Though the Nutter administration acknowledged last week a discussion about moving Police Headquarters from the Roundhouse at Eighth and Race Streets to 46th and Market in West Philadelphia, Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison wouldn't say what would become of the 45-year-old police building if the police vacate it.
Here's what Paul Levy, president and CEO of the Center City District, had to say about the Roundhouse site: "When the economy rebounds, the Race Street site is a great redevelopment parcel," he wrote in an e-mail. "The Police Administration Building currently turns its back on Franklin Square; with a revived park, any development would want to face the Square and narrow the overly and unnecessarily wide Race Street.
"The closed PATCO station and Franklin Square could be incorporated into any new development on the south side of Race, providing direct access for New Jersey residents (18 percent of Center City workforce lives in South Jersey). It also has a direct connection to Temple University on the Broad-Ridge spur. Between the existing building and the parking lot - it is a very large parcel."
- Jeff Shields
Rizzo listens, learns
For weeks, Mayor Nutter has taken something of a verbal beating at the "town hall" meetings he has hosted throughout the city.
Frank Rizzo has been there to watch.
The at-large Republican city councilman is one of a small group of Council members to attend any of Nutter's town halls - and he is the only one to attend seven out of eight.
"I learn what's going on," Rizzo said. "Sometimes I think politicians think they are the only ones who have an interest in these issues."
But after listening to the rants of one Philadelphian after another - about property-tax abatements, or money owed the city by the Eagles, or money owed by the state - he knows better.
He also knows his presence won't go unnoticed.
"Not that I'm checking on him," Rizzo says, "but it's good the public and the administration sees me there. When I'm shooting my mouth off at something, they'll know I'm sincere in my interest."
- Marcia Gelbart
VIP 311, the sequel
The Nutter administration's ballyhooed 311 call center promises to offer all residents near-immediate around-the-clock access to city operators. But a select few - including elected officials, ward leaders, campaign donors, and other local bigwigs - have always had priority access to city operators on a special VIP phone line.
That line, like all other city directory-assistance numbers, will now be routed to the official 311 call center, which officially opens Jan. 1. Interestingly, the workstations used by 311 operators to log calls include a "VIP" tag, which gets applied to all calls forwarded from the old VIP line.
Not that VIP callers will get any VIP treatment, Nutter officials hastened to say.
"Those calls will be answered by the same operators as any other 311 call," said Rosetta Carrington, director of the program. "They won't get any special assistance."
- Patrick Kerkstra