Nutter Weighs School District’s $103 Million Request

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Staring down a deadline to deliver his own 2016 budget request to City Council, Mayor Nutter is weighing a request from the Philadelphia School District for $103 million in new funds, KYW reports.

Because of that request, Nutter says his budget proposal remains unsettled: “What we’re trying to figure out right now is how to properly and in a sustainable fashion respond to the $103 million request. What would it be, what form would it come in, and do we in fact include that in the budget that gets submitted.”

Nutter is resolute that the requests need to be settled quickly: “The Governor’s budget address is on Tuesday, the 3rd. My budget address is on Thursday, the 5th. So all of this to some extent will be happening in real-time. We’re at a point where we need to address the budgetary request from the School District as early on as possible (and) identify those resources. We will collectively try to figure out how to do that. But there’s no question that the need is great.”

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Inside Take: City Hall Has Long Coddled Big Business

(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from a Citified insider.)

In this town, business and government get along like Jimmy Fallon and The Roots.

This Festival of Requited Love has been ritualized by Mayor Michael Nutter’s annual addresses to the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, with the final kiss being blown at their Sheraton Philadelphia luncheon today. Read more »

Greenlee: Paid Sick Leave Will Become Law With or Without Mayor

Bill Greenlee, photo City Council Flickr | Michael Nutter, photo Jeff Fusco

Bill Greenlee, photo City Council Flickr | Michael Nutter, photo Jeff Fusco

City Councilman Bill Greenlee says his bill requiring Philadelphia businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees is going to become law, with or without Mayor Nutter.

Greenlee says, if necessary, he has lined up the minimum of 12 votes on Council needed to override a veto by Nutter.

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This Is How Public Unions Should Respond When Their Members Screw Up

Left: Joe Schulle speaks about the death of Philadelphia firefighter veteran Joyce Craig Lewis on Tuesday, December 9, 2014. Right: Marcell Salters' controversial Instagram post.

Left: Joe Schulle. Right: Marcell Salters’ controversial Instagram post.

Joe Schulle, the president of the Philadelphia Association of Fire Fighters – Local 22, seems like a good guy. He’s a fierce advocate for his union, which represents Philly’s firefighters and paramedics, but he balances that advocacy with the knowledge — which we sometimes forget — that his members aren’t just another special interest group: They’re also public servants.

Good on him for remembering.

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Philly’s Unfunded Pension Liabilities: $5.3 Billion

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A stark reminder of the seriousness of the “pension crisis” you hear about so often: A new report says that Philadelphia is $5.3 billion behind on payments to the pension system that is supposed to pay for the retirements of its municipal employees.

The city is far from alone: An audit released Wednesday by State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says that 562 Pennsylvania cities are collectively $7.7 billion under water — up from $6.7 billion two years previously.
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Marian Tasco to Retire From Council

[UPDATE, 11:40 a.m.] City Council President Darrell L. Clarke on Tuesday issued the following statement on 9th District Councilwoman Marian Tasco’s announcement that she will not seek reelection this year:

“Councilwoman Tasco’s fierce advocacy for the most vulnerable Philadelphians has shaped her long and admirable career in public service. She is a spirited ally and friend who will be greatly missed. I am thankful to have known and worked with her.

“Marian Tasco is a terrific mentor to women in an arena that has a long way to go toward full inclusion. Councilwoman Tasco has also been so generous to her offer support and guidance throughout my own career in public service. Those who’ve landed on her bad side, such as predatory lenders and payday loan operators, have learned firsthand that she is a formidable advocate. She also has used her strong knowledge of government to help shape the annual budget process.

“It is selfish to be sad at this time, so instead I enthusiastically congratulate Councilwoman Tasco on a well-deserved retirement.”

[ORIGINAL, 8:45 a.m.] Longtime City Councilwoman Marian Tasco is not seeking reelection in the May 19th primary, according to a press release from State Rep. Cherelle Parker’s campaign.

Tasco, a Democrat, represents the 9th Council District in Northwest and Northeast Philadelphia. She is currently serving her seventh term on City Council.

Tasco could not immediately be reached for comment.

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“Con Artist” Considers Run for City Council

Daily News reporter William Bender wasn’t kidding.

In an article published today, Bender chronicles the bizarre tale of Lewis Thomas III, who is considering running for Philadelphia’s 5th District Council seat if Council President Darrell Clarke decides to run for mayor.

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Nutter, Clarke Spar Over Death of PGW Privatization Deal

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Despite some glimmers of last-minute hope a few weeks ago and Doug Oliver’s endorsement of a sale earlier this week, Mayor Michael Nutter’s proposed deal to sell Philadelphia Gas Works to a Connecticut company for $1.86 billion — already comatose after City Council President Darrell Clarke announced in late October that Council would not touch the matter — has ended not with a bang, but a withdrawal.

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23 Photos of the Protests at the City Hall Tree Lighting Ceremony

In the wake of non-indictments of police officers in the deaths of Mike Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York City, protests erupted around the city last night. Photographer Roger Barone captured the tense juxtaposition of the protests and the city’s 21st annual tree lighting ceremony in the City Hall courtyard.



All photos copyright Roger Barone/Talk Radio News Service.

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