Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Nutter Slashes Police & Fire Departments, Tax Reductions, City Services

With a gap in the city's five-year financial plan now more than $1 billion, Mayor Nutter today announced a sweeping plan to eliminate jobs, overtime and city servics while delaying tax reductions. The budget gap is the result of a downturn in the economy and loses in the city's pension fund.

Nutter Slashes Police & Fire Departments, Tax Reductions, City Services

With a gap in the city's five-year financial plan now more than $1 billion, Mayor Nutter today announced a sweeping plan to eliminate jobs, overtime and city services while delaying tax reductions.  The budget gap -- at least $108 million for this fiscal year alone -- is the result of a downturn in the economy and loses in the city's pension fund.

Nutter, speaking in a live television broadcast just after noon, said "We will get through these tough times."

Nutter said he would not lay off police officers, fire fighters or emergency medical technicians.  All city fire stations, health centers and recreation centers will stay open.  His plan to measure and improve city department services through the new PhillyStat and 311 programs will also continue.  

Nutter's budget plans: 

  • Delay business and wage tax reductions until 2015.
  • Eliminate 220 existing jobs, 600 unfilled jobs and 2,000 seasonal, part-time and contract jobs.
  • Reduce all overtime, including in the Philadelphia Police Department.
  • Cut 200 unfilled police jobs.
  • Cut five Philadelphia Fire Department engine companies and two ladder companies.
  • Close 11 branches of the Philadelphia Free Library and end Sunday hours at three branches.
  • Close 68 of the city's 81 pools and three of five ice rinks. 
  • Eliminate the Adolescent Violence Reduction Partnership.
  • Cut Town Watch Integrated Services by 50 percent.
  • End support for the Dell East summer concert series and the city's $355,000 contribution to the Mummer's Parade.
  • Cut by half the increases proposed for this fiscal years for the budgets of the Housing Trust Fund, the Community College of Philadelphia and the Cultural Fund.
  • Eliminate limited residential street cleaning, snow removal on smaller streets and dedicated collections for tree leaves and tires.
  • Salary cuts for the Mayor, his staff and cabinet, deputy mayors, and the Managing Director's Office.
  • Require five furlough days this year and next year for any exempt employee earning more than $50,000.

Nutter transmitted to City Council today seven pieces of legislation to enable several of his budget moves.  Council Majority Leader Marian Tasco submitted them. Council President Anna Verna said the legislation has to be voted on before Council adjourns for the holidays.  Council's last meeting is Dec. 11.

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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