It was business as usual at this morning’s City Commissioners public hearing: A short, perfunctory meeting and a lack of action regarding the swirling complaints over the duties of chairman Anthony Clark.

The crowd consisted of myself, two other reporters, a photographer and three members of the Committee of Seventy. There was one mystery man. He left before I got the chance to ask why he stopped by. So he might’ve been a regular Philadelphian.

City Commissioners
Credit: Mark Dent/Billy Penn

Clark opened the meeting asking for any public comments. This would’ve been the time for anyone to express disapproval with the fact that he rarely showed up to work during his last tenure and collects about $140K a year. He waited about two seconds for someone to speak up. There was silence.

And silence ended up being the theme of the meeting.

After getting briefed by a couple of staff members on developments with the special election and the primaries, Commissioner Lisa Deeley introduced a motion for City Commissioners to consider requiring a log their daily attendance at work and have the logs be available for public viewing.

Neither Clark nor Al Schmidt seconded it.

In all, Deeley introduced five motions. The others didn’t relate to the Clark controversy (one involved creating a live stream for these public meetings so people could watch online), yet each time Clark and Schmidt stared straight ahead, silent, not seconding any of them.

Deeley said she was disappointed Schmidt and Clark didn’t vote second her proposal about the attendance but hoped they would discuss it in the future.

“If we’re elected or hired, we’re employees,” she said. “And we’re required to show up to work.”

Though Clark was the impetus for her motion, she did note that he “has been to work every day since I’ve been here.”

Mark Dent is a reporter/curator at BillyPenn. He previously worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he covered the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Penn State football and the Penn State administration. His...