With 15 Philadelphia firefighters in City Council's audience this morning to protest budget cuts in their department, several members made speeches about the dangers of eliminating fire engines and ladder trucks. Councilman Jack Kelly called on Mayor Nutter for look for other cost-cutting measures "before putting the lives of our residents at risk."
That got PhillyClout wondering: What ever happened to that request Kelly made two months ago to Council President Anna Verna for a $25,000 annual contract to hire an outside press aide for his office? "As far as I'm concerned, that’s something I'm looking at," Kelly said. "I'm going to try to save this administration and the taxpayers of the city of Philadelphia as much money as I can. We have to straighten out this dilemma that we’re in."
Kelly's office had a $25,000 annual contract for press help, held by a Republican ward leader from 2004 until this summer. Kelly said he is not pushing for the contract "at this time" but might revive the request. "It all depends on the financial condition of the city," Kelly said. "We’re going to have to cope. We have to make a sacrifice."
Several Council members have announced that they are taking pay cuts to help balance the city's growing budget deficit. Kelly said he hasn't made any decisions on that because he is still trying to make a financial come-back from a tough re-election race last year. "I have lent my own personal money to the campaign fund to pay for some of the legal defenses," Kelly said. "I’m still in debt."