Archive: March, 2011
City Councilman William K. Greenlee, considered potentially at-risk in this year's Democratic primary, went a long way toward keeping his job through sheer luck Wednesday -- he drew the No. 1 ballot position.
In a cast of 21 Democratic candidates running for Council, being number one on the ballot means a lot on election day.
"The biggest thing is, the folks who want to find me, will find me," Greenlee said outside Courtroom 676 in City Hall, where three judges acting as the Board of Elections presided over the drawings Wedneday morning. "There's no getting lost on the ballot."
There are 10 Republicans for Council-at-large and 20 Democrats.
Drawing first for the GOP spot: Mike Untermeyer. Frank Rizzo drew No 7.
Democrats: drawing the No. 1 spot is Bill Greenlee. Blondell Reynolds Brown drew 5, W Wilson Goode drew 20, Jim Kenney drew 14, Bill Green drew 11, Sherrie Cohen drew 6, and Andy Toy drew 15.
Fifteen Democrats running for traffic court. Drawing position no. 1 is Christine Solomon.
Mayor Nutter's name will appear below Milton Street's, causing laughter here even from the judges running the meeting.
Republican City commissioner Joe Duda will appear first, above 3 rivals.
marcia gelbartRoom 676 in City Hall is packed as the ritual drawing for ballot position is about to get underway. Among those candidates here in person are Margaret Tartaglione, Bill Green, Bill Greenlee, Blondell Reynolds Brown, Stephanie Singer
City Controller Alan Butkovitz issued an audit of the city's Streets Department Wednesday that found overpayment of $120,000 in overtime between 2006 and 2009.
The Controller’s auditors found that some workers who put in a 7.5-hour day were paid ovtertime, when the overtime meter should start running at 8 hours.
"Workers starting at 8:30 a.m. and taking a one-hour lunch were receiving overtime after 5 p.m., instead of after 5:30 p.m.," the news release said.
In keeping with a controversial pledge to made last year to City Council as part of an effort to ward off Mayor Nutter's steep tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, the soft-drink industry will donate $10 million to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to fund research into and prevention of childhood obesity.
The three-year grant is funded by a new organization, the Foundation for a Healthy America, created by the American Beverage Association, the national trade group representing manufacturers and bottlers. The ABA was instrumental in lobbying Philadelphia City Council to reject Nutter's proposal to tax sugary drinks at 2-cents per ounce as a way to cut consumption and raise money for the general fund.
In a press release Wednesday, CHOP insisted that it will "retain absolute clinical and research independence," as the source of its funding for the research is likely to come under attack from those wary of the beverage industry's influence. That includes funding for clinical studies to be submitted to peer-reviewed publications.
The city's DROP pension program continues to hit at candidates from all sides.
This afternoon, Republican ward leader Matthew Wolfe said he had filed his petition to knock Councilman Frank Rizzo off the May 17 ballot over his participation in the Deferred Option Retirement Plan, or DROP.
DROP requires participants to retire in exchange for receiving a large, lump-sum pension payment, but Rizzo and other elected officials have used a legal loophole that allows them to collect the money, run for reelection, retire for a day and keep return to work.
Rabbi Solomon Isaacson is a fixture in City Hall.
After all, week in and week out for about two decades, he has made it his business to deliver 600 or so challahs to dozens of city offices, not to mention businesses around town.
A Hasidic rabbi who grew up in South Philadelphia, it is his way of grabbing the attentions of people of political importance. It is his way of lobbying. “You would be surprised how a challah gets you into meet people,” he says.