- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
The tone deafness at City Hall
Yeah, so the Mayor was on TV last night showing off a side I’ve never understood, liked, or can even remotely fathom. You know that side. That’s the side that emerges when a complete cluster$%*! has occurred on his watch, and the response is “get over it.”
Mayor Nutter says it’s time to look ahead, now that the Arlene Ackerman buyout drama is over.
Committee of 70 CEO Zack Stalberg suggested if contributors to Arlene Ackerman’s buyout were solicited publicly instead of secretly, maybe the donors wouldn’t have withdrawn and some of the $900,000 in public money could have been saved.
Mayor Nutter, who admitted to calling donors, wouldn’t go there.
“Hindsight is always 20/20 vision. It’s a whole lot of woulda, shoulda, coulda.”
So a “whole lot of woulda, shoulda, coulda” is not what I would describe the complete and utter colossal disaster that made headlines around the state and nation because of a million dollar public buyout of a controversial superintendent. It’s not what I would describe a mindset that could approve solicitations of private anonymous donors as a “favor” to the public. It’s not a phrase I would say when 3000+ people lost their jobs at the school district, including 27 assistant principals who lost their jobs that day because people in charge didn’t do theirs. It’s not a phrase I would use when the issues at stake are basic governance, fiscal responsibility, ethics, and a sense of decency when a city’s been through the ringer on polarizing rhetoric and bitterness on all ends.
A “whole lot of woulda, shoulda, coulda” is not what I would say when the Mayor’s picks to the SRC have been terrible examples of bungling ineptitude, potential ethical compromise, and public disservice. Or when his office has been sitting for five months on an ethics investigation into potential SRC interference in a $60 million contract for Martin Luther King High School.
And it’s not a phrase I would use when the public put up $53M in higher property taxes for our schools, despite a butchered tax system that’s among the worst in the nation from uncollected taxes to uncertified assessors to erratic assessments across the city.
I think we should move on from Arlene Ackerman as well. There’s a whole lot the Mayor could have said to do that. Like laying out a vision for schools, like promising renewed engagement, like acknowledging the failures and weaknesses of the system, like talking about new leadership for the SRC and laying out a plan for new leadership at the district, like expressing some level of humility or reaching out and bringing people together, like being a champion for public ed and governance when so many people are feeling disgust about it.
Fortunately for him, his mayoral opponent is someone who makes “hindsight is always 20/20” sound like an Oxford thesis.