Archive: March, 2009
It's an all-Vince edition of the DN today. Here's what we've got:
A new web site -- nopropertytaxhike.com -- being circulated by e-mail, local blogs and social networking sites asks visitors to "tell the mayor his plan to increase property taxes is wrong!" The on-line petition asks for some personal information -- your name, e-mail and address. But the site doesn't provide any information about who is running it.
PhillyClout loves a mystery so we checked the web site's registration, filed on Friday by Adrian Pountney of Lombard, Illinois [about 20 miles from Chicago.] A Chester County web company built the web site for Pountney.
We know two things about Pountney: He didn't appreciate PhillyClout's efforts to reach him by phone and e-mail this week and he is Facebook friends with former City Council candidate Vern Anastasio. Pountney e-mailed that he is "just hosting the site for someone, the site is pretty self explanatory as far as what it's about and what it's trying to accomplish, and that is all I have."
Mayor Nutter just announced that his upcoming budget won't include layoffs in the police or fire departments. Nutter, joined by Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, also said there will be no closures of facilities or elimination of equipment. His plan last fall to close libraries and eliminate fire companies drew legal challenges and prompted wide-spread controversy.
"I refuse to do anything that halts our progress on a march to a safer city," Nutter said.
Nutter – who must close a five-year $1 billion budget shortfall -- is set to release his budget and five-year financial plan in City Council on Thursday.
Here's a little PhillyClout trivia -- one half of this blog was born in Ireland and the other half is proudly Irish-American. So no green beer for us, thanks. Not this week. Not ever. We're the real deal. Which makes us qualified, we declare, to offer a little advice to City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr.
Dear Curt. What on this green earth were you thinking? Love, PhillyClout.
Jones has scheduled a St. Patrick's Day lunch tomorrow in City Council's caucus room. But Jones is all about multi-tasking. So it will also be an information session. The topic: New solid waste technology. Jones hopes to have business executives "discuss their vision for an enhanced waste management strategy."
City Hall's inhabitants have been monitoring very closely the federal corruption trial of former state Sen. Vince Fumo pretty closely since it started in October. A lot of people in this building got their start in politics by way of Fumo. One of them is City Councilman Jim Kenney, who spread word in a committee hearing this morning that the jury had come back with a verdict.
Kenney later expressed sadness for Fumo and his family but not surprise at the verdict. He said juries seem more likely to convict these days. Kenney hasn't spoken to Fumo in weeks and didn't ask about the trail when they caught up. "When I talk to him that’s the one subject I don’t talk about," Kenney said. "It’s like being sick and having people ask you how you’re feeling."
Mayor Nutter called today's guilty verdict in the corruption trial of former state Sen. Vince Fumo a "stunning conclusion to what has been a pretty stunning trial."
"I certainly wish former state Sen. Fumo and his family the best under these very trying and difficult times. He, in the true sense of his public service, certainly did many things that were beneficial to the city of Philadelphia and the commonwealt of Pennsylvania," Nutter said. "But I think today’s jury verdict is further evidence that no matter how much good you do in public life, no matter what your good intentions may be, none of us, none of us are above the law."
Nutter acknowledged that the Fumo case has not been helpful to Philadelphia's public image.
It's not too late to enter this week's PhillyClout contest and win your very own Daily News t-shirt!
Here's the challenge. Email us (email@example.com) the answer to the following question by 6 p.m. We'll pick the winner at random from the correct responses. The question is:
What taxes is Mayor Nutter proposing to raise in the budget plan he has provided to City Council?
Here's a little early morning City Council drama from Chris Brennan:
Councilman Bill Green just stormed out of a hearing on legislation that would change the City Charter requirement that public meetings be advertised in three daily newspapers with paid circulation. The measure was introduced by Councilman Darrell Clarke, who said he was prompted by the recent bankruptcy filing by Philadelphia Media Holdings, which owns the Daily News, Inquirer and Philly.com.
But Green said he wasn't sure about the change.