Dissing incumbent Philadelphia City Controller and fiscal watchdog Alan Butkovitz as "all about politics," ex-city treasurer and budget director Rebecca Rhynhart made it official today: she is running against Butkovitz in this year's election. Rhynhart resigned as Mayor Jim Kenney's Chief Administrative Officer (overseeing 11 city departments) last week to prep for the run.
Rhynhart was hired by then-Mayor Michael Nutter on the eve of the 2008 credit crisis from the doomed Wall Street investment bank Bear Stearns & Co., where she specialized in municipal bonds. Before that she was a credit analyst at Fitch, one of the three main Wall Street agencies which rates Philadelphia and other public and private debt.
Her Wall Street cred and connections made Rhynhart a key person in Nutter's struggle to boost the city's credit rating and lower borrowing costs. Nutter's balanced budgets and increased payments to the underfunded city pension fund resulted in a string of ratings improvements, though the city's fiscal future remains delicate.