Council President: 'We could sure use a Vince Fumo now'

City Council President Anna Verna, whose Second Councilmanic District overlaps with Vince Fumo's First Senatorial District in South and Southwest Philadelphia, said the city's doesn't realize what it's missing without Fumo in Harrisburg to fight for city funding.

"Let me tell you, I think we’re going to miss him something terrible in Harrisburg," said Verna, who most recently worked closely with Fumo to find a home for a new state-built produce terminal in the Southwest.

Verna, who came to know Fumo after her election to City Council in 1975, said Fumo's particular talent for bringing home city funding -- from a state legislature with little sympathy for Philadelphia -- would have come in handy during a budget crisis.

"The average person may not know or realize that," she said. "He would have been up there fighting for every penny.... It’s a shame that he’s not there now – we could sure use a Vince Fumo now."

Verna lamented the fact that the discussion on Fumo today centers on what he had done wrong, as opposed to what he did right for the city.

"I will say the Senator served much of the same constituents I do, and that he was very effective," said Verna, adding that she felt "very badly' for both Fumo and Ruth Arnao. "At a time like this, it’s sad that people don’t talk about the good that he’s done – they’re just talking about what the people on the jury found him guilty of."

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