Philadelphia’s Jim Kenney: ‘I’ll be happy when I’m not mayor’

By Anthony Hennen | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – A moment of frustration for Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has led to two city councilmen to call for his resignation.

Kenney’s comments came after a shooting incident where two police officers were injured during the city’s Fourth of July celebration on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. During a post-midnight press conference, he spoke about the stress and concern brought by large events in the city.

“I’m concerned every single day. There’s not an event or a day where I don’t lay on my back at night and look at the ceiling, and worry about stuff,” Kenney said. “So everything we have in the city, over the last seven years, I worry about. I don’t enjoy (the) Fourth of July, I don’t enjoy the Democratic National Convention, I didn’t enjoy the NFL draft – I’m waiting for something bad to happen all the time. So it’s – I’ll be happy when I’m not mayor and I can enjoy some stuff.”

“You’re looking forward to not being mayor?” a reporter asked.

“Yeah, as a matter of fact,” Kenney said.

The 63-year-old has been mayor – the 1.6 million population city’s 99th – since January 2016, and elected city representative since he was 32. In each of the general elections of 2015 and 2019, the Democrat captured 80% or more of the vote. He’s term-limited.

Kenney has been criticized during his tenure for a lack of leadership or visibility in city affairs. The mayor’s comments angered other elected leaders who have disagreed with him in the past.

“Philadelphia is in a crisis and needs a mayor who wants the job and all its responsibilities,” City Councilman Allan Domb wrote on Twitter. “It is beyond time for @PhillyMayor to resign for the good of the city and its residents.”

Nor was Domb the only council member to call for Kenney’s resignation.

“We are all exhausted by the level of gun violence in our City,” Councilman Derek Green tweeted. “However, our City needs someone now with the passion and vision to lead us forward. Resign.”

Both Domb and Green are expected to run for mayor in 2023.

After the press conference, Kenney focused on gun violence in the city.

“We will continue to do everything we can to combat our city’s gun violence – including taking a record number of guns off the streets – but we are fighting an uphill battle. We are pleading with lawmakers to help us stop the flow of guns into our city,” he tweeted. “I love this city, and as Mayor, there’s nothing more I want than to help solve this problem and keep our residents and visitors safe.”

Kenney isn’t the only city official to face calls for resignation. State Republicans have focused attention on District Attorney Larry Krasner, passing a resolution last week to form a committee to investigate and impeach Krasner over rising rates of crime in Philadelphia. The city has seen a significant increase in murder in recent years.

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