Governing Honors Mayor Nutter
Ever get the feeling that Mayor Nutter is more beloved and more appreciated beyond Philly city limits than he is at home? We do too. And that suspicion reaches new heights today with the revelation that Governing magazine has named our mayor one of its nine “Public Officials of the Year.”
Here is how the magazine assesses the mayor:
The homicide rate has dropped by more than 35 percent, while violent crime in general continues to tick down. The city’s public schools, which are largely run by the state, are still a work in progress, but the high school dropout rate has come down 20 percent in recent years. In September, Nutter helped persuade Harrisburg to allow a cigarette tax that will help patch the school district’s shoddy finances. Nutter didn’t get everything he wanted from a pension overhaul, but he did update an antiquated, opaque and clearly unfair property assessment system. He oversaw the city’s first comprehensive plan in more than 50 years — a document that could take into account the growing number of young professionals and small and innovative businesses drawn to the city on his watch, helping to expand and brighten Center City.
On the national level, Nutter has been a leading voice on issues such as gun control, combating obesity among residents trapped in low-nutrition food deserts, greener building and stormwater runoff, and maintaining funding for Community Development Block Grants. “He is a student of government who has become the professor,” says Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. “He has earned his way into the dean’s role of mayors across America.”
The magazine goes on to reference Philly Mag’s summertime assessment of the mayor that Nutter had ushered in a “Golden Age of Ethics” for the city.
So. Prophets and geniuses are never honored in their own towns, or at their own times. Maybe we need to listen more to outsiders about what a great mayor we have. After all, we only have 2015 left to enjoy him.