for spending $20 million less than last year and no increases to broad based taxes.
During a presentation before the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), Rob Dubow, the city’s finance director said the city would be faced with $40.9 million in cuts.
We expect Former Governor Ed Rendell, who again violated his own vow of silence Monday by speaking about his plans for an investor group to buy the Daily News, Inquirer and Philly.com, will today declare that he is speaking no more on the matter. We also expect to hear from him again later this week, since this pattern is well established.
New City Council President Darrell Clarke is interested in cutting down on the number of weeks when council doesn't meet. We learn this during a week when council won't meet on Thursday because Monday was Presidents Day.
A mother waits for justice for a son slain by an off-duty cop in a dispute over a slice of pizza.
Today, on President’s Day all city offices are closed and City Council will not meet this Thursday.
That’s right. Council’s next session will be March 1. It is a part of a long time tradition in which during weeks of a federal holiday Council does not meet.
“It’s always been odd that Council didn’t meet in a week in which there is a holiday,” said Zack Stalberg, president of political watchdog group Committee of Seventy.
Former governor Ed Rendell said he’s giving the media the silent treatment after a week of news articles, columns and blog posts that criticized his efforts to lead a group of investors interested in buying Philadelphia Media Network, the parent company of the Daily News, Inquirer, Philly.com and SportsWeek.
President Rick Santorum? Huh?
Who needs college anyway?
A group of 11 voters from six state House Districts -- including three in Philadelphia -- asked the state Supreme Court today to force state House Speaker Sam Smith to order special elections to fill those vacant seats. As we noted in the Clout column [third item] today, the election calendar is in flux because the Supreme Court last month tossed aside the reapportionment plan approved in December to redraw the lines of state House and Senate districts.
Today's legal action, filed by Philadelphia attorney Kevin Greenberg, asks the Supreme Court to compel Smith to set the special elections for the six vacant house seats by next Friday. The petition calls that "the last day on which the Speaker can issue the writs of election for the special elections under the Election code in time for the next ensuing primary." The filing notes that 350,000 people live in the six House districts, saying "emergency relief" is needed to make sure they are represented in the House.
It had been widely expected that Smith would schedule the special elections for April 24, the same day as the primary election. Winners in the special election would serve out the year but still need to win the November general election to claim a full two-year term starting next January. Smith has not acted on the matter.