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Ed Neilson Sworn In, Quietly, As Philadelphia City Councilman

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Three months after his election, Ed Neilson was sworn into office today as the newest member of Philadelphia City Council, in a ceremony to which the press was not invited.

It was back in May that state representative Ed Neilson won the special election to fill the seat vacated when Bill Green resigned to become chairman of the SRC.

Neilson said he waited three months to be sworn in, in order to remain in the state House should his vote be needed on school funding.

"Council went on vacation, and I was still (a) state rep.  It made sense (to wait) because one vote matters in Harrisburg, and it was important for me to represent the city and have a seat at the table," he said today.

But with a school funding vote in the House now delayed until the fall, Neilson went ahead today with a swearing-in ceremony in City Council chambers -- with no notice given to reporters.

"It's not that I didn't want press coverage.  I just wanted to be sworn in with my family, and I would do the advisory afterwards," he said.

KYW Newsradio had only learned of the impending ceremony from sources.

Neilson did dance around speculation that he could try to return to Harrisburg by running for the state senate seat now held by Mike Stack, should Stack be elected lieutenant governor.

"All those decisions will be made down the line," Neilson said.

(Dunn:)  "But are you committing to finishing the remainder of this term, which has about another year and a half?"

(Neilson:)  "Give me a second on that one.  I want to give you a good answer.   I'm committed to City Council.  I ran to be a city councilman.  Right now I have no vision of going to the senate or anywhere else but City Council."

In addition to his tenure as state representative, Neilson has also served as aide to then-governor Ed Rendell and as political director at the electricians' union, IBEW Local 98.


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