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2012 Year in Review: Mayor Nutter and Philadelphia City Council At Odds

(Mayor Michael Nutter.  File photo by Mike Dunn)

(Mayor Michael Nutter. File photo by Mike Dunn)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 2012 brought the start of Michael Nutter’s second term as mayor of Philadelphia, but his agenda was hindered by a combative City Council, which included six new members.

The year in Philadelphia began with the pomp and circumstance of inaugural ceremonies, as Michael Nutter launched his second term as mayor (see news story).

“I will spend every waking moment of every day of this new term working with our City Council,” he said that day.

And the 2012 edition of City Council had a decidedly new face, with six new members — the biggest turnover in two decades.   In addition, the mayor faced new Council leadership: Darrell Clarke succeeded the retiring Anna Verna as Council president.

“We have the most diverse Council in the history of the city,” Clarke noted.  “Hopefully we can do more work than any Council in the history of Philadelphia.”

But Council’s work, to the mayor’s chagrin, included a series of rejections of Nutter proposals.

  • They delayed by one year Nutter’s request to overhaul property taxes (news story).
  • They gave the school district only $40 million in new funds, less than half what the mayor had sought (news story).
  • At year’s end, Clarke had put off even introducing a separate pension reform proposal from Nutter.  (news story).

With those issues still looming, 2013 promises to be an even tougher test of the relationship between City Council and the mayor.