'Reform' on Nutter's mind

Remember Mayor Nutter, the so-called reform candidate? Well, he is getting ready to push government reform issues - which were sidetracked during the months-long budget fight with Harrisburg - again to the forefront of his agenda.

The administration is nearing completion on a set of initiatives meant to rattle - to some extent - certain government functions as we know them.

Beginning tomorrow, these in-the-works initiatives will undergo scrutiny during a two-day "Reform Team Summit" organized in large part by Managing Director Camille Barnett and also Mary Horstmann, director of the Mayor's Office of Private Sector Initiatives.

From 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., individual "teams" - made up of city staffers and private sector leaders - will present their ideas for how to save money, increase revenue and improve efficiency. Among those listening and offering feedback will be City Council members, deputy mayors, the Economy League, the Committee of 70, the William Penn Foundation and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. In addition, members of Nutter's campaign transition team were invited to participate.

All of this work has been underway since last December and is expected to be unveiled publicly in mid-October and November.

Unknown at this point is whether the changes ultimately proposed will actually upend government, or merely tinker with the existing structure.

What is known so far:

*12 reform teams were created to study the following areas: Police, fire and EMS, prisons and criminal justice, human services, education, energy and sustainability, development process, streets, procurement, human resources, information technology and customer service.

*During the two-day review, the teams will discuss what problems they sought to address, what recommendations they propose by studying best practices and policies in other cities, and what obstacles are in the way.

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