Council stalls two Nutter appointments


Inquirer staff writer Jeff Shields reports from City Council chambers:

Despite a budget agreement to be introduced in City Council today, Council members were poised this morning to defy Mayor Nutter yet again, this time on Nutter's appointments to SEPTA and the Philadelphia Board of Ethics. It's another possible indication of how the mayor's political strength is being tested, as reported in today's Inquirer.

In a 9 a.m. committee session, Council members criticized Nutter's deputy mayor for transportation, Rina Cutler, and promised not to support her nomination to the SEPTA board until she came before them in private to explain her positions on a number of issues.

In addition, the comittee refused to recommend Nutter's appointment to the Ethics Board, retired business executive Edward Kung, until he, too, spoke with Council members to explain his positions and understanding of the ethics board's operations. The five-member board has had a vacancy for months.

Community activist Beverly Coleman, a second nominee to the SEPTA board, appeared headed for approval at the Council's regular meeting this morning. The city has two appointees on the 15-member board; Council had already delayed the appointments by several weeks.

The regular meeting had not started as of 10:45 a.m.
UPDATE:  Council members said afterward that the likely delay of the Cutler appointment was not an act of defiance toward the mayor, but rather reflective of individual Council members' concerns about Cutler's policies and personal style.

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