Mayor Street looks back as he exits

December 28, 2007 7:44:58 PM PST
The sun is setting on John Street's eight years as Philadelphia's mayor.

In his final days at city hall, Philadelphia's first mayor of the 21st century believes his legacy will be seen as positive and productive.

"I believe that history is going to be good to us," he said.

Street presented his own lists of major accomplishments during a recent interview. Among them: deals for new stadiums and convention center expansion, multiple big concerts on the parkway and the Barnes art treasure headed there soon, a flawless Republican convention, school reform, thousands of new jobs at the navy yard and continuing the growth boom in Center City.

Critics point out that the mayor's term ends with violent crime rising. Street and Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson caught plenty of criticism for the homicide rate, which rose in Street's second term.

The federal corruption probe, the infamous bugging of his city hall office, also tainted his second term. Prosecutors said Street created an atmosphere where pay to play in Philadelphia continued to flourish.

Street is being talked about as a possible cabinet member in a Hillary Clinton administration or as a future leader of the national NAACP. For now, he'll teach at Temple University, but odds are his life as a public figure is not over.