Philadelphia City Council Week, Part 1 (of 4): Nice Work If You Can Get It

In the early 1980s the mayor of Philadelphia declared his town’s city council the worst legislative body in the free world. Thirty-five years later the cast of characters has changed but the council remains the same, populated by hacks and individuals of questionable ethics, ability, and allegiance; that the city’s new mayor comes directly from that council after 20 years without a single noteworthy accomplishment is especially depressing. (And no, this isn’t Taking Care of Business, The Sequel. You’ve had quite enough of that, The Curmudgeon realizes.) Recently there’s been a spate of developments casting fresh aspersions on the Suspect 17, so The Curmudgeon will take the next four days to share the chamber’s latest lowlights – lowlights all appalling in their own way yet somehow also entertaining in an I-don’t-live-or-work-there-so-I-don’t-need-to-be-outraged kind of way.


Wilson Goode, Jr., son of the former mayor, served four terms as an elected member of Philadelphia’s city council. His service didn’t end voluntarily: in a Democratic primary race in which the top five vote-getters won the opportunity to compete in the general election, Goode finished seventh.

In other words, the voters drummed him out of office.

But that didn’t mean Goode’s days on the public payroll are over: the president of Philadelphia’s city council created a new position on his staff, that of senior policy adviser to the president, and hired Goode to fill it.


Getting by with a little help from his friends.

At a salary of $135,000 a year.

Which is even more than the $129,373 paid to elected members of Philadelphia’s city council.

After Philadelphia’s voters rejected Goode’s continued participation in the city’s government.

And politicians wonder why so much of the public holds them in such contempt.

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