Letters Extra: Check needed on mayoral clout

The Inquirer opposes legislation that would require City Council approval for the mayor to challenge an arbitration award because it would "only inject more politics into the process" ("Unions want to call the shots," July 28).

At the heart of this issue is binding arbitration itself, where the parties in a dispute agree to accept the decision of an unbiased, third party. In appealing the city firefighters' arbitration decision, Mayor Nutter has taken a rather extreme step that should have been sanctioned by a proper system of checks and balances at the local level.

As the editorial declares, "Public officials are elected to put taxpayers first, not employees who work for the taxpayers." It appears the City Council fills this description as well as the mayor. Shouldn't they, therefore, be given the opportunity to review the mayoral appeal's merits, and stifle it if necessary?

Although Council approval will surely make this process more political, it will also provide a public forum for determining whether the mayor is operating in the public interest, or out of private arrogance.

Coleman Poses, Philadelphia

Continue Reading