A high-level Kenney administration appointee is expected to be picked as the chief executive of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, according to two sources with knowledge of the nomination.
Clarena Tolson, the city's deputy managing director for infrastructure and transportation since January, according to the sources, is the favorite to replace Vincent J. Fenerty Jr., who resigned last month following a sexual harassment scandal.
The authority's board is scheduled to meet Thursday, when a vote on Tolson's appointment is expected.
"It's not a done deal," a City Hall source briefed on the matter said. "There's a process for it."
The appointment would be on an interim basis, said a second source, who has knowledge of board deliberations. Tolson, the source said, would be given the opportunity to apply for the position permanently in a year.
Tolson has been interviewed by the board and is "under very serious consideration," according to City Councilman Al Taubenberger, a member of the Parking Authority board.
He would not speculate whether there were enough votes on the six-member, Republican-dominated board to confirm Tolson, a Democrat.
"We're going to find out," he said. "We conducted an interview and she seems very interested, and I would have to say we're interested in her."
If confirmed, Tolson would take over an agency that has been rocked by a sexual harassment scandal involving Fenerty and the board's initial support of him.
Picking Tolson, a Democrat, is seen as a strategic way to reduce public criticism of the Republican-controlled state agency, according to the source with knowledge of the board's deliberations.
"There seems to be a common belief that appointing a Democrat to this position would play well within the city of Philadelphia," the source said. "If regaining [city] control any time soon is not in the picture in the city of Philadelphia, then this is almost like a consolation prize."
Tolson did not return calls for comment.
She served as the revenue commissioner for the last few years of the Nutter administration. Before that, she was streets commissioner, going back to the Street administration. She came up through the ranks of the Streets Department, serving as spokeswoman and deputy commissioner before becoming commissioner in 2002.
Tolson is charged with coordinating with several authorities and utilities, including SEPTA, the state Department of Transportation, Peco, the Philadelphia Gas Works, the Parking Authority, the Delaware River Port Authority, and the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. She also has oversight of various departments, including Streets and Water. Her salary is $160,000.