Vivian Miller, Philadelphia's Clerk of Quarter Sessions since 1991, today said "It's really sad" that Mayor Nutter is calling for a review of "row offices" like hers, the Sheriff's Office, the Register of Wills and others. Citing the city's growing budget crisis, Nutter yesterday told the Daily News he wants to examine eliminating or consolidating those offices and having their functions absorbed by the rest of city government. Read the details here.
"We've been a team player," Miller said after testifying at a City Council hearing on the city's fiscal stability. "We did all that was necessary."
The row offices were established in the City Home Rule Charter of 1951. To change most of them, Nutter would need legislation approved by Council to place a question on the ballot for voters to consider. But state law says the Clerk of Quarter Sessions -- read more about the office here -- can be eliminated with just a law passed by Council and no need for a ballot question.
At the hearing, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell voiced support for Miller's office. "We want it to survive and continue," she said. "We wanted to speak for the Clerk of Quarter Sessions and praise them for the work they do." Councilman Darrell Clarke added: "There will be significant discussions about what row offices will stay."