Sunday, November 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

City Solicitor: We Will Appeal Judge's Ruling On Library Closures

City Solicitor Shelley Smith just told PhillyClout that her department will file an appeal of the order just issued by Common Pleas Court Judge Idee Fox that put an immediate stop to Mayor Nutter's plan to close 11 library branches as of 5 p.m. tomorrow. The closures were part of Nutter's plan to close a $1 billion-plus gap in the city's five-year financial plan.

City Solicitor: We Will Appeal Judge's Ruling On Library Closures

City Solicitor Shelley Smith just told PhillyClout that her department will file an appeal of the order just issued by Common Pleas Court Judge Idee Fox that put an immediate stop to Mayor Nutter's plan to close 11 library branches as of 5 p.m. tomorrow.  The closures were part of Nutter's plan to close a $1 billion-plus gap in the city's five-year financial plan.

"The city needs to appeal this ASAP because of the finances," Smith said. "The city needs to appeal this because of the principle."

At issue is section 16-203 of the Philadelphia Code, passed by Council over then-Mayor W. Wilson Goode Sr.'s objections, which requires the mayor to get Council approval before closing any city buildings.  A Common Pleas Court judge in 1988 ruled that the new law violated the city Charter.  Council appealed and a Commonwealth Court judge returned the case to the lower court, where it didn't go any further.

"Obviously we're disappointed," Smith said of Fox's ruling.  "Hopefully a Commonwealth Court judge will see it differently."

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 brennac@phillynews.com
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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 dehuffj@phillynews.com
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