Mayor Nutter on Wednesday revisited a key pledge of his first campaign - running a more efficient and transparent government - at the unveiling of a revised performance-management program known as PhillyStat.
City officials say the program - showcased to the public in meetings aired on the city-run Channel 64 - has been retooled, after a nearly one-year suspension, to make it more reflective of the mayor's goals and to ensure better coordination among city departments in meeting those goals.
The program was initially overseen by then-Managing Director Camille Barnett, whose data-driven management experience persuaded Nutter to recruit her from Washington to help him keep his promise to improve customer service in government agencies. Barnett resigned last summer.
"This is not just about providing service. . . . This is about doing it in an efficient manner, transparent and in a measurable way," Nutter said. "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it."
Toward that end, the mayor sat Wednesday for more than two hours at a table that brought together the city's public-safety officials - Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, and Prisons Commissioner Louis Giorla - to review various performance measures in their respective departments.
The goal of this meeting was to conduct a public discussion of strategies, objectives, and metrics, concerning steps taken by the government to make Philadelphia one of the nation's safest cities. Also present was Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael DiBerardinis.
Among items noted at the meeting: Fire deaths have dropped 38 percent in the last seven years; auto thefts are down 54 percent since 2001, although Philadelphia's homicide rate remains among the nation's highest for big cities; and the number of inmates in educational programs has grown from 57 percent in 2008 to 77 percent in May.
Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison, in charge of public safety, used the opportunity of the meeting to discuss the creation of a mobile emergency-operations center that debuted during the July Fourth Welcome America celebration.
Despite gunfire rumors that appeared to cause a stampede at the event, Gillison said, the city's response was more coordinated because of the mobile center.
Managing Director Rich Negrin, who oversees PhillyStat, said one new feature of the program was the appointment of customer service officers inside most administrative departments.