Despite the fact Mayor Michael A. Nutter has a low approval rating from voters according to the latest Pew public-opinion survey, we have to congratulate him for doing what no other Mayor has done – pursue the original vision of our city’s founder William Penn for an eco-friendly “Greene Countrie Towne” by planting legions of trees that will shade us and charm us long after the Mayor’s everyday woes of 2013 are forgotten.
Trees are not the only accomplishment that will uphold Nutter’s legacy. He was just honored as a “City Changemaker” by CEOs for Cities at the organization’s annual meeting in Grand Rapids, Mich. The awards are given for innovative leadership in American cities. CEOs for Cities is a national organization dedicated to connecting urban leaders with each other and with the smartest ideas for city success.
Nutter said on that occasion, “Serving as Mayor of Philadelphia and as President of the US Conference of Mayors has allowed me to take important steps both locally and nationally in providing pathways for our cities to become safer, greener and more prosperous.”
Nutter was honored for a number of reasons. He has been managing the recession by maintaining core services and reducing the City’s spending. He has just completed his tenure as President of the United States Conference of Mayors, representing the Conference by promoting the development of effective urban policy, strengthening federal-city relationships, and ensuring that federal policy meets urban needs. Nutter also delivered the final keynote address at the CEOs for Cities national meeting.
A good Mayor is not always a popular Mayor – at least not day in and day out. The job calls for tough choices, the willingness to offend people. Inevitably, Mayors who accomplish much will make some mistakes. But those who take no missteps, never lead their city anywhere.