Mayor Nutter Tours France

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.”

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City Pays $1.4 Million for Posting Gun Permit Appeal Data Online

Two years ago, the city posted a list of Philadelphia citizens who had been denied a gun permit in the state. It eventually took the information down, after outcry from those whose information had been posted. (“I was wrongly accused of being a bartender,” one appeal read.)

Two of those listed sued on behalf of all 3,265 gun permit applicants who had their names and addresses posted on the city website. Last month, they reached a settlement that was announced today: The city is paying $1.4 million to settle the suit.

As part of the settlement (below), the Nutter administration says it still believes the information is not confidential and it had done nothing wrong.

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Jim Kenney Urges Mayor to Sign Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Yesterday, Victor Fiorillo reported that there had been 264 arrests for marijuana possession in the month following City Council’s vote to drop pot possession to a $25 fine.

With the bill — which passed 13-3 — likely to become law in September, it looks silly that there are still pot arrests in the interim. And the author of the marijuana decriminalization law, City Councilman Jim Kenney, is urging Mayor Michael Nutter to sign the law and at least start the debate over whether cops are going to follow it. (Citing state statutes, cops say they plan to ignore the new law and continue to arrest people for pot possession anyway.)

“Just this week, it was reported that another 264 citizens have been arrested since this Bill overwhelming passed City Council on June 19, 2014. Every day Mayor Nutter fails to act, more young people will be handcuffed and jailed for a minimal offense — something that doesn’t happen anywhere else in Pennsylvania”, Kenney said in a statement. Hey, that’s Philly mag’s reporting! If we were a tabloid newspaper, we’d be running an inset image of yesterday’s story alongside this update.

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264 Charged With Marijuana Possession Since City Council Voted to Decriminalize

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On June 19th, Philadelphia City Council voted to decriminalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, passing a bill introduced by Councilman Jim Kenney. But Mayor Michael Nutter opposes the bill, and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has said that he will continue to make marijuana arrests, even if the bill is signed into law. In the month following the bill’s passing, 264 citizens were charged with the crime.

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Judge Slaps Down Nutter Appeal on Lap Dance Tax

A Philadelphia judge today heard an important appeal from the mayor: The Nutter administration was in court today attempting to allow the city to tax lap dances. Unfortunately for the the mayor, the measure failed. Lap dances are now tax free in Philadelphia!

Last June, the Revenue Department decided that lap dances should be taxable and hit several strip clubs with big tax bills. Delilah’s, Club Risqué and Cheerleaders appealed and were successful: The tax bills — totaling around $900,000 — were thrown out. The city’s amusement tax was ruled too vague to apply to lap dances. Now a judge has upheld that ruling.

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Is Michael Nutter Too Honest?

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Over at Politico as part of the magazine’s “What Works” series on innovative ideas and urban reinvention, WHYY’s Holly Otterbein takes a look back at the Michael Nutter-mania that swept Philadelphia back in 2007 and wonders, as we prepare to select our next mayor, if it’s possible for a Philadelphia government to be “honest and effective”:
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How To Effectively Use Profanity In The Workplace

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Mayor Nutter has come under some heat this past week over the more-than-liberal use of profanity during the recent Fourth of July concert on the Parkway.

I understand the concern. It’s a public, family oriented event. The crowds are brutal, the heat is oppressive and with the exception of The Roots, the music really isn’t that great. (What, you actually like Ed Sheeran?)

And on top of that you have to hear bad language?

What would our forefathers say about this? What would Jay-Z say about this?

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For Schools, “A Vortex of Political Hell”

Every so often, when Mayor Nutter opens his mouth, a little gem tumbles out that captures matters perfectly. Yesterday, it was a five carat diamond.

“We are caught in a vortex of political hell with no way out,” Nutter told reporters. Later, he mentioned ping pong.

At issue is the cigarette tax for city schools, which is a questionable policy on its own, but also the closest thing the district has right now to a lifeline. Yesterday morning, it looked like a lock. But that was before the State Senate voted to put its growing feud with the House of Representatives and the tender concerns of the tobacco lobby ahead of the School District of Philadelphia and its 191,000 students, adding a five-year sunset provision to the tax and putting its final passage at risk.

How did this happen? Didn’t the Senate approve the tax sunset-free on June 30?

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