Archive: June, 2011
It’s official. City Council just approved a temporary property tax hike as part of their budget to provide more revenues for the cash-poor School District.
Under the plan, property taxes will go up by 3.85 percent for one year to get the schools providing $37 million directly to the district. They also would dip into the city's surplus fund balance and raise parking- meter fees, bringing the total aid for schools to $53 million.
Council opted for the property tax hike over Mayor Nutter’s preferred tax on sugar sweetened beverages.
City Council just approved a controversial bill that would allow electronic signs along Market Street between 7th and 12th streets.
The legislation, sponsored by Councilman Frank DiCicco, is an effort to spur development on the lagging commercial strip. But some opponents questioned the move during committee hearings.
For more on the efforts to revive Market East, check out this recent report from Jason Nark.
As we reported in today's paper, Council's redistricting deadline is actually Sept. 9, not Sept. 24 as they were originally told by the City Solicitor.
Council President Anna Verna this morning informed members that the Solicitor had revised her opinion -- news that didn't sit well with many members. After census data is released, Council has six months to redraw the boundaries of their 10 districts, or they go without paychecks.
Currently Council's first session after their summer recess is Sept. 8, so they'll either have to schedule another session before then to get redistricting passed on time, or they'll end up losing pay. It's going to be tough because the shift in population in the city will require massive changes to the currently districts.
Phil Goldsmith, a former Inquirer reporter, Philadelphia School District CEO and city managing director, says Mayor Nutter and Gov. Corbett have to find a way to show School Superintendent Arlene Ackerman the door.
Also seeing the door yesterday: Some 1,600 school district teachers who are being laid off.
The city's budget comes up for approval today with questions hanging about whether Mayor Nutter will veto controversial legislation to mandate paid sick leave and retain the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, the program known as DROP.
Karen Brown, the former Democratic City Committeewoman recruited by the Republican City Committee to run for mayor this year, is hard at work on a "vision plan" for the city that she plans to release to the press. Brown gave former Mayor John Street a peek at the plan yesterday during a lunch in Northern Liberties.
How did that go? Brown had her new campaign spokeswoman, Maria Merlino, call to confirm that the meeting happened at Darling's Diner, a favorite spot for Street in the Piazza at Schmidt's. Merlino said Brown is friends with Street's son, Sharif, and asked him to set up the meeting.
"She wanted to get a former mayor’s opinion on it," Merlino said of the vision plan. "She told me John Street's opinion was very positive."
Nutter administration agrees to retooling of controversial "stop and frisk" policy.
And Mayor Nutter talks about his own experiences with being stopped.
City Council and School District agree on how to spend $53 million in additional funds.
Here's the release:
MAYOR NUTTER TO KICK OFF PHILADELPHIA’S 2011 POOL SEASON
WHO: Mayor Michael A. Nutter
State Sen. Vincent Hughes said the city's additional funding to schools could help motivate Harrisburg to do more.
State Education Secretary reminds City Council that the state is in charge of School District.
Jackass star Ryan Dunn dies in firery car crash.