No one can deny that Joe Hubris is as liberal as the hills. He believes that liberalism is the best hope for all of us. That being said, he hates the degree that the city of Philadelphia intrudes into the lives of his fellow residents. Now, couple that with hubris and you get the latest loss for the city and its economic health.
Unisys, the IT giant with its headquarters in Bluebell, PA had decided to move it's headquarters and some 225 jobs to center city a couple of years ago. There were going to relocate to Two Liberty Place, a mixed-use skyscraper located in the heart of center city, about a block from city hall. 225 corporate jobs in no small matter, especially in these ever more uncertain economic times. Why didn't they move? They wanted to erect a large sign on the building bearing their companies name. It was not an unreasonable request considering any casual glance at Philadelphia's (or any city's) skyline. The problem wasn't with the sign in general, it was with the size. It was 600 square feet and would have been displayed on the 37th floor. Both these features required a variance. After a protracted battle, it was denied by the Zoning Board of Appeals. A questionable asthetic offense was deemed more important than 225 non-casino jobs.
The sign probably did not enter into the decision process for the company when they announced their decision this week to cancel the move. It cited, well, these ever more uncertain economic times. Philadelphia decided that those jobs weren't important enough to outweigh the horror of a big sign on a skyscraper. This city cannot afford to take anything for granted, that much is clear. It should have been clear 2 years ago, but the hubris got in the way.
Comments to Joe Hubris.