State Examiner: City Can’t Just Change DROP

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Two initial decisions by a state hearing examiner have found that the city of Philadelphia violated the law when it made changes to the Deferred Retirement Option Plan three years ago.

Overriding a veto by Mayor Nutter, City Council voted unanimously in 2011 to reduce the cost of the retirement program by tweaking its eligibility requirements and changing the way the interest rate is calculated on workers’ DROP accounts. Nutter vetoed the legislation only because he didn’t think it went far enough: He wanted to nix DROP altogether.

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Under Nutter, Philly Became Awesome

Photo by James Losey, Creative Commons License.

Photo by James Losey, Creative Commons License.

Editor’s Note: Updated with bullet points reflecting the city’s improvements over the last seven years.

The Nutter administration has just released a huge data dump that not-so-subtly makes the case that Mayor Michael Nutter may be the most capable and enlightened executive that Philadelphia has had. Ever. Read more »

Mayor Nutter to Officiate Same-Sex Wedding of Israeli Diplomat

Elad Strohmayer (left) and Oren Ben-Yosef

Elad Strohmayer (left) and Oren Ben-Yosef

Gay wedding bells will be ding-donging at City Hall this week, when Mayor Michael Nutter officiates the wedding of Elad Strohmayer, deputy consul general of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region, and his fiancé, Oren Ben-Yosef, in an intimate ceremony in the Mayor’s Reception Room.

Strohmayer and Ben-Yosef are both Israeli citizens who will be living in Philadelphia throughout the former’s appointment at the Consulate.

“It is only appropriate that our marriage takes place in the beautiful structure that houses the seat of government of the City of Brotherly Love, that has come to be a second home since my appointment to the Consulate in 2012,” says Strohmayer in a press release sent out this afternoon.“We are honored to be joined in marriage by Mayor Nutter, who has done excellent work to promote Israeli and LGBT interests in Philadelphia. We look forward to sharing this special day with so many people who have made us feel at home in this city.”

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Monday’s City Reads

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Mayor Nutter. Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Local Read: “Nutter Looks Back on Seven Years of Accomplishment.”

The final phase of lame-ducktitude is the legacy assessment stage, and it has begun in earnest for Mayor Nutter. First, of course, was Simon Van Zuylen-Wood’s absolutely terrific profile of the mayor and the city’s feelings about him in this month’s Philadelphia magazine. If you haven’t yet read it, you must. It opens with Nutter comparing himself to Donovan McNabb and gets better from there. Read more »

Firefighters Get Raise, Permission to Move Out of Philly

Mayor Nutter announced a contract agreement with the city’s firefighters union, Local 22, at a noon press conference.

“Philadelphia’s firefighters have been awarded a new four-year contract that increases salaries by 9.25 percent over the life of the agreement,” the Inquirer reports. “The contract permits union members with five or more years of experience to live outside the city, a provision that was included in the last contract with the city’s police officers.”
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Will State Bigfoot Philly on Paid Sick Leave?

Illustration courtesy of Shutterstock.

Illustration courtesy of Shutterstock.

The debate over mandatory paid sick leave in Philadelphia has been a lively one. Traditional liberals, which includes most of City Council, support paid sick leave. More business friendly Democrats, such as Mayor Nutter, oppose it. Council has twice passed paid sick leave bills, and Nutter has twice vetoed them.

But just when it looked like Nutter and Council were getting close to a compromise on sick leave, two state senators have announced that they plan on introducing a bill that would strip all municipalities from enacting sick leave ordinances. It’s not a coincidence. The bill is explicitly aimed at Philadelphia. The sponsors are Republican Senator John Eichelberger and Democratic Senator Lisa Boscola.

They write: Read more »

City to Examine Safety of Manayunk Canal

Mayor Nutter says the city should examine the safety of the Manayunk Canal in the wake of Shane Montgomery’s death, KYW reports.

“What we don’t completely know with certainty is where he actually went into the water, how he went into the water,” Nutter told the station. “There are a fair number of protections out there. I’m not going to speculate about what happened or how it happened. We know the end result. But if there are things that we can do along the canal — if that’s where he went into the water — we certainly want to take any additional precautionary steps that we can.”

Montgomery, a West Chester University student, disappeared the night before Thanksgiving after leaving a Manayunk bar. His body was found in the Schuylkill River last weekend. The funeral is scheduled for 9 a.m. today at St. John the Baptist Church, 146 Rector Street.

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