Jannie Blackwell Resigns From PHA Board
City Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell, at once one of the most dedicated and controversial of the five board members overseeing the Philadelphia Housing Authority, resigned her PHA post Wednesday.
Blackwell had been appointed to the board by then-Mayor John F. Street.
She remained one of the staunchest supporters of former executive director Carl R. Greene, who was terminated after revelations that PHA had secretly settled three sexual harassment complaints against him.
When the board voted to fire Greene last September, Blackwell was the only director against the action.
Her decision comes amid mounting pressure from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the entire board to step down in order to hasten a turnaround of the troubled housing authority.
“I always want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem, or perceived to be part of the problem,” Blackwell said at a lunchtime news conference.
Mayor Nutter will be able to appoint a replacement for Blackwell. He controls two seats on the PHA board, with City Controller Alan Butkovitz responsible for appointing two seats. The four members, in turn, elect a fifth commissioner who is always a representative of tenants.
Former Mayor Street’s tenure expires in September, while Debra L. Brady, wife of U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, a Democratic power broker in Philadelphia, and AFL-CIO leader Patrick Eiding were recently reappointed by Butkovitz.
Nellie Reynolds is a well-known tenant leader who serves as the fifth commissioner.