Former Washington D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams sat down with WHYY’s Dave Davies to offer his perspective on the Philadelphia mayor’s race, and to talk about his two terms as mayor of the capital.
Williams spoke of the importance of selecting the correct staff.
“Would you rather have a car and be looking for a map or would you rather be sitting on a chair in the middle of the road?” he asked. “I would rather have a car and figure out where the map is. The people are your engine, your car, they are so important. I would say 70 percent of your initial work is hiring the very best people.”
In recent years the Philadelphia mayor’s office and city council have fueded. On that, Williams observed: “When you’re mayor, everyone wants your job. There’s nothing you can do about it and you have to let the council vent.”
Williams warns anyone planning on taking the mayor’s postition that the hours are not easy: “Don’t do the job unless you’re willing to work regulary from seven in the morning until eleven at night.”
Like Philadelphia, Washington D.C. is grappling with gentrification.
“The good news is you’re bringing a good healthy tax base to the city; the good news is you’re bringing the good side of gentrification wich everybody likes,” said Williams. “The flip side of gentrification is displacement. No one likes that.”
And finally his advice for Philadelphia’s incoming mayor is about sharing the spotlight:
“Don’t try to hog all the glory. And I see so many mayors try to do that and they get in trouble. Sit back, relax, chill out. Because, in the long term, sometimes unfairly, people are going to remember you.”
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