— Michael A. Nutter (@Michael_Nutter) July 24, 2014
CBS Philly reports: “Mayor Nutter is in France for the next six days for a trip that officials say is aimed at promoting French investment in Philadelphia. Joining him are his wife, Lisa, and six members of the local business community.”
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter along and representatives from Advanced Sports International (ASI) are promoting cycling, commerce and investment in the city during a six-day trip to France. Nutter will meet with the mayor of Paris, cycling executives and a range of French businesses, including Saint-Gobain, which has its North American headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
Joining Nutter on the trip are several staff from ASI including the company's president and CEO Pat Cunnane, Pennsylvania state representative Madeleine Dean, and Richard Adler and Alan Morrison of the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic. ASI, which markets the Fuji, Kestrel, SE, Breezer, Terry and Oval brands, is headquartered in Philadelphia.
In addition to viewing the Tour de France, Nutter will inspect the public bike sharing system in Paris, Vélib,' in advance of Philadelphia launching its own system in 2015.
Local City Hall reporters seem grumpy they weren't given advance notice. The Inquirer reported archly that "no public notice" was given of his trip:
Nutter's decision to fly off unannounced was in contrast with his past trips abroad, which were publicized by his staff in advance, but also drew criticism from some who questioned their value.
Asked if there might be a correlation between the past criticism and the mayor's manner of leaving Wednesday, Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald dismissed the idea.
"I would not credit that with any validation," he said.
Reportedly, the taxpayers are only covering the mayor's costs.