Another Day, Another Czar

Curious that every time someone is named to a new government position with a super title, the official is dubbed a “czar,” be it for sustainability or public safety.

It’s like we’re living in Imperial Russia. On steroids. Why have one czar when you can have many?

In February, Mayor Nutter balked at AFSCME District Council 47 President Cathy Scott’s suggestion that, given the city’s pathetic history in getting deadbeats to pay their fare share, he name a Revenue Collection Czar.

Actually, he more than balked. He slammed the suggest with sarcasm.

Nutter said, “I'll think about that right after I figure out how to appoint a benefits czar who could help us address the ever increasing cost in health care and benefits.”

Guess what?

On Wednesday, only six weeks later, Nutter named Thomas Knudsen to the new position of — drumroll, please — revenue collection czar.

OK, officially the title is chief revenue collections officer, but you get the point.

And, furthermore, what took him Nutter long?

Meanwhile, Revenue Commissioner Keith J. Richardson was moved to the nonprofit arm of the revolving door also as the Philadelphia Housing Authority, a place that has has had so many officials it should be turned into an SRO.

--Karen Heller

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