City Council President Darrell Clarke—and by extension City Council as a whole—is showing in both words and deeds that Council intends to play a huge, perhaps dominant, role in city government now and in the future, no matter who is elected mayor. Read more »
Lucky for them, that debate won’t take place until after the May 19th primary, in which 15 of 16 Council members are up for reelection. That’s because Council has scheduled its hearing on education funding for May 26th.
During the interview, I found Oliver to be energetic and honest and passionate about the city. But he was also stunningly vague at times, and perhaps more surprisingly, unapologetic about his lack of specific proposals to fix the city’s problems. Toward the end of the Q&A, I told Oliver I thought the mayor’s race in general has suffered from a dearth of ideas. (You can watch the full exchange above.)
As a candidate who has pitched himself as someone with “fresh eyes,” I asked him what his big idea is for the city. He doubled down on being vague.
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission approved five out of 39 applications for new charter schools yesterday night at the tail end of a meeting that featured four arrests and lasted five hours. The decision appeared to please no one. One prominent national ed reformer called on SRC Chairman Bill Greento resign, for not approving enough charter applicants. Pretty much simultaneously, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingartencondemned the decision to approve any new charter schools. Gov. Wolf issued a statement saying his administration “continues to believe that the district’s financial situation cannot responsibly handle the approval of new charter schools.” We haven’t heard yet from Republicans in the General Assembly, but you can bet they would like to have seen more new charters than the five the SRC authorized. Read more »
Believe it or not, Philadelphia did not have an official Veterans Parade until now.
That’s right: The city where American democracy got its start did not have a citywide parade to honor its veterans. U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, philanthropist/Inquirer owner H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, City Council President Darrell Clarke, City Councilman David Oh and other city officials announced Wednesday morning that that will change this year.
Well, this is awkward: Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke has hired a lobbyist for Council in the state capital. This is on top of the two firms already employed by Mayor Michael Nutter. Oh, and the Philadelphia delegation in Harrisburg.
Former City Councilman and mayoral candidate Jim Kenney.
Back in 2007, then-City Councilman Jim Kenney sponsored legislation that required Philadelphia’s pension fund to give bonus checks to retired workers if it surpassed its investment goals.
Today, the city’s pension system is less than 50 percent funded — but the checks are going out anyway, perhaps as early as April, the Inquirer reports. Kenney, now a mayoral candidate, defends the bill through a spokeswoman, who says, “It will take a multiple-solution approach to get to a place where [the pension fund] is stable. We should not do it on the backs of our seniors.”