Leaving his cabinet behind to deal with issues like municipal labor contracts, property tax assessments and his new city budget proposal, Mayor Nutter plans to spend the next five days in Florence, Italy, comparing notes on “the creative economy” with a delegation from the U. S. Conference of Mayors and an organization of Italian counterparts.
The full tab for airfare, lodging and meals will be picked up by the Conference of Mayors, at no cost to city taxpayers, said Mark McDonald, the mayor’s press secretary. (Unless you factor in the city’s annual dues to the Conference of Mayors, which ran to $45,569 in 2012, according to the city’s expenditure data.)
At 10 a.m. Thursday – that’s Italian time, not the moment that Philadelphia City Council convenes for its weekly festivities – Nutter will be joining a panel discussion on culture and sports as contributors to economic development. And somewhere during the five-day conference, McDonald said, Nutter will get together with the mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, to celebrate its sister-city relationship with Philadelphia, dating to 1966.
Nutter was elected president of the U. S. Conference of Mayors last June. Other mayors on the trip include his vice president, Scott Smith of Mesa, AZ, Gregory Ballard of Indianapolis, Greg Fischer of Louisville and Steven Benjamin of Columbia, SC.
The mayor was scheduled to leave Tuesday night and return Sunday.