Saturday, May 23, 2015

Council Bars Reporters From Pay Raise Discussion

A quorum of City Council members is meeting right now in Council President Anna Verna's office -- as we told you a minute ago in this post -- but we can't tell you more about their discussion on whether to take a 5 percent cost of living salary increase guaranteed by 2003 legislation. The Council members refused to let reporters into the meeting.

Council Bars Reporters From Pay Raise Discussion

A quorum of City Council members is meeting right now in Council President Anna Verna's office -- as we told you a minute ago in this post -- but we can't tell you more about their discussion on whether to take a 5 percent cost of living salary increase guaranteed by 2003 legislation.  The Council members refused to let reporters into the meeting.

"The public doesn't have to know about this discussion because it's a personal decision that council members are making about their personal issues," Council Majority Leader Marian Tasco told reporters. "We consider this not to be of a legislative nature."

Attending the meeting are Verna, Tasco, Brian O’Neill, Darrell Clarke, Bill Greenlee, Bill Green, Curtis Jones Jr., Frank DiCicco and Donna Reed Miller.

The state Sunshine Act defines a public meeting as: "Any prearranged gathering of an agency which is attended or participated in by a quorum of the members of an agency held for the purpose of deliberating agency business or taking official action." With 17 members, Council reaches quorum when nine are present.

Given Philly's budget constraints and union negotiations, should City Council accept a 5 percent cost-of-living adjustment?
Yes
No

The last time this came up?  Council in February barred reporters from a meeting where a quorum of members discussed the best way to hold public meetings about the city's budget.

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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