Philadelphia City Controller Candidate Terry Tracy made a stop at the Commodore Barry Club in Mt. Airy Tuesday night to stump for more transparent and accountable government.
“We need politicians in this city who are willing to say, ‘I want to own this,’” Tracy said. “Hold me responsible.”
Tracy’s background is in strategic management for national and international retail chains. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in political science, and he has a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in government.
He is running against incumbent controller Alan Butkovitz.
During the town hall meeting Tracy stressed the importance of fixing the city’s schools and said that the controller should have a roll in those solutions.
“I’m like anyone else,” Tracy said. “I’m willing to cut any check necessary to solve the problem, but I want to make sure that I know that the money is going to help the kids.”
Tracy is a relative unknown who is running as a Republican in the overwhelmingly Democratic city.
One resident at Tuesday’s meeting said that he was praying everyday for a Tracy win.
“I appreciate your prayers,” Tracy said. “We’re going to need a lot of them.”
Tracy added, “A political upset always looks like a impossibility in the beginning and inevitable in the end.”
Tracy also said that 80 years of bad policy has lead to the destruction of the city’s industry and prevented new business from moving into Philadelphia.
“If you stand on 76 west at 8 a.m. on a weekday, you will see a monument to 80 years of bad policy,” Tracy said.
Tracy added, “We have entrepreneurs in this city; we have venture capitalists. We have greats arts and the best healthcare and universities in the world. What’s holding us back?”
“An antiquated political class,” Tracy said.
Tracy went on to say that as controller he would focus on three things: stabilizing the district’s finances, economic growth and government accountability and transparency.
“There’s a structural problem in this city,” Tracy said.
He compared the current controller to a bad bridge inspector.
“A good bridge inspector goes out and checks bridges. He sees cracks and damage and he fixes it,” Tracy said. “A bad bridge inspector watches the bridge collapse and then reacts.”
Tracy added, “I’m outraged by the condition we’ve allowed the city to devolve to.”