Archive: October, 2008
Nine lucky Phillies fans won tickets to the World Series through the city's raffle. Five are from the city and four from outside. More than 25,000 people entered the drawing, and winners were chosen randomly, Lotto-style, by generating nine numbers corresponding to e-mails numbered each e-mail.
The winners are:
In between the highs of the Phillies and the lows of the city's budget crisis, Mayor Nutter is still making time to push for the election of a Democratic president.
Anyone who used to get emails from the Nutter for Mayor campaign today will find another one in their mailbox. It doesn't say anything about street money, but it does ask for volunteers.
Here's what it said:
City Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. asked God for forgiveness in City Council today. Whether he was talking about the recent controversy involving his aide, Latrice Bryant, Goode said later: "It was an invocation. [I] was praying for everyone." Here's an excerpt:
"Heavenly father, we come to you this time with a simple prayer. First, to simply say thank you. To thank you for the special gifts that you have given us to be used for your holy purpose. Let us say thank you by avoiding self interest and rededicating our lives to your holy purpose for our lives. Second, to simply say forgive us, forgive us for sometimes losing our way. You know in our hearts and in our minds we are not perfect. Forgive us as we forgive one another. Third, to simply say bless us, bless us with your holy spirit so that we will realize that you are in full control of our lives. There is no global economic crisis or personal crisis that we cannot overcome. Through your holy spirit we can overcome every worldy and spiritual crisis. Continue to bless us...."
It was Goode's turn to offer an invocation; usually Council members call in a clergy member or spiritual leader to do the job for them, though other Council members have have done their own invocations before. Goode, whose father is now a minister, also attended seminary in his younger days.
Seven Police officers killed in the line of duty will have their names memorialized on city streets, as City Council approved resolutions this morning changing the names of streets on the blocks where the fallen officers lived and died.
The officers honored were: Gary Skerski, Patrick McDonald, Isabel Nazario, Chuck Cassidy, Stephen Liczbinski, Lauretha Vaird, and Walter Barclay. Their names and badge numbers will be on signs placed above the existing streets; the names on the city map won't actually change, nor will addresses on those blocks.
It can't be easy to balance the need for openess and transparency with the need to hash out ideas in private from time to time. Even so, the Nutter administration's new interpretation of state open meetings laws is broader than one would expect from a mayor who won his office promising to restore ethics and transparency to City Hall.
Basically, in the Nutter administration's view, he and a quorum of Council can meet pretty much anytime so long as they're not making actual law or deliberating with the imminent intent to make law. See below for the text of Smith's take on the Sunshine Law, just released today. For a different take on the Sunshine Law, see here.
This narrow reading of open meetings law doesn't seem to track with the Nutter administration otherwise admirable record on openess and transparency. By and large, administration officials are accessible to the press (not to mention the mayor himself). PhillyStat meetings are open to the public and available through the city website. Public records that in prior administrations were hard to get are generally easier to access now.
How do you know it's getting to be crunch time on slashing the city budget?
Because Mayor Nutter, chief of staff Clay Armbrister, Finance Director Rob Dubow and Budget Director Stephen Agostini have been holed up in Council Council President Anna Verna's office since 2:40 p.m.
Also inside: At least eight other Council members, making it a solid quorum, according to a senior Verna aide.
Mayor Nutter is holding a drawing to distribute some of the cities World Series Phillies tickets. Six tickets are available for each series home game. See below for details.
UPDATE: The mayor's office has corrected the "erroneous" first version of its press release which limited the drawing to Philadelphia residents. The drawing is now open to everyone. From the press release:
From the press release:
Mayor Nutter is about to get some serious help, and from a somewhat non-traditional source, in achieving his campaign goal of increasing public school funding.
Taking the helm as the new chairman of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, David L. Cohen told about 1,500 business leaders at this morning's annual breakfast that his number-one chairman priority was pushing for "adequate" funding in public schools. "In the end it's us, the region's business leaders, who pay the price," Cohen said.
No wordy rhetoric about the city's costly business taxes. No defensive posturing about the need to safeguard recently-enacted business tax cuts from being rolled back because of the city's $850 million budget shortfall.