Sunday, November 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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
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
 Follow Jenny on Twitter.

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