[Editor’s Note: This is a continuing story that will be updated throughout the day.]
Today marks a turning point in Philadelphia’s mayoral race: The first TV ad is on the airwaves. The spot is a soft-focus introduction to former City Councilman Jim Kenney, “one of Philadelphia’s most progressive voices,” says the narrator.
But Kenney’s campaign isn’t behind the ad. Instead, a labor-affiliated super PAC known as “Building a Better PA” is responsible for it. That makes this a turning point in city politics, too: This appears to be the first time in a Philadelphia mayor’s race that the inaugural TV ad of the season was aired by an outside group, rather than a candidate. In other words, it’s a super PAC, not Kenney himself, introducing the candidate to many voters.
For the past few months, a police district in North Philadelphia has equipped about 30 cops with body cameras as part of a pilot program. If Mayor Michael Nutter gets his way, police around the city will be provided with an additional 450 body cameras in the coming year.
Nutter has set aside an extra $500,000 in his proposed 2015-16 budget to purchase, store and install the cameras.
On Friday night, Philadelphia hosted its 3rd AnnualUnited Negro College Fund (UNCF) Mayor’s Masked Ball at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The UNCF provides scholarships for 60,000 students attending 900 colleges and universities. It also provides financial assistance to 38 higher-education schools in its network, all of which are historically black colleges and universities. The Masked Award (Mankind Assisting Students Kindle Educational Dreams) honorees this year were Craig L. Adams of PECO, who was the co-chair of the inaugural gala, Joseph M. Casey, SEPTA General Manager, and former school superintendent Dr. Constance Clayton. There were several notables in the audience, including legendary singer Billy Paul, Tuskegee Airman Pierce Ramsey, Reverend Dr. Alyn E. Waller, First Lady of Philadelphia Lisa Nutter, Mayor Michael Nutter, Dr. Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO, UNCF, and Stephanie Humphrey, QVC host and mistress of ceremonies for the evening’s ceremony. Photos after the jump »
Mayor Michael Nutter‘s administration says it wants to build a new prison to replace an outdated one that lacks such basics as air conditioning. But prisoners’ rights advocates are suspicious of the plan.
Governor Wolf introduced his budget on Tuesday. And in it he proposed an increase in spending, no pension reform, no long-term deficit reduction and no cuts in costs. And although he’s lowering business and real estate taxes, there are proposed increases in our state income and sales tax. Mayor Nutter introduced his budget yesterday. And he wants a 9 percent property tax increase (oh, and good luck with that). Now the mayoral candidates are talking about a plastic bag tax.
And why not? We Philadelphians are used to taxes. It’s no big deal.
In fact, depending on whether you live and/or work and/or run a business in the city, you might be paying as many as 44 different taxes, fees and tariffs every single year — maybe more! Don’t remember them all? Who could blame you! So here’s a list to refresh your memory. And please let me know if I’m leaving anything out. I’m definitely forgetting something, right?Read more »
It was a victim of the recession, enduring cutbacks in staff under Mayor Michael Nutter. During his budget address Thursday, Nutter proposed an additional $5.5 million for the department next fiscal year, which would translate into 43 new employees. By 2018, he said L&I plans to boost its staff by 20 percent.
Mayor Michael Nutter proposed a budget Thursday that would total $3.95 billion, expand the use of police body cameras, most likely eliminate the need for a tuition hike next year at the Community College of Philadelphia, and increase spending on the city’s long-underfunded Licenses & Inspections department.
But all eyes went to only one part of his plan: a 9.3 percent increase in property taxes. Nutter wants to use that to give $105 million to the city’s cash-strapped schools.
This morning, Mayor Nutter delivered his annual budget address—the last one during his tenure as Mayor of Philadelphia.
Before he got started, he took a moment to recognize Gloria Casarez, the City’s first director of LGBT affairs, who lost her life last fall after a long battle with cancer, and a handful of other female government employees who lost their lives in the last year.
Mayor Nutter at the 2014 LGBT History Celebration at City Hall, Casarez looks on. | Photo by Bryan Buttler
Before we begin, I’d like to have a moment of silence to recognize three tremendous public servants who we lost over the last year: Gloria Casarez, the first Director of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs, Joan Markman, our first Chief Integrity Officer, and Lieutenant Joyce Craig, the first female firefighter to die in the line of duty.
These three extraordinary women were exemplary public servants, consummate professionals and dedicated leaders. Let their lives and their service act as a continual reminder to all of us to do our own jobs better and let us keep them and their families in our thoughts and prayers.
For more specifics on the Mayor’s budget address, head to our News blog.
Nutter is going to propose this morning a 9.3 percent increase in the property tax rate to provide an infusion of cash to the city’s financially troubled schools. The Philadelphia School District is facing an $80 million budget deficit in 2015-16, and has asked the city for an extra $103 million.