Mayor Nutter and Councilman Jim Kenney buried the hatchet for a few minutes Thursday afternoon for the signing ceremony of Kenney's bill to expand LGBT rights in Philly.
As teenagers, they were classmates at St. Joe's Prep, and as Council colleagues, they were tag-team antagonists to John Street's administration. These days, however, they're bitterly divided, and this year's budget hearings has made the split more apparent than ever.
Kenney, whom many speculate will run for mayor in 2015, has emerged as Nutter's chief critic on the fourth floor, ripping on what he sees as an arrogant management style that has spread across the administration. Though Nutter seldom makes personal attacks in public, administration officials privately gripe about Kenney's inflammatory ways.
But on Thursday, they smiled, shook hands and codified one of the strongest city laws in the country concerning LGBT rights (especially the T, in this case). In introducing Kenney, Nutter acknowledged their differences and extended an olive branch. Here's the full quote:
"Let me introduce and ask to come to the microphone a member of City Council and an elected official who has taken on any number of great challenges here in the city. He is one of the true workhorses in our city government and has a whole lot of ideas, many of which we actually agree on. [Laughter.] Every now and then, we don’t. But that’s okay, that’s the wonderful thing about democracy and about America. I think what’s most important is that we’re working and people are trying to get stuff done. Even if you gave different views and different ideas, ultimately we all took the same oath, we represent the same people and we’re just trying to make Philadelphia the best place that it could possibly be. And with that, let me introduce our colleague and my friend, Councilman Jim Kenney."
Kenney also played nice, saying he and the mayor never have disagreements when it comes to human rights.