The government watchdog group Committee of Seventy has teamed up with three local political action committees in seeking accountability from the chairman of the City Commissioners.
A right-to-know request was filed last week by Philadelphia 3.0, one of the PACs, on behalf of the four groups seeking information on City Commissioner Anthony Clark's attendance, communication with staff and voters, and his work activities.
"We're very concerned that the taxpayers aren't getting their money's worth from Commissioner (Anthony) Clark," said David Thornburgh, executive director of Committee of Seventy.
Clark, who has served as a city commissioner since 2007 and won the Democratic primary for reelection in May, has been in the news in the last year over his abysmal voting record and a run-in with the Ethics Board.
Clark is one of three elected City Commissioners and as chairman of the group, earns a $138,612 salary to help oversee the city's election apparatus.
"In the past Seventy has questioned why this position is filled by three elected officials who each make about $130,000 a year, when in other big cities their job is performed by one appointed official," Thornburgh said. "In light of his conduct maybe it's time we revisited that idea."
Clark was not in his office Tuesday when an Inquirer reporter stopped by seeking comment. One of his staff said he was likely gone for the day -- at 1 p.m. A woman who picked up the phone at Clark's home said he was not there either.
Clark is seldom seen in City Hall. And he has also been absent at the polls in recent years.
City voting records show that Clark did not vote between 2012 and up until the 2014 general election. Clark voted in the May primary but not in August's special election to fill the vacant 195th Legislative District state House seat.
In June, Clark sued the Board of Ethics, trying to put a stop to an investigation into his efforts to give his brother, an employee of the City Commissioners, a raise. He ended up signing a settlement agreement with the board, admitting that he had not filed a required "disclosure and disqualification letter" regarding his brother's employment, in a timely fashion.
Clark also agreed to pay a $4,000 fine in seven installments over 10 months.
On Tuesday, Ethics Board executive director Shane Creamer said Clark has been paying his fine on time and in person.
"He might not be showing up to City Hall but he's showing up to pay his fine," Creamer said.
Perelman, executive director of Philadelphia 3.0, said the goal of the the RTK request is to get a "sense of what his job performance actually is," and then start a conversation about what the function of the city commissioners should be.
The two other political committees endorsing 3.0's request are 5th Square and Philly Set Go. Like 3.0, those PACs were created by politically involved millennials who wanted to have an effect on the May primary elections and beyond.
Thornburgh said Seventy, which is non-partisan, decided to team up with those political groups because they are "organizations interested in improving the political system."