Philadelphia Metropolis


The Dream Job

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To: All Ward Leaders

From Chairman Bob

Re: An Employment Opportunity

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Vivian T. Miller, beloved leader of the 51st Ward - a true jewel in the crown of Philadelphia wardom - has decided to step down from her position as Clerk of Quarter Sessions. She made it official last week.

Vivian, a stalwart of our grand and glorious Democratic Party, has decided to cash in under the DROP program and retire with a big pile of moola.

Bon Voyage, Vivian!

This means the position is open.

At first, Robin T. Jones who is Vivian's top aide and, by the purest of coincidences, her daughter, indicated that she wanted to succeed her mother in the job.  I was moved to observe to Robin that unlike a seat on City Council, this job is not hereditary and she must step aside and give some other family a chance. 

The position will be filled by election of the voters in 2011.  Mark that one your calendar.

You may ask: Well, Chairman Bob, what exactly does the Clerk of Quarter Sessions do?

I respond: No one is really sure - and that includes Vivian.

But, let us not focus on minutiae.  Here are the salient facts: It pays $110,000 a year.  Need I say more?

Recently, the jackals in the press have launched a scurrilous attack on Vivian, alleging that she has failed in her duty to collect fines and fees on those who jump bail.  The figure is said to total $1 billion, which is not small change.

I had a heart-to-heart with Vivian about these allegations and she vigorously disputed them. She said the figure was closer to $13.68. This should stand as a solid rejoinder to these so-called reporters.

Later, Vivian called me and amended the figure.  She said it was somewhere between $13.68 and $136,822,443.27. That is, admittedly, a higher number, but nowhere near $1 billion. So there.

Unfortunately, our so-called Supreme Court has decided to play politics.  Chief Justice Ron Castille has announced that he intends to have his administrators take over the duties of the Clerk's office, as soon as they figure out what its duties are.

I have two things to say about this:

One, Ron Castille is a Republican.

Two, I rest my case.

In a Democracy, power rests with the people. It is the people of this great city who should decide who holds this office, even if they do not know what the hell it does or who the heck is running.  It is their solemn right under our Constitution.

Lastly, the alleged Committee of Seventy has piped up and said that since the Supremes were taking over the functions of the office didn't it make sense for the office of Clerk of Quarter Sessions to be abolished?

What a pin-head is Zack Stahlberg, the alleged head of this so-called reform group.  I would crush his skull between my two fists if I was not of a peaceful disposition.

Why are these 70 people mucking around with democracy? It is up to the people to decide these issues, not some so-called and alleged reform group.

And the people have spoken many, many times by electing someone to this position. Why should they stop now?

This office has been around since the 1600s, which is even before Marge was elected!

So, it must be doing something right.

I rest my case.

By taking over the functions of the office, the Supremes have, by fortuity, made this a better job.  Under the new arrangement, you get the job, the salary, an office -- and no perceivable duties.

In other words, it has gone from a plum to a dream job.

You can drive around town all day in your Clerk of Quarter Sessions car.  You can attend banquets and luncheons and cocktail parties in your official capacity.  And each week you get a check for $2,115.  Oh, happy day.

And, if you work it right, you may be able to hire some high-qualified and worthy job applicant who happens to be your daughter, son, nephew or niece as your Deputy Chief Clerk of Quarter Sessions.  After all, someone has to drive the car.

So, I hereby declare the job open and encourage all of Philadelphia's concerned and caring citizens to apply.

I will carefully peruse the applications and select a person who will make us all proud as the Democratic Party candidate for this job.

Just because you are a ward leader will not give you any special advantage. 

If you are a ward leader, what you cannot currently see is that I am winking, so I will write it out to be clear.

Wink. Wink.

I rest my case.


This piece was written by Tom Ferrick Jr., senior editor of Metropolis. All characters here are purely fictional and are not intended to resemble any persons living or dead, especially Bob Brady.



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