The "Mayor of Girard Avenue" is just one of many vibrant characters to roam through the corridors of power at City Hall. Here are three others:
* Ronald DeMarco pretended to be a newsman who covered City Hall and sports teams, according to a 1995 Daily News article. He would carry a microphone, a video camera, a Nikon camera and a "tattered cassette tape recorder."
He was not exactly popular. He reportedly took pictures of female reporters while at news conferences and stalked a radio reporter. He would call his City Hall phone daily to see if anyone would answer - and if someone did, "he'd holler, write scathing letters to their bosses and leave menacing, middle-of-the-night messages on answering machines," the article said.
DeMarco, his mother and his grandmother died in a blaze on March 16, 1995, in their Juniata Park home. Firefighters discovered his body amid a mountain of scorched newspapers.
* Solomon Isaacson, a Hasidic rabbi, profiled several years ago in the Inquirer, with a black suit, white shirt and broad-brimmed black hat, carries a Bible and bags of challah, which he hands out to officials in City Hall and neighboring buildings once a week.
For years the jovial, bread-bearing lobbyist from South Philadelphia was known as "Rendell's rabbi" and Street's, too.
Isaacson stopped frequenting the second floor of City Hall after Mayor Nutter cited ethics in turning down the bread deliveries.
* Alex Timoshenko was a single, elderly man who worked for the water-revenue department, cracking down on people who didn't pay their bills, according to WHYY's Dave Davies, a former Daily News staff writer.
Timoshenko was not as boisterous as some other characters, but he was by far the craftiest.
"He was the thriftiest man I'd ever met," said Davies, describing him as an urban forager who never paid for anything he didn't have to. He would find receptions and crash them just for the food, Davies said.
He often hung out in City Hall newsrooms with reporters including former People's Paper court reporter Dave Racher.
The kind, friendly man grew up in North Philadelphia. He died last year.
- Jan Ransom