It’s been quite an interesting few months in the City of Philadelphia, and it’s about to get more interesting with the election coming up. Radio Times host Marty Moss-Coane talked this morning with Mayor Michael Nutter. Next Monday, we’ll hear from Republican mayoral candidate Karen Brown.
10: 59 a.m. What can the city do to regulate how Philadelphians are able to get gun permits in the mail from Florida? Nutter says an announcement on this is coming and the city is working with several agencies to address the issue of illegal guns. “There is an illegal gun problem in this city and we need help to solve it.”
10:55 a.m. “I’m an eternally optimistic person,” Nutter says about the lingering recession. The city is in a new normal, and Nutter says he’s trying to make sure things don’t get worse. “We have to work harder and smarter and be more efficient.”
10:50 a.m. A listener from Germantown says he’s disappointed the city isn’t working enough with unions on contracts. Nutter says he’s looking out for the long-term and has to consider the needs of unions and citizens.
10:47 a.m. On his decision to reject a big soda-funded anti-obesity campaign, Nutter says, “I don’t play like that.” The city does have federal dollars to fight obesity.
10:41 a.m. Regarding his impassioned speech this summer about problems within the black community, Nutter stands by his comments on parenting.
10:35 a.m. In response to a listener who wants to know why Nutter hasn’t sued the state over education cuts, Nutter says the city has been down that road many times and has been unsuccessful.
10:32 a.m. Nutter says Philadelphia is trying to maintain its middle class and create an economic environment that fosters job creation, growth and sustainability. Going back to education, Nutter says factors like literacy contribute to the poverty level. Improving the education level will improve the economy, he says.
10:28 a.m. July and August revenue numbers were concerning. September numbers are due soon, and the city will consider cuts. Nutter will wait for the first quarter of the fiscal year to end, but doesn’t want to raise taxes. “We’ve asked a lot of the residents of the city,” he says about previous tax increases and service cuts. On the bright size, he says, Philadelphia has come through the recession better than others.
10:20 a.m. On Ackerman, Nutter doesn’t directly say whether the former superintendent was good or bad. “She tried to do her job,” he says, but “We’ve all moved on. That era has passed.”
Regarding the closed-door meetings and charter drama at MLK High, Nutter says State Rep. Dwight Evans cares about kids, but wishes Evans had “stayed within the lines.” When pressed on the report from the city’s Chief Integrity Officer, Nutter says the report “speaks for itself.”
10: 18 a.m. Is it time to rethink the School Reform Commission? “I don’t see [the SRC] going away,” Nutter says, nothing there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with the structure. Though he supports more involvement in education by mayors, Nutter says taking over the School District of Philadelphia is not a serious topic of conversation right now. But a better partnership among the city, state and SRC is.
10:10 a.m. Nutter says his major achievement int he first term is, “doing the things I said I would do,” like lowering the homicide rate and focusing on public education and economic opportunity. His biggest mistake? Announcing the proposal to close libraries. He says he “could have done a better job” at managing that money, but notes the libraries are still open.