While no one has more respect for Buzz Bissinger's journalistic abilities than I do, he missed the mark in his commentary Sunday, "The Throwaway." In reality, Mayor Nutter is doing a good job, especially in the face of the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression. Just two examples:
First, Nutter has brought a new, upbeat vision to leading city government. He has made people feel good about their government again, which is not easy. Second, the mayor has aggressively pursued critical elements of his agenda, especially the restoration of ethics and integrity in government, and education reform.
Sure, Nutter has had a contentious relationship at times with City Council. But he has also proved that he can make a deal with Council. After much debate (isn't that what is supposed to happen?), they adopted a budget that looks an awful lot like the mayor's proposal.
The true test is how effective mayors are in times of crisis. And by that measure, Nutter has an enviable record. In two 2008 incidents - one dealing with police brutality and one with the Department of Human Resources - the mayor acted promptly and decisively.
And then there is the city's financial crisis, where the mayor successfully closed a billion-dollar gap last year, and now has a blueprint in place to resolve an additional $1.4 billion deficit.
On my scorecard, Nutter is three for three in these crises. That kind of batting average gets you elected to the Hall of Fame every time.
David L. Cohen
Executive vice president
Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce