Declaring the arts a key part of a thriving city, Mayor Nutter yesterday reopened the city's arts office and appointed a New Yorker as chief cultural officer.
More than 200 supporters cheered as Nutter signed an executive order creating the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. A similar office was closed in 2004 by then-Mayor Street.
Gary Steur, a former vice president of Americans for the Arts, a New York-based nonprofit orgnaization, will take over the new office in October. He will be part of the Cabinet and work out of the mayor's office. His salary will be $165,000.
"The community has been calling for this for some time," said Nutter, who promised during his campaign last year that he'd restore the culture office. "I think in your heart of hearts you knew that I would fulfill the pledge that I made."
Steur said that he was eager to take on the new job.
"I thank the mayor for entrusting me with what I think is the best job in the arts in America," Steur said.
Asked for specifics about his plans, Steur said it was too soon to talk details.
Nutter also re-established the city's Cultural Advisory Council and named Joe Kluger of the arts consulting firm WolfBrown to lead the council. Nutter asked members of the city's arts community interested in serving on the council to to submit their resumes to his administration.
Nutter made a slew of other appointments yesterday.
Frances Burns, a former deputy in Licenses and Inspections, will take over as L&I commissioner. Burns said she wanted to make L&I more friendly, smarter, faster and better.
"That's how simple it is and that's what we're going to strive for," she said.
Allan Frank was named the city's new chief information officer. Frank, coming from the private sector company The AKA Group, said he was excited to work on the city's new 3-1-1 nonemergency call system and other programs that could make an impact on the lives of city residents.
"I see this as a real opportunity to give back," Frank said.
David Wilson was named deputy managing director for administration, with responsibility for the departments that handle city records, public property, fleet management, human resources and procurement. Wilson comes to Philadelphia from the Private Industry Council of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.
Nutter also said that Rebecca Ryhnhart, the deputy director of finance for debt management, will be city treasurer.
And the following people will retain their jobs: Charles Isdell, director of aviation; Deb McColloch, director of housing and community development, Dainette Mintz, director of the Office of Supportive Housing, and James Muller, director of the Office of Fleet Management. *