Well Mayor Nutter 2013 is almost over and you’re probably breathing a sigh of relief until you realize a lot of the issues that you faced this year would probably continue on into 2014. It certainly has had its good and bad; highs and lows. Although everything can’t be covered here let’s take a look at some of 2013’s highlights with you at the helm. There will also be a score at the end of each issue that will further help you examine how well you did.
• You battled each union and never showed fear; you didn’t surrender to them nor were you intimidated by them especially when the PFT paid for an ad to air during prime time on television featuring Kia Philpot Hinton.
You didn’t waiver from your beliefs and went on the offensive; you countered back. Throughout the year you had no problem going toe-to-toe with the union bosses and their refusal to play ball with contract negotiations. Although many people in this city (union members and their families) may not like you very much they’re failing to see the bigger picture which is by positioning yourself as someone who wants to rein in the ridiculous demands of the unions you are effectively preparing yourself for the governorship once you decide to pursue it. That’s a pretty good strategy.
• Mayor Nutter as mayor you’ve done a lot of good things that helped the residents of this city. In 2012 you planned to offer bounties to those who provide tips that lead to the arrests of individuals who may have murdered someone. There was also your idea about taxing sodas and cigarettes to help fund the school district, but unfortunately they didn’t come to fruition. You dealt with the violent flash mob attacks and put into place a new curfew. Residents in Philly with criminal convictions were able to finally get a level playing field through the Ban the Box law. Awesome.
However every once in awhile people step in a pile of dung and in 2011 you stepped in a huge pile when Occupy Philly took over the plaza by City Hall. At first you did the politically correct thing by saying you supported their efforts, but you failed to mention it had an expiration date. You then evicted them in order to start building a $5 million skating rink in 2013.
Philly does not need another skating rink because it has two. What this city does need is for the political leaders to stop wasting time and taxpayer’s money to put something in place that will only benefit them. The school district isn’t the only one that needs money. The Office of Emergency Shelter and Services needs money too so homeless women and their children have a place to go.
• This year you traveled to Washington at the invite of President Obama so you with 15 other of your urban mayors were able to talk about ways to combat youth violence. You also began Shared Prosperity which is a plan that will change the lives of those living in poverty because as you well know youth violence and poverty are interconnected. The residents who live in poverty every day will be looking forward to see how their lives will improve.
• Finally Mr. Mayor this relentless bickering and attempting to one-up each other that has been going on between you and the members of City Council must stop. It’s hurting the residents of this city. It shouldn’t have taken two months to get that money to the school district. The ongoing battle with City Council over plans to sell vacant school buildings was downright embarrassing.
Now you guys are locking horns over the garage which is beneath LOVE Park. The garage should stay a garage. Parking in that area is difficult and a garage will bring the city a lot income. The garage shouldn’t be made into an underground plaza full of fancy restaurants. Sure it may bring jobs, but these jobs are low paying and will not lift anyone out of poverty. It will make a lot of people richer, but none of them will be the regular citizens of Philadelphia; those that make under $50,000 per year.
With the type of restaurants that are being suggested these residents can’t even afford to eat there. Both you and City Council need to learn to get along in order to go along. All of you should grow-up. Mayor Nutter you call yourself a mayor of the people and perhaps you need to put that into action by focusing on the people.