Featherman concedes razor-thin loss in mayoral primary

John Feather­man last week con­ceded the Re­pub­lic­an may­or­al primary to Kar­en Brown.

Feather­man, a Re­altor from Chin­atown who ran without the party en­dorse­ment, is­sued a state­ment on his Face­book page. He noted the mar­gin of de­feat was just 64 votes. The fi­nal total was 8,369 to 8,305.

The state­ment read, “Thanks to so many sup­port­ers — but most not­ably the Tea Party move­ment — our in­sur­gent cam­paign put the Re­pub­lic­an City Com­mit­tee on no­tice: The voters mat­ter more than the party lead­ers. We are now be­com­ing a true op­pos­i­tion party and will make Pennsylvania a battle­ground in next year’s pres­id­en­tial elec­tion.”

Brown, a re­tired teach­er from South Phil­adelphia, will chal­lenge Demo­crat­ic May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter in the gen­er­al elec­tion. Former Demo­crat­ic May­or John F. Street is con­sid­er­ing jump­ing in­to the race as an in­de­pend­ent.

Feather­man said he will not sup­port Brown in Novem­ber.

• • •

Al Tauben­ber­ger, the 2007 Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate for may­or who is now seek­ing an at-large City Coun­cil seat, is call­ing on Coun­cil to end dis­cus­sions on tax in­creases.

Tauben­ber­ger, a Fox Chase res­id­ent and long­time pres­id­ent of the Great­er North­east Phil­adelphia Cham­ber of Com­merce, be­lieves the next Coun­cil should guide Phil­adelphia through its eco­nom­ic crisis.

As he points out, there will be at least six new mem­bers of Coun­cil in Janu­ary 2012. Five in­cum­bents bowed out be­cause they are en­rolled in the De­ferred Re­tire­ment Op­tion Plan, while a sixth — Frank Rizzo — was re­jec­ted in the primary be­cause of his par­ti­cip­a­tion in DROP.

“This Coun­cil has presided over the passing and mis­man­age­ment of the DROP pro­gram, which has cost the city $100 mil­lion,” Tauben­ber­ger said. “This Coun­cil has also sat by idly while the school dis­trict cre­ated a $629 mil­lion de­fi­cit. There is a fun­da­ment­al flaw in city gov­ern­ment that needs to be ad­dressed by a new City Coun­cil.”

• • •

Joe Mc­Col­gan, an­oth­er Re­pub­lic­an at-large Coun­cil can­did­ate, has writ­ten a let­ter to Tauben­ber­ger and the oth­er three GOP nom­in­ees, ask­ing them to join him in tak­ing a pledge on the is­sue of pub­lic edu­ca­tion.

Mc­Col­gan, a Tor­res­dale res­id­ent who twice ran for Con­gress, said the pledge would re­quire the can­did­ates who are elec­ted to call for the resig­na­tion of Ar­lene Ack­er­man, su­per­in­tend­ent of the School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia; call for the dis­sol­u­tion of the School Re­form Com­mis­sion; and to work to­ward the cre­ation of a loc­ally elec­ted and con­trolled school board that would be ac­count­able to par­ents, stu­dents and voters.

The let­ter takes aim at Nut­ter. It states, in part, “Not three months after May­or Nut­ter, in his budget ad­dress be­fore City Coun­cil, an­nounced that ‘the people of this city have giv­en enough,’ he is now call­ing for an­oth­er 10-per­cent in­crease in prop­erty taxes, as well as the im­pos­i­tion of a sug­ar bever­age tax.”

Mc­Col­gan faults Ack­er­man for her high pay and the “ex­tra­vag­ant salar­ies” paid to some of the ad­min­is­trat­ors she hired, along with what he sees as an over­all fin­an­cial mis­man­age­ment of the schools.

The oth­er Re­pub­lic­an at-large can­did­ates are Dav­id Oh, a law­yer and ward lead­er from South­w­est Phil­adelphia; state Rep. Den­nis O’Bri­en, of Mill­brook; and Mi­chael Un­ter­mey­er, a law­yer and real es­tate de­veloper from Old City. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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