by Alex Lloyd Gross
Regardless of whether you agree with someone’s politics or not, if they get elected to an office, there should be an inauguration ceremony. Larry Krasner, and Rebecca Rhynhart have both won their office for another four years. Krasner is the Philadelphia District Attorney and Rhynhart is the Philadelphia Controller. Four years ago, they both had a nice service at the Academy of Music. People showed up. The media came, took photos and did their stories.
Today, January 3 2021 both were sworn into office and this year, Mayor Kenney has told them both that “You are on your own” for having a ceremony. He put the blame on COVID. This Saturday, January 8, 2021 over 68000 people will attend an Eagles game at the Linc. Then the city used the cost as an excuse. The city can use the Mayors Reception Room and do the service for free. Nope. Krasner’s far left approach to crime is even too progressive for Kenney. Rhynhart has issued some reports that were critical of the mayors policies. They were on their own.
Krasner held a secret , virtual rally with a few select people there. When contacted no less than 25 times via email, and telephone messages , Krasner spokesperson Jane Roh refused to return one telephone call or one email to this organization, as well as media outlets. A few supporters were invited, and encouraged to attend.. Krasner’s policies have been a lightning rod for controversy. He is against cash bail. He is against the death penalty. Krasner is in favor of probation for a lot of defendants, over incarceration.. His inaugural speech is an excellent way for him to make his point, and afterwards, reiterate his positions to the media, and his critics. Unfortunately , with a virtual ceremony, that is not going to happen.
This media outlet, and many others refuse to run free handout photos of a planned news event. First, it is controlling the message and second, it cost jobs. No reason to have journalists when you rope some hapless photographer into providing the images for free. Even it’s it’s a city photographer, or a staffer from the DA;s office, the answer is NO!!
The city controller, Rebecca Rhynhart also got sworn in today. Virtually, with no public ceremony. Rhynhart has not been popular with Mayor Kenney because she holds his feet to the fire on issues. Like the soda tax. “When that was enacted, the money was supposed to go for Pre-K, schools, and recreation centers. The majority of it has not. It has gone into the general fund. It’s very hard to track there”, Rhynhart said in an interview. “I told him to put it in an escrow fund, it will be transparent. He refused to do that,” she said.
“This is unprecedented , to not have an inauguration ceremony. I only hope that Mayor Kenney is not being petty and spiteful. There is gun violence, unemployment, a surge in COVID. This is not the time to be spiteful,” Rhynhart said.
Her office is responsible for watching finances. Rhynhart is not a rubber stamp. “I’;m hands on, I have a job to do and my office will do it,” she said. Currently, they are auditing the police department and the results will be public later this year. Rhynhart won her job by one vote. Her vote. Everything else was just extra. She ran unopposed. No one wants the job, or she is doing such a good job that she cannot be beat. Her job is making her popular with the public, not with city officials. “If not having a public inaugural is the price to pay for not being popular with city officials, I’m fine with that, I can live with that, she said.