Like his father before him, former City Councilman Frank Rizzo Jr. is taking to the airwaves in his political retirement, as a radio talk-show host. Rizzo says he'll be doing occasional gigs on WPHT 1210, and he promises to be "less politically correct" than when he took calls at WWDB in the 1990s, while a councilman.
"My slogan will be 'Rizzo Unleashed,' " Rizzo told us last week. "I'll always be polite, but I'll tell it like it is, and I have the ability to do that. I'm going to tell people possibly about some of the work ethic in City Council, in some of the people who represent them in the suburbs, and not in a watered-down way."
Asked about times when he pulled his punches, Rizzo said: "Talking about some of my colleagues, I had to be a little bit sensitive. . . . If I was still in Council, I wouldn't talk about Jim Kenney paying someone $28,000 in tax dollars to manage his Twitter account. But maybe now I will."
Rizzo's first session was Thursday night, from 10 to midnight. He talked about Ocean City possibly getting booze and the Marine who dissed President Obama, and he said the police should have caught the Northeast tire slasher sooner.
Maybe he's still sore because the FOP didn't endorse him.
- Bob Warner and Miriam Hill
A pay raise for poll workers?
After putting a stop to double dipping by several hundred election-day workers who claimed to be doing two jobs at once, the city commissioners are now seeking raises for the full force of more than 8,000 people who work the polls twice each year.
The three commissioners - Stephanie Singer, Al Schmidt, and Anthony Clark - want to raise the daily election pay from the current levels, $75 to $100 a day depending on the job, to $152 for all workers. The new figure would be based on applying the city's "prevailing wage," 50 percent higher than the minimum wage, to a 14-hour workday.
In Pennsylvania, the polls are open 13 hours, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and the commissioners estimate that most workers spend at least a half-hour at each end, opening and closing the polling places.
"It's a long day, and the raise is long overdue," said Singer. "This is the bedrock of democracy, the people who work at the polls. It's the most diverse workforce employed by the city in any capacity, and they deserve decent pay."
The commissioners' proposal would cost Philadelphia taxpayers an estimated $1.1 million annually, according to material prepared for a City Council budget hearing Monday afternoon.
Singer has invited the city's election-day workers to attend, suggesting they carry signs with the number of years they have been manning the polls.
- Bob Warner