Atlanta mayor gives Nutter tips for success

January 16, 2008

Mike Benner, Metro


CENTER CITY. Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin has a few ideas for Mayor Michael Nutter.


And since she’s been named one of America’s five best mayors by Time magazine, Nutter will probably listen.


Franklin, a West Philadelphia native, was in town last night to speak at an “America’s Great Mayors” event held by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. She told the crowd just how she runs things in Atlanta.


“You can do 100 things, but you talk about three or four,” Franklin said of her intense early focus on balancing Atlanta’s budget and fixing its sewer systems. “You become known for your hard work in a few areas. ... I don’t talk about those things that aren’t front and center.”


Nutter is no stranger to taking advice from other big-city mayors. Shortly before taking office, Nutter embarked on a whirlwind “best practices tour” of major cities across the country, seeking to apply findings to his new job in Philadelphia.


He was particularly interested in crime-fighting tactics and parks management practices in use by Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley. He was also interested in how New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg organized City Hall and improved quality-of-life issues.


Nutter’s camp says it’s all part of his philosophy of learning to lead by example.


“The mayor is always excited about the opportunity to talk with other mayors about things that have and haven’t worked in their cities,” said Nutter spokesman Doug Oliver. “By doing so, we avoid unnecessary mistakes and put ourselves in a position to benefit from the experience of others.”