Thursday, May 17, 2007

After the dust settles (non-election bits)

  • The interim replacement for Vallas as head of the Philadelphia schools, Tom Brady, has been chosen and will start working with Vallas right away to ease the midsummer transition. Apparently the decision created some conflict in the School Reform Commission, with at least one member walking out due to being given short notice of the appointment and little information about him. Other rumbles include the resignations of the schools' Chief Financial Officer and top educator (and the Chief Operations Officer has just been promoted to interim Chief) -- hope this doesn't add to the bumps ahead for the school system.

  • Apparently the sandbox fight is over! Dispute over dredging settled, reports the Inquirer. The Delaware will be deepened, with Pennsylvania handling most of the costs and practicalities, and NJ gets some transporation goodies too. The DRPA will now hold its first meeting in close to 18 months, with lots of overdue business to handle.

  • Some hearings have started in Harrisburg on campaign finance issues; there are currently no limits on individual contributions to candidates for state and local office (other than the ones enacted recently for Philadelphia). They're talking about it in terms of lessening the advantage of incumbents, rather missing the point about officeholders being beholden to big benefactors... Notably, they're also talking about limiting self-financing by millionaires, but I think that legal precedent may not support that approach, at least unless substantial public financing comes into play. Will be worth watching the bill that emerges and how it's received in the Assembly as a whole.


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