JIM KENNEY may have given up his City Council seat and the roughly $127,000 annual salary that goes with it, but he won't be seeking handouts, except for his mayoral campaign.
After resigning from Council last week to run for mayor, Kenney filed his retirement paperwork to the Philadelphia Board of Pensions & Retirement.
Based on his 23 years and 24 days of Council service, Kenney will draw an estimated monthly pension of $7,577.72 - about $91,000 a year, according to the pension board.
Kenney's fat pension is interesting, given his hemming and hawing about getting into the mayoral race, saying that he needed his Council salary to make ends meet. (He is paying for his daughter's college tuition and is long separated from his wife.)
Kenney, 56, will collect his pension on top of what he makes at his part-time gig as a consultant for the Vitetta Group, an architectural firm.
He is also entitled to a state pension from his time working as an aide to state Sen. Vince Fumo.
Kenney campaign spokeswoman Lauren Hitt declined yesterday to say how much Kenney earns at Vitetta.
Hitt said Kenney was too busy to take a phone call from Clout. He was preparing for his first fundraiser, scheduled last night at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel, at 17th and Race streets. Hitt said Kenney's campaign expected to raise $100,000 at the event.
Who'll join Squilla?
Kenney's tearful farewell from Council might have led some to think he could expect many of his 16 former colleagues to back his run for mayor, but most of them are hiding their cards for now.
Councilman Mark Squilla was the only one of his old co-workers to attend his announcement speech.
Although insiders say that Council allies of electricians' union leader John Dougherty, who has supported Kenney's run, almost certainly will come on board, others are on the fence.
It would help Kenney to win support from an African-American, and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell is also a ward leader, so we inquired about her support.
"I know all the candidates . . . I could work with any of them," she said, noting that Kenney is a "good guy" who arrived on Council the same year she did. Blackwell also had kind words for candidate Lynne Abraham, who she said called her over the holidays.
But, Blackwell confesses, "I've been leaning towards Tony [state Sen. Anthony Williams] because he's in my area. He's one of my ward leaders."
The two had a much publicized spat in 2010, after Williams sicced a former staffer on the historically unopposed Blackwell. But Blackwell says she and Williams "made up last year."
Bass is back
Queena Bass, perennial mayoral-race loser but nice enough woman as far as we can tell, walked into our lobby at 801 Market St. yesterday to inform Clout that she is launching (another) write-in campaign for mayor.
This is her fifth attempt, dating to 1999.
We were a bit busy yesterday with other news, so we tried to set up a phone interview with Bass.
"We don't have a phone," Bass said.
Bass gained notice in 1996 after she was fired by Thomas Jefferson University Hospital during what the hospital called downsizing. She claimed her dismissal was racist and protested - for years - with a bullhorn and leaflets, first outside the hospital, then at City Hall. Her federal lawsuit was unsuccessful.
In 2007, Bass declared: "I am running a campaign of love. This is the city of brotherly love and we're lacking that, not only in Philly but in America."
According to the flier she gave us, this year she's running as the "compassionate, persistent, dedicated" candidate.
That may be an old refrain. At the bottom of each flier, Bass crossed off May 20, 2003, and wrote in May 19, 2015, the date of this year's primary.
This, friends, is a true write-in campaign.
West Point grads
When City Council last week drafted a resolution honoring Raymond Jamal Johnson-Maples, it said he was the first African-American from Philly to graduate the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Our man Mensah Dean quickly spotted the error and noted that Ebony Thomas (2010) and J.J. Durant (1993) are also West Pointers.
Piling on, now comes Ben Waxman, who notes that Alek Jace Vincent Hughes, son of state Sen. Vince Hughes, is a 2014 graduate of the academy.
In fact, Waxman (who works for Hughes) found two more recent grads, Khristina Nicole Allen (2006) and Henry Alexander Hart (2010). On behalf of Council, we salute each of them.
"Hey, it's PAC Man! PAC Man!" - Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez in Council chambers yesterday, when she spotted Rodney Oglesby, a school district official who is also chairing Believe Again PAC, which is tied to pro-school-choice mayoral candidate, state Sen. Anthony Williams.
- Staff writers Wendy Ruderman and William Bender and The Next Mayor's Ryan W. Briggs contributed to this report.