The day after mayor-elect Jim Kenney released the names of all members of his massive transition team, he brought some of them to meet the press at the University City Science Center.
Seventeen of the 163 transition team members were present, including co-chairs state Rep. Dwight Evans and Vanguard executive Alba Martinez.
“This is about one thing and one thing only, which is to get the best and brightest people that want to come into government or work with government from the outside to rally around a common mission,” said Martinez. “And that mission is to help neighborhoods and families thrive.”
We’ll admit, it wasn’t the newsiest of news conferences, but NinetyNine did pick up a few tidbits worth sharing:
Kenney asked to “rent” Evans and Martinez’s brains, although no taxpayer money is being spent on the transition team and all members are working voluntarily. The three of them go way back and have been working since the summer on crafting Kenney’s transition, months before he easily won Tuesday’s general election. Transition director Jessie Bradley (who helped run Mayor Michael Nutter’s first mayoral campaign) is the only paid staffer and manages day-to-day operations (read: helps herd 163 cats … or 164, if you include Kenney).
The ground rules: Kenney’s transition team is huge – far bigger than Nutter’s back in 2007 – and it’s diverse, but lobbyists were not invited and anyone looking for a job in the administration cannot be involved in hiring decisions.
Kenney’s inauguration “will not be a high-end affair. It will be very much typical of what I like and that’s very much community-oriented, block party-style … I doubt it’s going to be a black-tie ball. We’re a little bit more proletarian than that.” Asked later how Kenney would pull off a block party in the middle of winter, spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said there is a plan “that accommodates January [temperatures].” Kenney also told reporters his inauguration would involve fundraising for the Philadelphia schools.
Kenney wants the city to hire more ex-offenders. “If we are asking the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to take a chance on someone, there’s no reason why someone coming back to us couldn’t work in some capacity for the city, so that’s number one,” he said.