Thursday, April 24, 2014
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POSTED: Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 11:57 AM

The May primary just got a little more interesting.

Council President Darrell L. Clarke announced Tuesday that he would call for a special election in May to fill the at-large Council seat vacated by Bill Green, now the chair of the School Reform Commission.

The Democratic and Republican parties must nominate their candidates to appear on the ballot by April 8. (Independent parties or candidates need to circulate petitions and gather at least 1,785 signatures by then to run in the special election).

POSTED: Thursday, February 27, 2014, 11:18 AM

Councilman James F. Kenney said Thursday that he didn’t believe Mayor Nutter was interested in bringing the 2016 Democratic National Convention to Philadelphia, so instead he introduced a resolution conveying Council’s desire to host the event.

Cities that want to be considered as potential hosts must express interest by Saturday.

Kenney said his resolution appeared to be “the only way to keep us in the game.”

POSTED: Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 11:36 AM

Pete Matthews, the president of AFSCME District Council 33, got on the phone with a reporter Wednesday but declined to say anything pro or con about the city's tentative pact with the smaller AFSCME bargaining unit, District Council 47.

“This is all I’m gonna say about that:  all contract negotiations are different.  Police is different from Fire, DC 33 is different from DC 47,” Matthews said.  “We’re going back into negotiations Friday.”

Matthews and other DC 33 leaders met for several hours last Friday with the city’s negotiating team, for the first time in a year.  He reported “some movement” between the two sides, but nothing significant.

POSTED: Friday, February 21, 2014, 12:43 PM

AFSCME  District Council 33, the largest group of unionized city employees, went back to the bargaining table this afternoon for the first time in 13 months,  meeting the city’s top labor negotiators at the Warwick Hotel after a five-year standoff over a new contract.

Pete Matthews, DC 33’s president,   called for round-the clock negotiations to settle the impasse, but offered nothing new on the major issues the Nutter administration describes as critical to making a deal – particularly, a new hybrid pension structure for yet-to-be-hired new city employees.

Matthews told reporters that he was determined to protect city pension benefits for younger workers, so that they’d have the same long-term financial security he had when joining the city work force in the 1960.

POSTED: Thursday, February 20, 2014, 2:28 PM
Barbara Ash accepting the 2014 Richardson Dilworth Award for Distinguished Public Service.

Chief Deputy City Solicitor Barbara Ash  won Thursday the third annual Richardson Dilworth Award for Distinguished Public Service.

Ash has risen through the Law Department’s ranks since starting out in 1991 as an assistant city solicitor to now chairing the law department’s Social Services Group, where she is in charge of representing the city’s Child Welfare Unit in the Department of Human Services.

The award, which recognizes a city employee with at least three years of continuous service and who strives for excellence in public service, is sponsored by Dilworth Paxson LLP and Independence Blue Cross. Ash was selected from a pool of 154 nominees from various city departments.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 6:30 PM

Maura Kennedy, one of the campaign aides who helped Mayor Nutter get elected in 2007 and then went to work in the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections, has landed a new job in Pittsburgh as chief of the city's Bureau of Building Inspections, an appointment by Pittsburgh mayor William Peduto.

"She has energy, dedication and problem solving skills that we are always looking for in our leaders," Nutter said, crediting Kennedy with work to put L&I data online and improve the dedpartment's code enforcement. She earned $90,000 a year as L&I's permit services director.

 Click here for's politics page.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 1:30 PM

City Council gave preliminary approval Wednesday to two bills that would allow the city to sell the garage beneath John F. Kennedy Plaza and move forward with a plan to renovate LOVE Park.

The plan to sell the garage – originally proposed by Council President Darrell L. Clarke – became contentious once the administration decided to include a park refurbishment in the deal. Clarke objected to spending $15 million of city money on the park, and instead suggested selling the rights to open restaurants there to fund the work.

In the end, he and Mayor Nutter signed an agreement to allow the deal to go forward, but with the mayor agreeing to find as many sources of outside funding as possible.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 1:10 PM

Snagged in the City Hall corridors Wednesday by reporters, Council President Darrell L. Clarke said he hasn’t made a decision on whether to call for a special election to fill the at-large seat of Bill Green, who was sworn-in as the chair of the School Reform Commission on Tuesday.

One problem, Clarke said, is that he hasn’t yet received Green’s resignation letter.

“You have to be official,” he said. “My good friend the Councilman is clearly leaving, but we have to have a letter of resignation for the record.”

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Troy Graham and Bob Warner and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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