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Archive: May, 2011

POSTED: Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 8:55 AM

Will Bunch looks at the job market for men who are middle-aged blue-collar workers.

Unofficially, summer gets off to a steamy start.

Experts say a small earthquake in NE Philly is nothing to worry about.

POSTED: Friday, May 27, 2011, 1:02 PM

Mayor Nutter has gotten numerous accolades over the years for performances of his signature jam, "Rapper's Delight." But today, during a very boring government meeting, we learned that he's not the only City Hall official with rapping skills.

City Solicitor Shelley Smith gave a rousing rendition of Will Smith's "Getting Jiggy Wit It," during a lull in this morning's meeting of the mayor's administrative board. Strong backing was provided by her Chief of Staff Jen Burns.

Maybe it's time for an administration version of American Idol?

POSTED: Friday, May 27, 2011, 12:32 PM

We wrote yesterday about a letter Mayor Nutter's Chief of Staff Clay Armbrister sent to Council members, saying that the city could not afford to shift existing tax revenue to the schools.

In case you'd like to read the arguments in full, here's a copy of the letter.

POSTED: Friday, May 27, 2011, 12:19 PM

We just got a copy of a letter that State Sen. Vincent Hughes and State Sen. Shirley Kitchen sent to Mayor Nutter and Council President Anna Verna yesterday, asking the city to provide more suppport for schools.

"Restoring additional state dollars for the district will be difficult given the budget challenges we face in Harrisburg," the letter states. "Additional support from the city would send a positive message to Governor Corbett and the Republican leadership in the House and Senate about our commitment to our children and will without question strengthen our had in budget discussions."

The schools face a $629 million funding gap for the fiscal year that starts July 1 and have asked the city to provide up to $110 million in additional funding. Nutter has said the city can't afford to shift exisiting tax revenues to the district, which seems to leave a tax hike as the only option to generate the cash. But so far Council has shown little appetite for raising taxes a second year in a row.

POSTED: Friday, May 27, 2011, 10:15 AM

Where Council stands on the prospect of raising taxes to help fund schools.

Does Mayor Nutter preach tax hike in West Philly?

Council Council sue the state for more funds?

POSTED: Thursday, May 26, 2011, 5:33 PM

If you want front row seats, here are the details. Council had originally said the hearings would be the week of June 6. But now they've put a definite timeline in place.


PHILADELPHIA, PA – City Council President Anna C. Verna today announced that a public hearing on the City DROP Program has been scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in Council Chambers, Room 400, City Hall.

POSTED: Thursday, May 26, 2011, 4:01 PM

Mayor Nutter's Chief of Staff Clay Armbrister today sent a letter to City Council members, urging them against shifting exisiting property tax revenues to the School District.

"A millage shift would open a painfully large gap in the City's budget, requiring spending reduction that would create noticeable service impacts throughout city governement," says the letter.

Property taxes in the city are split between the city and the school district, with 45 percent of the revenue coming to the city and 55 to the district. As the schools face a $629 million funding shortfall for the budget year starting July 1, one option floated by advocates has been to shift that balance -- through a change in the split of the millage rate -- so the schools get more revenue.

POSTED: Thursday, May 26, 2011, 11:20 AM

As the School District faces a $629 million funding gap, Councilman Darrell Clarke is today planning on introducing a resolution in Council seeking to sue Governor Corbett to provide more funding for Philadelphia schools.

Clarke's resolution notes that education cuts across the state disproportionately impact poor school districts and calls the cuts to the Philly schools "truly onerous." He asks the law department to represent City Council in a suit against the governor and wants to retain outside counsel to do so if the law department declines.

Council could give the resolution final passage at next week's session.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to
 Follow Jenny on Twitter.

Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to
 Follow Sean on Twitter

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