No Katz-Green Council ticket this fall

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Sam Katz and Bill Green. ( Staff file photos )

Forget about a Sam Katz-Bill Green ticket for the Nov. 3 general election for Philadelphia City Council.

The pair have confirmed they decided against seeking two of the seven Council at-large seats set aside in the City Charter for a minority political party. Those seats, in a city controlled by Democrats, have been held for decades by Republicans.

Katz and Green, who this year switched their party registrations to independent, thought they had a chance of winning the minority seats if they ran as a team.

Green was an at-large Council member for seven years until he stepped down last year to assume the appointed position of chairman of the School Reform Commission. Then-Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, named him to the job.

Gov. Wolf, a Democrat, removed Green from the chairman's post this year, but Green remains a SRC member.

Green, the son of a former mayor, briefly considered running for mayor. Once he decided against that, he contemplated running for Council.

He said he would do so only if Katz, who also considered a run for mayor, would run with him. But just days before the Aug. 3 deadline for independents to file nominating petitions to get on the November ballot, Katz and Green said: never mind.

"I thought it would have been fun to do as a team, to have an ally on fiscal issues and something people would have been excited about," Green said. "I didn't have the appetite to do it alone."

Katz said he was "gratified that so many Philadelphians were so encouraging to me and that Bill Green, a dedicated and talented leader, wanted to team with me to create an independent party."

He said he decided against a run because he "wasn't excited about being a city councilperson."

Katz, who has forged a career as a documentary filmmaker, said he had other opportunities to pursue. He is preparing to produce three films while Pope Francis is in Philadelphia in September. One will be on the World Meeting of Families, another about the papal Mass on the Parkway, and the third about the pope's visit.

Green said his "highest and best use is on the SRC at this point." There is much work to do given the School District's financial situation, he said.

"There's an unsustainable labor situation. We barely have enough money to keep the status quo," Green said. "And we are waiting to hear whether the [state] Supreme Court will take up our case . . . on the termination of teachers' contracts."


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