Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Councilwoman Verna Retires

The 79 year old City Council President who has sat on City Council since 1951, has announced her retirement. Councilwoman Anna Verna has represented South Philadelphia's 2nd Ward for 60 years. That's 6, with a 0.

As if being re-elected for six decades isn't representative of South Philadelphia's historic obsession with stagnant development, Verna is the Councilwoman proudly responsible for the South Philadelphia Sports Complex's absence of supplemental development.

Near the center, Anna Verna is seen in 1988, already 37 years into her career in City Council.

Largely out of touch with a changing city, Philadelphia's City Council tends to cling to a demographic resistant to new ideas.

2011's Philadelphia isn't the Philadelphia of Mayor Rizzo. It isn't the Philadelphia that removed all the trees in South Philadelphia because the leaves were seen as blight. We don't throw snow balls at Santa anymore.

We aren't the Philadelphia that Anna Verna knows.

How long is too long? It's a problem not just in local politics, but in the United State Congress and Senate as well.
Although charismatic and charming, as Verna's constituents are replaced with bike riding hipsters, artists, and young professionals, her experience becomes less relevant.

But without term limits countless politicians have taken advantage of voter malaise and overstayed their welcome. The same can be said for City Council's Jannie Blackwell and Darrell Clarke, who routinely engage in unethical yet unchecked shenanigans.

Perhaps her arguably historic exodus is a sign of the times, and the one party system responsible for Philadelphia's 50 year decline into one of the poorest major cities in the United States will finally be realistically challenged.

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