A Southwest Philly Blogger lights a fire under Nutter's ass.
"There are some days, especially if something is driving me nuts, where I'm literally blogging nonstop."
Over the past few days Skwire has been posting rapid shots not only at the mayor but also at City Council. In response to the news that Council President Anna Verna helped block a nonbinding resolution calling on Nutter to delay the closing of library branches until the budget issue can be studied for potential alternatives, Skwire emailed her (then posted) a tender letter: "Dear Anna Verna, If you truly believe that 'We in Council are completely powerless at this time ... It's strictly up to the mayor. If we were to have public hearings from now until the first of January, it wouldn't do anything. Let me reiterate: We on Council are powerless at this point in time. The mayor will do what he has to do,' then may I suggest you pack your bags, go home and do whatever it is you do in your spare time. Currently you are taking up valuable space, earning a fat salary on the taxpayers' dime and using precious oxygen on Council: If you don't intend to fight for our kids' future, then get out of the way and give your seat to someone who actually GIVES A SHIT ABOUT PHILADELPHIA. Sincerely, Brendan Skwire."
The budget crisis has provided Skwire with an unlimited amount of grief to blog about--Verna and Nutter are far from the only objects of his non-affection. He's actively calling for consumers to "BOYCOTT THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES UNTIL THEY PAY BACK THE $8,000,000.00."
Skwire's advice to concerned citizens: "If Jeff Lurie and the Eagles won't settle the team's debt, the mayor, everyone on City Council, every paper in town and every fan from every neighborhood should be screaming bloody murder until they do."
But according to the Mayor's Office, no amount of screaming will change anything, since with both the Eagles and Sunoco--in court and in the tax review office, respectively--the money each company owes is already earmarked and there's not much the city can do to harass them. In other words, the city's hands are tied. All they can do is confirm the amount owed and say there's a legal process for collecting it.
As for the oil giant, Skwire insists the company "can probably make a deal with the city by saying, 'Hey, drop the suit against us for the $1.8 million we owe. We'll donate the money,'" Skwire says. "Give them naming rights. Let them put up a sign, 'Sponsored by Sunoco,' and it'll be a huge PR blast for the company. They can be known as the company that saved the pools and ride on that for 20 years! The same goes for the libraries. We've done a lot for them. We need them as our partners. Ed Snider did it," Skwire says, referring to the Flyers owner bailing out the ice rinks.
Skwire is uncomfortable being the subject of an article. After all, he considers himself nothing more than a "pissed-off guy from the neighborhood who complains a lot on a blog." But he says if the story helps get the word out, it's fine with him. He speculates that due to a lack of time and resources, the papers and TV news outlets are "dropping the ball" on the issue of Sunoco and the Eagles debt, and says all citizens should pitch in.
"The Daily News has printed one single editorial about this. To the best of my knowledge, the Inquirer has said nothing (I'd be happy to be corrected). I've been trolling philly.com's sports pages calling attention to the Eagles' debt, and every day my polite comments are deleted by the administrators. Anyone seen today's Daily News? Front and back covers celebrating the Eagles, including a picture of Andy Reid with the headline 'We Owe You Run.' Yeah, you owe us something all right, and it's substantially more than bad puns in honor of a corporate deadbeat that's benefited so much from the city." As for The Philadelphia Inquirer's role in covering the Eagles, Skwire writes, "Why Is the Inky Covering a Corporate Deadbeat Team?"
As of press time, Mayor Nutter was about to hold his sixth town hall meeting, this one in Skwire's backyard in Kingsessing. If change comes out of that meeting and for the neighborhood overall, you can be reasonably certain Brendan Skwire's outrage has had something to do with it.
Mayor Nutter won't lay off police or firefighters. He's raising taxes. But there are still battles to be fought. What do you think? Tell us in the comments on this story.
Mayor Nutter’s budget plan doesn’t call for laying-off any cops or firefighters. He won’t be closing the libraries. Good news, right? So why is Philly’s activist community still crying foul?
PW's Summer Guide 2014