MBEC Gutted, Mayor Sets Up New Minority Biz Offices

Mayor Nutter today dissolved the troubled Minority Business Enterprise Council -- an agency charged with boosting city contract opportunities for businesses owned by minorities, women and the physically challenged -- and set up two new economic offices in its place.

At a City Hall press conference, Nutter signed an executive order gutting MBEC and establishing an Economic Opportunity Cabinet of top administration officials and an Office of Economic Opportunity. Nutter said this new operation will better achieve the city's goals of improving minority participation.

"I think having the Economic Opportunity Cabinet with the Managing Director and four deputy mayors sets the tone that says this is serious," Nutter said.

Nutter appointed Michael Bell, who currently serves as director of compliance at the city Office of Housing and Community development, to head the new economic office. He has been charged with coming up with a detailed plan for economic opportunity by January 31.

During his mayoral campaign, Nutter pledged to double the number of city contracts given to minorities and women.