Voters need to be cognizant of more than just snow removal.
When the snow settled and the salt fell, Mayor Nutter’s test officially began.
If the streets were clean, Nutter was helping his chances of being re-elected. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that “political observers are giving Nutter rave reviews, praising his leadership and the clean up.”
But we urge Philadelphia voters – particularly Temple students – not to base their opinions of Mayor Nutter or the city government by the slipperiness of the sidewalks and streets.
Clearly, as mayor, Nutter was not going to be irresponsive to the snowfall. While he oversaw the clean up with varying success, he should not be commended for maintaining the city, as it is part of his job description.
Likewise, Nutter is not solely to blame for the ice-covered side streets of various parts of the city that remain messy. While we cannot help but raise our eyebrows to some snow-free Center City sections when compared to the snow-covered community surrounding Main Campus, some streets are too narrow to plow, especially with cars parked along the sides.
However, the city budget had not set aside money for snow removal, which now is looming at $11.5 million, according to a Philadelphia Daily News report. Budget Director Stephen Agostini said even if they had set aside $3 million to $5 million, “it wouldn’t have been remotely enough.”
Regardless of whether the money was set aside from the beginning, the funds would have been spent. But we wonder if the city government has ever read the Farmers’ Almanac.
The Temple News does not blame the mayor for the snow or the shadow the recession has cast on an already fiscally meager city, but we do encourage voters to watch closely as the mayor releases the budget for the fiscal year 2011 on March 4.
It will be his handling of such situations that voters should be more concerned with. Snow can melt naturally, but dollar signs are forever.
After releasing the budget for FY 2010, Philadelphia Weekly reported Mayor Nutter “called on Philadelphians to step up and be part of the solution or ‘sit down and be quiet.’” We hope voters will only take half his advice, as sitting down as foreseen issues rise in the budget could disregard a possible solution, unbeknownst to those in office.