Archive: September, 2010
Confused about the Marcellus Shale issue? John Baer breaks it down for you.
The U.S. Marshals are seeking the nation's most dangerous unregistered sex offenders.
Clout thinks the rumors about Sam Katz considering a mayoral run next year are getting serious.
North Philadelphia group working to reduce blight in Philadelphia.
Former West Philly High basketball star going to prison for robberies.
NOTE: This post has been corrected.
Council today also announced that they are awarding $150,000 in financial consulting contracts -- $125,000 to Charles McPherson, a retired Council employee, and up to $25,000 to Econsult/Fairmount Group.
McPherson retired April 9, 2009*, after 37 years of service. He last served as Council's chief financial advisor and left with a $528,434 DROP payment. Before his departure, Verna tried and failed to get his retirement date extended by a year.
It's the first Council session after a three-month summer break today and the issue on everyone's mind is DROP.
Councilwoman Marian Tasco just introduced legislation from Mayor Nutter that would eliminate the controversial program. When she announced her plans this morning in the Council caucus room, Tasco said jokingly: "Are you all listening? It's about DROP."
Six weeks ago Mayor Nutter released a study from Boston College researchers showing that the Deferred Retirement Option Plan is costing the city $22 million a year. He has repeatedly argued that the city simply cannot afford the program.
We take a look at how City Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez is slowly but surely becoming a City Hall political player.
The state GOP finds serious problems with how the local party chairman was elected in June but doesn't want that to distract anyone from electing Republicans in November.
About 300 former Philadelphia Housing Authority employees sue the agency after being forced for years to donate part of their salaries to a controversial non-profit some consider a slush fund for their boss.
Here's the release:
MAYOR NUTTER TRANSMITS NAMES OF BOARD OF PROPERTY ASSESSMENT APPEALS TO COUNCIL
Philadelphia, September 15 –Mayor Michael A. Nutter has transmitted the seven names of the individuals he has selected to serve on the Board of Property Assessment Appeals, pending City Council approval. These seven individuals were selected from the 21 names provided by the nominating panel on September 1st. Under Philadelphia law, the current Board of Revision of Taxes will cease to exist on September 30, 2010 and the Board of Property Assessment Appeals will assume all property tax appeals functions.
“I want to thank everyone who has applied to serve on the Board. It was difficult to select just seven individuals from such a passionate and qualified pool,” said Mayor Nutter. “Pending confirmation by Council, I look forward to the seven beginning service on the newly formed Board this October.”
The Credentials Committee of the Pennsylvania Republican Party has voted unanimously to remove Republican City Committee Chairman Vito Canuso from his post, citing "numerous irregularities" in a June election. But Rob Gleason, chairman of the state party, immediately reinstated Canuso, saying his focus for now is "on the upcoming important elections" and he will review the matter after the Nov. 2 general election.
The Credentials Committee held a hearing last Thursday to consider a challenge filed by Kevin Kelly, one of the leaders of a group of younger Republicans who are challenging the old guard in Philadelphia. Kelly claims Al Schmidt, a senior adviser for the state party in Philadelphia, was the winner of the June election for chairman but that Republican City Committee leaders wrongly prevented some ward leaders from voting.
Kelly's attorney, J. Matthew Wolfe, said he was considering his options with the ruling and may appeal because the challenge asked for Al Schmidt to be declared the winner. Wolfe said by his count Schmidt had 21 votes before some were wrongly prevented from casting ballots while Canuso had 18 votes. "It certainly demonstrates that it came out to the Credential Committee that they flat-out tried to cheat," Wolfe said of the decision.
Washington DC Mayor Adrian Fenty yesterday lost his re-election bid to a city councilman. According to this story from the Washington Post, Fenty -- who was hailed as a reformer when he took office -- lost touch with voters and advisors along the way.
How Fenty came to squander that success and the goodwill that catapulted him to office is the story of a mayor who misread an electorate he was sure he knew better than anyone, who ignored advisers' early warnings that key constituencies were abandoning him, who shut out confidantes who told him what he did not want to hear and who began to listen only when the race was all but lost.