The Brief: Pay by Phone Parking Coming to Philly Really Soon

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1. Parking kiosk down again? No problem.

The gist: PlanPhilly reports that the Philadelphia Parking Authority has picked a company — Pango USA — to provide a pay by phone parking service. The cost to the consumer is one cent per transaction, PlanPhilly reports. The system could be ready to go within 60 days, but will be piloted between 4th and 20th Streets and Arch and Locust Streets first. Read more »

Exactly How Wasteful Was the Tony Williams Campaign?

Photos by Jeff Fusco

Photos by Jeff Fusco

The only metric that really matters in an election is the vote count. But it’s interesting to look at which candidates got the most value with their campaign spending. One blunt way to look at that is to see how many votes the candidates get per dollar spent.

Jim Kenney fared pretty well, as you would expect. His victory cost him about $12 per vote, and $30 per vote if you factor in his super PAC support, and you definitely should. Anthony Williams and his super PAC? A gobstopping $149 per vote won. Wow.

Who got the most bang for his limited buck? Doug Oliver. He spent a measly $4 for every vote he won. And for that we’ll give Oliver campaign manager Mustafa Rashed the very last official campaign insult of the mayoral primary: “If you want to know why our city is in the fiscal shape it is in, look no further to how people in office manage their money.”

Shots fired — for the last time. Read more »

The Brief: Jim Kenney and the Rebirth of Big City Liberalism

Liberals ascendant? | Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Big city liberals ascendant? | Photo by Jeff Fusco.

1. Kenney’s victory is latest in series of liberal City Hall wins.

The gist: The big east coast cities of New York, Boston and Philadelphia have all elected pronounced left-leaning mayors to replace the likes of Michael Nutter, Michael Bloomberg and Boston’s pragmatic Thomas Menino. The Inquirer’s outstanding Thomas Fitzgerald ties together those threads (he could have included Rahm Emanuel’s unexpectedly tough re-election fight against the liberal Chuy Garcia in Chicago). Read more »

Isn’t That Conveeeeenient: Council Incumbents Get Good Ballot Position Despite Low Lottery Draws

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A highly-stylized visualization of the Coffee Can of Destiny.

There was some handwringing in City Hall the day candidates drew numbered balls out of that famous Horn & Hardart coffee can. The at-large Democratic City Council incumbents drew a series of lousy numbers, theoretically meaning they would have lousy ballot position in Tuesday’s primary.

The lower the number drawn, the earlier a candidate appears on the ballot. The higher the number, the lower the ballot order. And the at-large incumbents drew some of the biggest numbers of  all. Wilson Goode Jr. picked #21, the single-worst draw possible. Ed Neilson drew #18, and William Greenlee #15. Blondell Reynolds Brown did better, with #8. But in the main, fortune was not on the side of the incumbents that day.

Or so it seemed. Read more »

The Brief: “They Already Called the Election, But It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over.”

Photos by Jeff Fusco

Photos by Jeff Fusco

1. The mayoral candidates spent the final weekend of the campaign insisting the race isn’t over yet.

The gist: The reverberations of last week’s Jim-Kenney-could-beat-FDR poll were still strong on the final weekend of the campaign, with Kenney, Anthony Williams and Lynne Abraham all insisting during traditional last-minute stops at city churches on Sunday that the mayoral race won’t be over until 8 p.m. Tuesday night. At a stop of Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church in Nicetown, Williams was joined by U.S. Rep Chaka Fattah, who “decried the poll,” according to the Inquirer. Other speakers did as well: Read more »

The Challengers: Helen Gym’s Aim — To Make Council Holds Schools Accountable

Helen Gym | Photo by Alex Hogan

Helen Gym | Photo by Alex Hogan

All week, Citified is featuring Q&As with leading at-large City Council Democratic challengers on topics of their choosing. The prompt was simple: if elected, what’s a problem you would you prioritize, and how would you address it? To keep the conversation substantive and on-point, we asked the candidates to focus on a relatively narrow question (i.e., not “schools,” or “crime.”)

Longtime schools activist Helen Gym is running an at-large campaign powered by an enthusiastic grassroots network of supporters, the backing of teacher unions and her own indomitable personality. Her presence on Council would surely shakeup a a legislative body that is, plainly, sick and tired of talking about the city’s struggling schools and the questions of how to fund them.

Gym would make schools her central focus if she is elected to Council. In particular, Gym wants to dramatically change Council’s approach to schools oversight, and that’s the subject she chose to discuss with Citified. Read more »

The Challengers: Allan Domb Thinks He Can Wipe Out Tax Delinquency

Photo of Allan Domb in the lobby of Parc Rittenhouse by Laura Kicey Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/tag/allan-domb/#yov81b2TdtFSVoOi.99

Photo of Allan Domb in the lobby of Parc Rittenhouse by Laura Kicey

All week, Citified is featuring Q&As with leading at-large City Council Democratic challengers on topics of their choosing. The prompt was simple: if elected, what’s a problem you would you prioritize, and how would you address it? To keep the conversation substantive and on-point, we asked the candidates to focus on a relatively narrow question (i.e., not “schools,” or “crime.”)

Allan Domb — real estate magnate, developer, part owner of Starr Restaurants — seems an unlikely candidate for City Council. But he’s running, and he’s running to win: Domb has already spent $560,000 of his own money on the campaign. Domb’s business experience is unmatched by any of the council candidates, incumbents included. But he’s never served in government or worked in the non-profit sector. Nonetheless, Domb considers himself a policy wonk, and when asked what he wanted to talk about with Citified, he picked a subject as wonky as they get — property tax delinquency.

Read more »

The No-Bullshit Mayoral Election Guide

Kenney-Williams-Six-Grid

Photos by Jeff Fusco.

The election is on Tuesday, May 19. That’s really soon! And maybe you haven’t followed the mayoral race all that closely. That’s OK. You’re busy. We get it. That’s why we’ve put together this bottom-line assessment of the candidates’ greatest strengths, and their biggest weaknesses. It’s a different sort of voter guide. No hemming or hawing. Just our brutally honest read on what each candidate brings to the game, and what they leave on the sidelines. Read more »

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