Nutter Praises Clarke and His Ideas

For those watching and speculating on what kind of relationship - if any - would develop between Mayor Nutter and new Council President Darrell L. Clarke, Nutter dropped a few clues today during his annual luncheon speech to the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Nutter described a Council "under the strong leadership" of Clarke and agreed with Clarke's standing proposition that selling some city assets would be a useful and relatively painless way to raise money. He even quoted favorably from an Econsult report that has been the basis of Clarke's revenue-generating ideas.

"I applaud City Council for championing the idea," Nutter said. "My administration is ready to work with City Council on it."

Nutter also noted that he has been thinking along the same lines, saying his administration soon would release a report prepared by financial advisers Lazard Ltd. on the possible sale of the Philadelphia Gas Works.

If that weren't enough, Nutter said he and Clarke are working together on the "rebirth" of the Divine Lorraine, the crumbling, historically significant, former luxury hotel at Broad Street and Fairmount Avenue. The building sits in Clarke's Fifth District.

Clarke calls the redevelopment of North Philadelphia his greatest achievement, and Nutter has been advocating the continued turn-around of the North Broad corridor for years.

"As I speak, there is renewed interest in the Divine Lorraine with my team - and City Council President Clarke - directly involved in the rebirth of this great Philadelphia building," Nutter said.

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