Friday City Reads

City Council President Darrell Clarke

City Council President Darrell Clarke

Local Reads: “Darrell Clarke wants to restructure the government. Does anybody else?”

City Council President Darrell Clarke is hoping to push through legislation soon that would put a big question to voters on this May’s ballot: Should the city charter be changed to restructure Philadelphia’s government so that the planning and historical commissions, parts of the Licenses & Inspections department, and other agencies are put under one director of planning and development? Read more »

Q&A: Darrell Clarke Talks About His Decision to Not Run for Mayor

Photo courtesy of City Council.

Photo courtesy of City Council.

Council President Darrell Clarke finally made official today what many political insiders have predicted all along: He will not be running for mayor. Instead, he’ll seek reelection in City Council. Clarke did not hold a press conference about the news, so we caught up with him over the phone Monday afternoon. He was his usual pithy self. Read more »

Darrell Clarke Will Not Run For Mayor

Darrell Clarke

Darrell Clarke

UPDATE [4:30 p.m.] : We asked Councilman James Kenney, a possible mayoral candidate, if Council President Darrell Clarke’s announcement this afternoon makes it any more likely that he’ll get into the race. Kenney told us, “I’m available under the right circumstances, but I refuse to start over financially.” Translation: Under city law, Kenney would have to resign from City Council to run for mayor, and he’s unlikely to do so unless he gets a private-sector job to pay the bills during the campaign. Which is what he’s been saying for a while now.

Also: Darrell Clarke Talks About His Decision to Not Run for Mayor

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The Philadelphia Mayor’s Race 2015: Assessing the Candidates

From left: Terry Gillen, Darrell Clarke, Lynne Abraham, Ken Trujillo, and Anthony Williams.

From left: Terry Gillen, Darrell Clarke, Lynne Abraham, Ken Trujillo, and Anthony Williams.

There is, already, a bored, obligatory quality to Philadelphia’s 2015 mayoral election. The candidates underwhelm. Public interest is running low. For all its outsize influence in the past, City Hall today feels a little less domineering.

I had lunch with a smart, engaged guy the other day, a young(ish) Turk in Philly’s huge nonprofit sector, who told me he was past tired of talking and thinking about which Big Papa we should pick to rescue the city this time. “This is our problem,” he told me, “this daddy complex.”

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Nutter, Clarke Spar Over Death of PGW Privatization Deal

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Despite some glimmers of last-minute hope a few weeks ago and Doug Oliver’s endorsement of a sale earlier this week, Mayor Michael Nutter’s proposed deal to sell Philadelphia Gas Works to a Connecticut company for $1.86 billion — already comatose after City Council President Darrell Clarke announced in late October that Council would not touch the matter — has ended not with a bang, but a withdrawal.

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PGW Sale Hopes Dim

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

The proposed sale of Philadelphia Gas Works to a private Connecticut company — a sale long considered on life support, at best — is one step closer to outright death.

UIL Holdings said Thursday that it is ending its pursuit of the Philadelphia utility; it will not renew its option to buy when that agreement ends at the end of December. The announcement came after Thursday’s City Council meeting, considered the last chance to jump-start the process to result in a sale by year’s end.

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