Archive: November, 2008
Catherine LuceySouth Philly gave Mayor Nutter an earful on the budget cuts tonight.
Nutter held the first town hall meeting on his budget plan at South Philadelphia High School this evening. Many emotional attendees begged Nutter to reconsider closing libraries and pools, and asked him if he had sought out new revenue and outside funding for city services.
“I believe you’re cutting the middle class and the poor, the services that they need,” said Karen Brown, president of the Southwark Civic Association, “What are you going to do with the youth in the summer when crime goes rampant when they have no place to go?”
Check out the latest video conversation from the City Hall bureaus of the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer, where we discuss the anticipated reception for Mayor Nutter as he begins eight town hall meetings around the city to explain his budget cuts.
City Controller Alan Butkovitz released a report this morning about crime on SEPTA's subways that said half of all serious incidents are committed by juveniles. Butkovitz said "truants are free to roam the transit system" because Philadelphia School District student TransPasses put no limit on the number of rides from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Butkovitz recommends the School District use only subway tokens until SEPTA can find a way to limit the number of rides a student can take each day.
You can read his report here. We've also posted his news release on the topic below.
Butkovitz Releases Audit of Subway Security
Recommends SEPTA, City and School District do more to ensure rider safety
Rumors are swirling over at the Defender Association of Philadelphia about possible layoffs due to the city's growing budget trouble. A spokeswoman for Chief Defender Ellen Greenlee said no layoffs have happened but the office is in negotiation with Mayor Nutter's Finance Department. The Defender Association represents in court seven out of 10 people arrested in Philadelphia.
Greenlee, testifying in an City Council budget hearing in April, said her office had "certainly a large request" for fiscal year 2009, which started on July 1. She suggested that was in part due to Mayor Street's administration ignoring requests for increases over the years. Greenlee was asking for a $2.3 million increase in funding. She planned to use most of that money to add 16 new attorneys to her 216-attorney staff, increase starting attorney salaries from $48,500 to $50,000 and to give her entire staff a cost of living increase. The rest of the budget increase would be used to pay for computers, software licenses, rent and the escalating cost of malpractice insurance.
Rob Dubow, Nutter's finance director, told PhillyClout today that he has asked the Defender Association for a 5 percent budget cut in fiscal year 2009 and a 10 percent cut in fiscal year 2010. The city and Defender Association have not laid out any plans for how that will happen and are still working to schedule a meeting on the issues. The city supplies 97 percent of the Defender Association budget while the other 3 percent comes from state and federal grants.
Catherine LuceyFlyers Chairman Ed Snider and Mayor Nutter announced a plan today to keep open three ice rinks slated for closure. Here's the press release on the partnership:
MAYOR NUTTER, ED SNIDER YOUTH HOCKEY FOUNDATION ANNOUNCE
PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP TO PRESERVE ICE RINKS
Philadelphia, November 25, 2008 – This morning, Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider announced that the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation (ESYHF) will take over operation and programming of three ice-skating rinks targeted by the City for possible closure. Under the agreement, ESYHF will oversee all ice hockey programs at the Scanlon Ice Rink, the Laura Sims Skatehouse at Cobbs Creek, and the Rink at Simons Recreation and Teen Access Center.
John Baer, like a lot of people, wonders how he got into an economic mess. You can also weigh in on whether the government should bail out the auto industry.
Ronnie Polaneczky lets us know the price of a taxi ride in Philly is coming down a bit. Actually, four bits.
State Sen. Vince Fumo's staff testifies about working on his farm, on the taxpayer's dime.
Catherine LuceyHere's the release:
Monday, November 24, 2008 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAYOR NUTTER APPOINTS PETER GONZALES TO ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
Catherine LuceyPhiladelphia Flyers Chairman Ed Snider is stepping in to help the Philly ice rinks. In Mayor Nutter's budget cuts, he said three of the city's five public rinks would be closed if the city couldn't find funding.
Snider's partnership with the city will be officially announced tomorrow. Here's the press release:
EVENT: MAYOR NUTTER AND ED SNIDER TO MAKE ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT FUTURE OF PUBLIC RINKS IN PHILADELPHIA
DATE: Tuesday, November 25 at 10:15 a.m.