Former Philly mayor says Kenney’s doing good job — but could use some state help

 Former Mayor John Street visits City Hall. (Tom MacDonald, WHYY)

Former Mayor John Street visits City Hall. (Tom MacDonald, WHYY)

A former Philadelphia mayor says he’s pleased with how the city’s current chief executive is doing.

A John Street sighting is a certainty one day a year in Philadelphia City Hall.  The Temple University professor brings his political science classes to City Hall to hear the budget address. True to form, that was the case Thursday as Mayor Jim Kenney rolled out his proposed spending plan for the next budget year.

Standing on the grand staircase he ascended every day for decades as councilman, council president and mayor, Street stopped to offer a report card on Jim Kenney’s performance.

“I think he’s doing fine, he inherited a situation that had a couple of challenges,” Street said. “But I think, by and large, he’s remained in good rapport with City Council.”

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Street, who served as mayor from 2000 to 2008, said the current mayor’s biggest problem is state funding.

“Our problems are big, but the origin of them is not local government, the origin of most of our biggest problems is our relationship with the commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Street continued. “The governor is doing the best he can, but we have an Assembly that is not very kind.”

As for the sweetened-beverage tax — even though he opposed it in the past — Street said it’s time has come if upheld by the courts.

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