Saturday, August 30, 2014
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Councilman Kelly: Contract For Press Help On Hold For Now

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 to trim costs. Councilman Jack Kelly said Mayor Nutter for look for other cost-cutting measures "before putting the lives of our residents at risk."

Councilman Kelly: Contract For Press Help On Hold For Now

Councilman Jack Kelly
Councilman Jack Kelly

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."

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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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 walshSE@phillynews.com
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