Nutter Begins 2nd Term With New Council
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By Mike Dunn and Ben Simmoneau
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Declaring “we’re not done yet,” Michael Anthony Nutter was sworn in to a second term in office on Monday, along with all 17 members of City Council during a two-hour ceremony at the Academy of Music.
Surrounded by his wife and daughter, Nutter took the oath of office and then delivered a 20-minute address that focused on the challenges the city faces including the public school system and violence, with six murders this New Year’s weekend in Philadelphia. Mayor Nutter talked about some of his plans including implementing 120 new police officers by this summer.
He touched on the lost potential of city teens caught up in crime:
“We must show them that if you put that gun down, we’ll put work in your hands, we’ll put a job in your hands, we’ll put a book in your hands. We’ll put a paycheck in your hands,” said Nutter.
Nutter said public education is the other major challenge facing this city.
“We will turn around the lowest performing schools in our system, and if they can’t be turned around, close or replace them with high quality alternatives,” said Nutter.
And with all 17 members of City Council behind him on stage, the mayor spoke repeatedly of the need for unity among elected officials to solve the city’s woes (SEE PHOTOS).
He bemoaned that one out of three city tax dollars goes to fighting crime and staffing prisons.
“One third of your tax dollars dealing with bad decisions and bad behavior. Its a waste of your money,” Nutter said. “That money could be better spent on education and after school programs and libraries and parks and recreation centers and job opportunities.”
The extent to which Nutter can get things done may be determined by his relations with the decidedly new council, which features not only the six freshmen but a new Council President in longtime John Street ally Darrell Clarke.
Clark said he stands ready to work with the mayor over the next four years.
There were no new initiatives announced in the address — that’s likely to come in the mayor’s budget speech later this winter.