IVOTED FOR Mayor Nutter.

I even met him when he launched his campaign at 52nd and Parkside Avenue, where he gave me a pack of Nutter Butter cookies.

He seemed sincere in his pledge to rein in city government and to cut waste to make this a better place to live.

He also seemed sincere in his pledge to end the "pay to play" mentality that crippled this city for as long as I can remember.

And he seemed sincere when he promised all of us who were there that Saturday that he was determined to end corruption. Little did I suspect that that pack of cookies would probably be the last of the mayor's contributions to myself and the average citizens of Philadelphia - now that he and City Council have raised my property taxes after abandoning the threatened soda tax that was going to be used to balance the city budget.

Meanwhile, the city is still held in the grip of patronage, corruption and financial insensitivity by a City Council of which the mayor was once a member.

HOW IN the world can you tell me that you have to raise my property taxes by almost 10 percent in these hard economic times, while, on the other hand, I have to accept the Deferred Retirement Option Plan payouts that number in the millions of dollars by people who seem to be elected just to take from us? You tell me that you want to charge for trash removal and close the libraries on my children?

How can politicians like Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell defend the patronage at the Board of Revision of Taxes and other wasteful city agencies, lamenting about the jobs that will be lost? It's my money that goes to pay for that waste. (Maybe the late Lucian Blackwell would have a better idea.)

I'm tired of my tax dollars being taken and wasted by members of Council, including Wilson Goode's well-paid aide who had trouble keeping track of the time she worked and the indictment of staffers of other members of Council.

Meanwhile, our mayor tells us that all he can do is wring more money out of the citizens of Philadelphia to pay for his and Council's shenanigans.

And let's not forget the patronage at the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

We have a political class that sometimes feels like they have the God-given right to keep upping what they take from you and me.

And it just isn't right.

We were promised enlightenment and change from Council's newest members, yet, sadly, the only thing that changes is that their salaries increase while we get poorer government.

Is this the best we can do?

Are we forever cursed to be stuck in this endless cycle of poor leadership and government like the movie "Groundhog Day," where we keep waking up and repeating the same mistakes over and over again?

And the local media are just as guilty as the politicians. They have the platform and the forum to keep the heat on the politicians and their ever-expanding appetite for tax money.

But all we seem to get is an occasional expose. Nothing should be more important than to keep the light on those who run this city until change is actually forced to happen.

But we the citizens of this city are also guilty because we are so distracted that we keep pulling the same levers every Election Day, putting the same people into office and getting the same bad government.

We do have the power need by imposing our own personal term limits on elected officials.

We don't have the convenience of a law to save ourselves from our own apathy, so we're going to have to do it by paying attention to the shenanigans at City Hall by all elected officials - and when they service their own interests and not ours, then vote them out!

It's so simple that a child could do it. (Perhaps we should let the children vote; they couldn't mess it up any more than we adults have.)

As for the pack of cookies that I got from candidate Michael Nutter along with his promise to make my life better? Well, it seems that at least with the cookies I got something tasty - and way more palatable than the reality that I have to digest now.

Thank you for that, Mr. Mayor!

Robert L. Glover Jr. is an author and director of the Millennium Foundation Inc. His books can be bought on Amazon.com.