City Commission won't play ball with Nutter's team
January 25, 2013By Holly Otterbein
The friendly partnership between Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and the City Commissioners, who oversee elections, was short-lived.
Last month, Nutter assembled a team to look into problems city voters had in the 2012 presidential election. The commissioners were cooperative when Nutter first announced his fact-finding team.
But City Commissioner Al Schmidt said Friday that he and his colleagues are not participating. They have a number of complaints about the team, which were detailed in a Jan. 14 letter to Nutter.
"The fact-finding group does not contain anyone who has any election experience," Schmidt said. "Everyone on it, with one exception, works directly for the mayor.”
Schmidt said the commissioners refused to be interviewed by the team.
"When we declined the initial offer to be interviewed, it was, 'We want you to appear at this time and date, and you can't even ask any questions,'" Schmidt said. "We had been hoping to work together in a much more collaborative way."
Nutter's team is looking into why an unusually large number of Philadelphians were forced to cast provisional ballots last year, instead of using voting machines.
Mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald said it’s a nonpartisan group that can be trusted.
“They’re not elected officials," he said. "They’re not political people. They are folks that have experience running or guiding organizations.”
The Nutter administration said it will meet with the City Commissioners to address their concerns.