Mayor’s Office Defends Bad Communication Accusations

Is Mayor Nutter being inconsiderate?

We've all heard that it's hard to do business in Philly and now that the Pope is on his way… it seems even harder by some accounts.

While preparing for the arrival of Pope Francis, an Economic Impact survey was taken of 68 businesses such as restaurants, retailers and hotels.  Overall, businesses were optimistic about Pope Francis' visit, although 86-percent said Mayor Michael Nutter's administration was doing a less than stellar job communicating important details that could be critical to their preparation.


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The survey came from the office of City Controller Alan Butkovitz.

"It's not like a presidential poll. It was designed to meet the need of giving a voice to various kinds of businesses. We've been reading a lot of anecdotes in the news media in the last few weeks and I think a lot of that has actually been productive, for example, in changing the amount of territory that employees have to walk to work. So we thought something that was a larger scale that gave voice to the three major business sectors would be important." Butkovitz told

The Mayor’s press secretary Mark McDonald defended the city’s position in a statement, saying “The City has been in very close contact with businesses and other entities that face challenges with the WMOF and the Papal visit.’

The city set up a Business Resource Center to address business needs and concerns. “The majority of the callers received answers on the spot. Call volume decreased substantially after the first week, indicating that most businesses have the information they need to prepare," McDonald said.

As to Butko’s survey, it’s a bit like a political candidate’s push poll. He makes several inflammatory or mistaken statements and then asks for comment from the business. So, for example, he asserts that we’ve lacked transparency. He talks about the 'Mayor’s designated security perimeter.' As you know, the security perimeters were established by the U.S. Secret Service," McDonald said in his statement.

If you are a business with concerns you can call The Business Resource Center, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 215-683-2100

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