Saturday, May 30, 2015

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
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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