On the surface, it seems like a bunch of great stuff came together for Mayor Michael Nutter. People might read the news articles and think, it was a good week for the man. Namely, a new tool to help parents with their kids education, a tax plan, new rules to help save lives, and shovels broke ground on a multi-million dollar development should make for a great week for any leader. But, leave it to us to peel back and show what’s really going on.
A local nonprofit launched a web site that provides a one-stop spot for Philadelphia parents choosing schools for their children. Greatphillyschools.org, puts sortable one-to-ten academic rankings for more than 400 Philadelphia public, private, and parochial schools. Mayor Nutter was on hand to show his support for the new site. A mayor that supports education (and education about the education) isn’t transparent, right?
Pennsylvania legislature approved a key portion of Nutter’s new property assessment plan, “AVI”. The Actual Value Initiative legislation will reevaluate residential property values. The new assessments will be made public in February. Then, based on that info, Nutter and City Council will have to get the real work done: determining the new tax rate. Can I just go on the record and say this won’t be pretty. He may be relieved and all smiles now, but there’s a long road ahead for everyone.
Nutter set some new guidelines that he thinks will save lives. The new measure requires multifamily dwelling owners to use sealed smoke alarms with long-lasting batteries. The requried smoke alarms prevent removal of batteries or the possibility of forgetting to replace a dead battery.
“In April alone, Philadelphia lost three children two mothers, a grandfather, a grandmother in three separate household fires,” Councilman Curtis Jones, sponsor of the measure, told Newsworks. “In all three of those occasions, there wasn’t an operable smoke alarm.”
The big question is who’s going to enforce this law? The same people that were forgetting to change the batteries before? Good luck with that.
Finally, the $34 million Marriot Hotel at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia had it’s groundbreaking last week. Nutter, naturally, was on hand to help kick off the project that will bring 400 construction jobs and 50 permanent jobs after the hotel opens. There’s no real underlying story here. Other than Nutter doing what Nutter does best: PR.