Sunday, January 25, 2015

POSTED: Friday, January 2, 2015, 2:22 PM
File photo: Terry Gillen, then director of the city's Office of Federal Affairs, in July 2010. (JONATHAN YU / Staff Photographer/File)

The Philadelphia mayor’s race is down to three people.

Terry Gillen, who was the first candidate to announce a run for mayor, announced Friday she is dropping out.

The former head of the Redevelopment Agency said that while she raised more than $225,000 from more than 500 donors in 2014, it just wasn’t enough to stay competitive.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 30, 2014, 1:54 PM
Jenné Ayers, 26, became the latest - and youngest - candidate for City Council At-Large, when she announced her plans to run, Tuesday. (Photo from jenneayers.com)

It's not quite 2015 and the race for the seven at-large City Council seats is already a crowded one. Jenné Ayers, the daughter of former fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers, announced her candidacy Tuesday, her 26th birthday, in front of the Free Library.

Ayers, a Harvard graduate who is completing her law degree at Yale, said she wanted to bring "a breath of fresh air" to city council. If elected, she would be the youngest Council person to serve in city history.

“I am not running just to represent young people. I am running for City Council at-large to represent all of Philadelphia and I am setting bold goals,” she said at a press conference. “Let’s reduce the city’s deep poverty rate below the national average. Let’s make sure the school district has the funding it needs. Let’s make sure our city government is transparent, responsive, and puts the people first.”

POSTED: Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 5:36 PM
Licenses and Inspections Commissioner Carlton Williams. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke/File)

A person pretending to be an inspector with the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections has been asking residents for money and demanding entry into homes, the department’s commissioner warned Tuesday.

L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams said residents should ask for proper identification from anyone who claims to be an L&I inspector.

There have been at least two reported incidents in the last week in which a person posing as an L&I inspector has told residents that the adjacent house or lot is scheduled to be torn down or cleaned and that the inspector needs to go inside the resident’s house.

POSTED: Monday, December 22, 2014, 1:48 PM

The Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney who has served as a liaison between the law enforcement and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities is moving over to City Hall.

Mayor Nutter announced Monday that Helen "Nellie" L. Fitzpatrick will be the city’s new Director of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affairs, effective Jan. 20.

Fitzpatrick will filling the seat left empty by Gloria Casarez, 42, the city's first director of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender affairs, who died in October of cancer.

POSTED: Sunday, December 14, 2014, 11:29 PM
Gov.-elect Tom Wolf at a Pennsylvania Society event at the Waldorf Astoria on Friday night. ( DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer )

They went. They saw. They conquered.

The Philadelphia delegation of politicians, lobbyists, and government officials were quite the busy bunch at this weekend’s Pennsylvania Society in New York City.

My colleagues and I had a roundup piece in Sunday’s Inquirer, which touched on the various bits of news regarding state and city officials and upcoming races.

POSTED: Thursday, December 4, 2014, 5:25 PM

Philadelphia could see fewer billboards - but more digital displays - under a set of revamped regulations up for vote next week.

The changes, slated for a council-wide vote next Thursday, balances requests from the outdoor advertising industry with those of neighborhood and safe-driving advocates, said Councilman Bobby Henon, who sponsored the legislation.

City Council first proposed a billboard law more than a year ago but both sides voiced concerns, leading to this most recent set of revisions.

POSTED: Thursday, December 4, 2014, 1:43 PM

By Councilman James Kenney’s estimation, "Fly Eagles Fly" is the second or third most popular sports song in Philadelphia’s history. And so, on Thursday, between bills related to zoning and billboards, Kenney introduced a resolution to honor the Eagles’ fight song.

“You’ve got the 'Rocky' theme, 'God Bless America' and interchangeably, 'Fly, Eagles, Fly,' ” Kenney said in council chambers after the resolution passed and he’d agreed to sing the fight song for radio and TV reporters.

The resolution honors the song’s scribes, Charlie Borelli and  Roger Courtland, who have been credited in Eagles programs dating back to the early 60s as penning the tune. Kenney recalled meeting Borelli when the musician was in his 90s at the now-closed Palumbo’s Nostalgia Restaurant, where Borelli played piano.

POSTED: Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 1:10 PM

City Commissioner Stephanie Singer is using her predecessor’s name as a fundraising tool.

In a mass e-mail from her campaign account, Singer said she is worried about a tough election ahead and a well-known name who could challenge her.

“I have news. Marge Tartaglione's daughter, Renee Tartaglione, has informed us she is going to challenge all the hard work I've done to clean up the City Commissioner's office by running against me in next year's primary,” Singer’s email states.

About this blog

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Hepp, Tricia Nadolny, Julia Terruso, and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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