What You Could Talk About Over a $380 Coffee with Mayor Kenney

Someone paid $380 for a half-hour coffee date with the mayor. Here's what you could ask him if you ever won such a prize.

Jim Kenney photo by Jeff Fusco; background photo via Elixr’s website

Jim Kenney photo by Jeff Fusco; background photo via Elixr’s website

Mayor Jim Kenney is an expensive date.

Friends of Chester Arthur, a nonprofit that benefits Chester A. Arthur School in the Southwest Center City/G-Ho/Anderson Yards section of Philadelphia, recently auctioned off a coffee date with Kenney.

The winner paid $380 for the opportunity to talk to the mayor over coffee for a half-hour. That’s a $760 hourly rate for the mayor, which is partner-at-a-law-firm money.

“That’s not bad for a mayor of two months,” Kenney told the Philadelphia Business Journal. By the end of his term, he’s going to be collecting a grand an hour, at least.

The first question is: Where would you even go? Probably some place like Elixr or Plenty — the kind of place you go with someone on a date when neither of you are really into it enough to go to a bar. (I’ve had lots of dates at these places.)

Just know that you can’t take the mayor to Starbucks. Maybe you’d have to meet him at the Robinson Luggage Wawa to chat over coffee. Also, who’s buying?

The whole process got me thinking which questions you could ask the mayor if you paid $380 for a coffee date with him. So here are some ideas!

• As he said, Kenney is just two months into his term. So you should probably give him some sort of pep talk, like, “Do a good job!” or “Please save this city!” (if you’re from the Northeast) or “Just don’t drop a bomb on a city block please!” That way, if he’s a beloved mayor who brings this city to greatness, you can claim credit for inspiring him.

See if you can get a cushy, no-work government job. I mean, it’s worth a shot. Think how much better your life would be if you could get paid to put your feet up on a desk every day. Today you could even slink out to a bar and watch the NCAA tournament!

Ask him about his Twitter. I’ve chronicled Kenney’s use of the service before, and it’d be nice to ask him if he’s doing OK.

I get sad sometimes, too, but I try not to tweet about it. Jim, are you OK? See, this is the kind of thing you could talk to him about over a coffee.

Did he ever patch things up with The Moleman? In 2012, Kenney got into it with a pseudonymous city employee who went by The Moleman on Twitter. “By the way dick, I am in CC if you want to tell me sumpin,” Kenney tweeted at him. Moleman later deleted his Twitter account.

But now Kenney is the mayor. Does The Moleman still work for the city? Do the two pass in the hallways? Are they cool now?

• You could share with the mayor your tiny little gripes about Philadelphia you know are never going to get fixed. Here are a bunch:

  1. Why the hell are there no public toilets anywhere?
  2. The playgrounds don’t have those cool rocket ship slides any more. We used to have 160 playgrounds with them. What gives?
  3. The Wells Fargo Center kinda stinks for concerts; anything you can do about that?
  4. Why is Pennsylvania Hospital’s cool courtyard always locked?
  5. I’d like to see the Broad Street Line or the El extended up Roosevelt Boulevard to the City Line in the Far Northeast. You can do that, right?

Just substitute those with any of your minor problems and you’re good to go!

Ask if you can go on top of William Penn’s hat at City Hall. If anyone can get you up there, it’s the mayor — right?!

• Skip coffee and go out with him for a soda. One day, a can of soda will cost $380 for everyone — not just auction winners.

Follow @dhm on Twitter.