Charlesretta Meade, chair
Meade earned her law degree from Temple University in 1982 and quickly became a Democratic committeewoman in North Philadelphia. Mayor W. Wilson Goode appointed her to the board of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, but Mayor Edward G. Rendell bumped her from it in 1992. That year, Meade landed a spot on the BRT. She became chair in 2007. No longer a committeewoman, Meade still regularly contributes to Democratic Party coffers and to the campaign fund of the party's Philadelphia chairman, U.S. Rep. Robert Brady. In addition to her work with the tax board, Meade has a law practice. She is a state trustee for the College of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University.
Harvey M. Levin, vice chair
Levin has the most real estate experience of the tax board members. He also had close business ties to former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo (D., Phila). Levin started working as a BRT appraiser in the mid-1960s and left to open an appraisal business in 1967. A graduate of the real estate program of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, he teaches at Temple. For 11 years, he was a member of the state's real estate commission, chairing it from 1992 to 1999. Levin was appointed to the BRT in 1999.
Robert N.C. Nix III, secretary
Nix owns several newsstands at Philadelphia and New York airports, and formerly had a stake in Pennsylvania's fledgling casino business. A Democrat, he is a practicing lawyer and was a member of the now-defunct Fairmount Park Commission. Nix has the longest political pedigree among board members. One of his grandfathers was a U.S. representative, and his father served for 23 years on the state Supreme Court, 12 years as chief justice. Nix has been on the BRT since 1988.
Alan K. Silberstein
Silberstein was named to the BRT in 2007. He replaced his wife, Dveral, who left the board after 15 years. A former Democratic committeeman, Silberstein was president judge of Municipal Court from 1986 until 1999. Silberstein campaigned intensely for the BRT job. He said he had talked with nearly all of the Common Pleas Court judges who later selected him over Russell Nigro, who was named to the BRT later in 2007.
Russell M. Nigro
After putting himself through law school at Rutgers University, Nigro spent much of the 1970s and early 1980s working out of a South Philadelphia law office, where he handled personal injury and other cases. That was when he became friends with Fumo, whose strong backing helped Nigro get elected as a Common Pleas Court judge in 1987. With Fumo's backing, Nigro came within a whisper of becoming Philadelphia district attorney in 1991, when the city Board of Judges filled the vacancy in that office. In 1995, Nigro won a seat on the state Supreme Court. Relations between him and Fumo soured during Nigro's years on the bench. Four years ago, Nigro lost his Supreme Court reelection bid, a first in state history. Nigro was appointed to the BRT in 2007.
Howard M. Goldsmith
A family-law attorney, Goldsmith has kept a lower public profile than fellow BRT members have. He is a former president of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Sections. Goldsmith has been a regular contributor to the campaigns of Philadelphia judges and other candidates, according to public records. City judges appointed him to the BRT last month.
Anthony Lewis Jr.