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Supporting cast

How Nutter's top 5 appointees have fared over the last year

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey promised to carry out Nutter's pledge to reduce violence. Murders are down 16%.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey promised to carry out Nutter's pledge to reduce violence. Murders are down 16%.Read moreMICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff photographer

IT'S NOT just about Nutter, of course.

The mayor has assembled a team to help him run the city, recruiting them from around the country.

Nutter often stressed on the campaign trail that he would hire only the best people for his administration.

So, how well did he do? Here's an update on Nutter's top five appointees:

Managing Director Camille Barnett

Her pitch: A Washington, D.C., transplant, Barnett came to Philly promising to streamline city government and to provide better customer service for citizens.

Work so far: Barnett has largely focused on managing the data-tracking program PhillyStat and on getting the 3-1-1 call center running. Meanwhile, the three deputy mayors - for public safety, transportation and health - have taken over much of the day-to-day duties often handled by the managing director.

What's next: 3-1-1 goes live at midnight on New Year's Eve. Will it live up to Barnett's promises of ease and convenience? And what will she focus on now that 3-1-1 is up?

Finance Director Rob Dubow

The pitch: Nutter's first hire was Dubow, a former city budget director, who most recently served as director of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, the city's fiscal watchdog.

Work so far: After releasing a crowd-pleaser of a budget earlier this year, Dubow had to tear it up after the economic downturn hammered city revenues. His cost-cutting plan to close a more than $1 billion hole in the budget over the next five years - which includes closing libraries and delaying tax cuts - has been a tough sell. And some critics say that the initial budget projections were too rosy.

What's next: Expect more dark days. Nutter already has been talking ominously about tough times ahead, saying the budget gap will likely grow. So Dubow probably has more sleepless nights ahead managing the decline.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey

His pitch: The tough-talking top cop, who most recently oversaw the Washington, D.C., police department, came to town in a blaze of glory late last year, promising to carry out Nutter's pledge to reduce violence.

Work so far: In his crime plan, Ramsey pledged to put more cops on the street and to reduce homicides by 25 percent. He has increased street deployment, but won't hit the homicide goal, although murders are down about 16 percent. Ramsey also has weathered one of the worst years for cop-killings in recent memory, with four officers having died on duty since he took over.

What's next: With budget cuts slowing police hiring, Ramsey will have to be creative to keep cops on the street. Can he still reduce the crime numbers?

Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Terry Gillen

The pitch: One of the mayor's closest friends and advisers, Gillen soaked up responsibility in the first year of Nutter's administration, first taking on the tricky issue of where to put to casinos in the city and then taking over the RDA.

Work so far: Foxwoods casino is considering moving from its state-approved South Philly site to Center City, angering nearby Chinatown. SugarHouse refuses to budge from its Fishtown site. Neighbors all around are apprehensive.

What's next: Gillen has revved up an internal accounting of how former Mayor Street's signature Neighborhood Transformation Initiative spent money through the RDA. The results could set off some spectacular political fireworks.

Commerce Director Andrew Altman

The pitch: Local boy who set off to head up economic-development efforts in other cities returns to put that knowledge to use here.

Work so far: Altman has had a whirlwind year, dealing with the casino issue, a proposed 1,510-foot Center City skyscraper, Nutter's pledge to reinvigorate the City Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

What's next: Rumors continue to swirl that Altman is not going to be working much longer for the Nutter administration and could be gone sometime in 2009. Nutter's staff denies that Altman is going anywhere. *