CITY HALL SAM: Green For SRC – Why Does He Want It?

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BILL GREEN faces daunting challenges if he is named SRC chairman to oversee Phila.'s decrepit school system.

BILL GREEN faces daunting challenges if he is named SRC chairman to oversee Phila.’s decrepit school system.

GOV. TOM CORBETT was scheduled to attend an awards ceremony at Central HS last Friday. He abruptly cancelled the visit and changed the location after hundreds of students and people showed up to protest his devastating $1 billion cut to public education funding. If the Governor can’t handle an event with protestors, he will have a tough time campaigning for reelection. One of the Governor’s negatives is he appears to be stiff and unsympathetic to many voters. He needs to reinvent himself as a caring, grandfather type figure. But the question is, if he gets scared away from an event by protests, how is he going to connect on a personal level with the voters he needs to win reelection? Seems like a tough task.

Corbett was also in town to name FARAH JIMENEZ and City COUNCILMAN BILL GREEN to the SRC. Jimenez was praised by all as a smart pick.

Green was nominated by the Governor to be the SRC Chairman, but he did not receive the same level of praise as Jimenez. MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER immediately questioned Green’s commitment to public education and his ability to guide the largest school district in Pennsylvania. As Green quickly found out, this high level, publicly visible post can be a headache. The Mayor, Governor, City Council, seven State Senators, over 20 members of the State House, and numerous advocacy groups have their own ideas on how to improve Philadelphia’s schools.

In addition to these competing ideas, the School District has yearly budget deficits; funding for individual schools have been cut to the bone, with many schools having no nurses or guidance counselors; and the budget depends on a Hail Mary pass from the Harrisburg Republicans. So why would Green, a first-tier rumored candidate for Mayor, want this position?

First, it makes him stand out from the pack. Second, the upside is very intriguing. If Green figures out how to improve schools in a district that educates 191,000 students in public and charter schools, he will be a hero, hailed as visionary, and have the inside track for any public office he wanted to seek.

If Councilman Green gets confirmed to be Chairman of the SRC, what happens to his at-Large Council seat? Council PRESIDENT DARRELL CLARKE could call a special election to fill the seat. He will consult with City Democratic CHAIRMAN BOB BRADY. Brady and City Committee will pick a nominee. A rumor is floating around that the either STATE REP. ED NEILSON or STATE REP. JOHN SABATINA could be the choice to win the party’s nomination for the seat. If this takes place, a costly and painful intra-party feud could be avoided as the State Reps would not need to run against each other for the 174th House Dist. This district covers portions of Rhawnhurst, Holme Circle, Windsor Park, Parkwood, Bustleton and Normandy. If anyone can navigate the difficult landscape to get this done, it’s Congressman Brady.

Things went from bad to worse for Gov. Corbett’s reelection on Friday. After news broke of the huge protests at Central HS, a Commonwealth Court Judge delivered a more-devastating punch. JUDGE BERNARD McGINLEY ruled Corbett’s signature election law, the photo voter-ID law, violated citizens’ constitutional right to vote. The judge found what most normal and rationale people knew: requiring photo IDs to vote would disenfranchise nearly a half million voters. Furthermore, the judge found absolutely no evidence of the voter fraud this bill was supposed to prevent.

Voters will not appreciate the Governor tried to prevent them and their neighbors from voting. The Democratic nominees for Governor quickly pounced on this decision and unanimously railed against the Governor. They smell blood, and they are relentlessly attacking.

The question is whether the Republicans start to smell blood and look for a new candidate for Governor. Perhaps they will look for a more-moderate GOP candidate like retiring CONGRESSMAN JIM GERLACH. The next month will be interesting to watch.

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One Response to CITY HALL SAM: Green For SRC – Why Does He Want It?

  1. Councilman Green seems to think that under performing schools can just be replaced with charters or vouchers. Also, he underestimates the importance of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers to the overall functioning of the school system. He is in for a rude awakening when it comes to overnight changes to the financially strapped school system.

    Michael E. Bell
    January 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm

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