Sunday, February 7, 2016

Respect, honor and lack thereof

Love is in the air, but not between Mayor Nutter and District Attorney Seth Williams.

Respect, honor and lack thereof


Mayor Nutter is not winning popularity contests these days. Close to the top may be with District Attorney Seth Williams, who has been on a local, highly vocal campaign expressing his displeasure with Hizzonner, to whom he shows little honor.

On Monday, Williams blasted the Nutter administration’s budget process as being “inadequate and disrespectful.”

The DA wants a “conservative, bare-bones request” of an additional $2 million for his budget, while Nutter does not appear to be budging from the $31.6 appropriation, basically unchanged since 2008. Williams noted that what he really needs is $4.5 million extra to keep up with inflation during the last four years.

Everyone wants more money. The school district wants $60 million. Few people, if any, will be happy.

Williams is just being more open. He disparaged Nutter’s beloved bike program, the go-to initiative to discredit among the mayor’s opponents. The DA asked “Do we have the political will, or do we just have more bike lanes?” To which Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald later Tweeted, “Bike share vs. $ for DA fighting crime is a false dichotomy. Bike share is capital $ that will leverage even more. DA $ is operating funds.

Who knew bikes could cause such anger?

Never mind.

We know that, in Philadelphia, bikes can cause plenty. And that’s even before the road rage.

On Thursday, Williams continued to criticize Nutter during City Council. The Inquirer’s Troy Graham tweeted: “@DASethWilliams says mayor's office doesn't talk to him. Calls budget process "inadequate and disrespectful."

He doesn't write. He doesn't call. Best not to invite both to the same party.

Then some wag responded — OK, it was me — “Philly needs relationship counseling for peace and harmony between mayor and DA.”

To which Williams Tweeted, “more importantly Philly needs a Mayor that does not cut the budget of the DA while many other pet projects get more $$.”

Guess that's a reference to the bikes.

Williams was still not done Thursday, noting “more important is a process in which the DA's office is asked at least 1 question before the Mayor puts it in ink.”

April, folks.

This is going to be one very contentious budget season.

--Karen Heller

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Blinq is a news commentary blog featuring contributions from Inquirer Metro columnists Kevin Riordan and Daniel Rubin.

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