Nutter hires a new — and cheaper! — managing director

CITY HALL. Minutes after Mayor Michael Nutter introduced Richard Negrin as the city’s new managing director on Thursday, talk in City Hall turned to money. Specifically, Nutter said Negrin’s $171,000 annual salary (after the mandatory 5-percent pay cut) is “less than Camille Barnett” was paid during her two-year tenure.

His timing couldn’t have been better.

A City Council committee Wednesday approved a bill to close the “Camille Barnett loophole,” a rule enabling city managers with previous experience elsewhere to pay into the local pension system, thus padding their retirement pay. In doing so, Barnett will receive about $50,000 a year for life from Philadelphia despite having two-and-a-half years of service. If approved by Council, eligibility would come after five years.

In introducing Barnett’s successor – his official title will be Deputy Mayor for Administration and Coordination – Nutter said his new No. 3 will “help to make things happen and get things done within a large and complicated structure.” Barnett will help with the transition before leaving June 30.

“Wow. I’m deeply honored and humbled by the opportunity,” Negrin said. Negrin’s first task will be to officially bury the BRT.

Asked about Negrin’s limited public-sector experience, Nutter said, “I feel fairly confident saying that in four-to-six months, he did more at the BRT than was done in the past two centuries. Rich Negrin is ready for this job.”

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