Catherine LuceyWHYY's It's Our City blog has a good post up on last night's town hall meeting about the budget in the Parkside section. As usual, library closings were the top concern of residents who turned out to question Mayor Nutter and other top city officials.
You can read the post here.
Catherine LuceyAlthough President-elect Obama came to Philly today to talk with governors about federal aid for states, Mayor Nutter made sure to remind him that cities are hurting too.
During an appearance on MSNBC today, Nutter said he spoke with Obama for a few minutes about the needs of cities.
"I like what President-elect Obama is doing with the governors.I just want to make sure that cities and municipalities are not left out as well," Nutter said. "We’re at the ground level. We fill potholes, we pick up trash....It is literally where the rubber meets the road. We just want to make sure there is federal support for us as well."
Catherine LuceySouth Philly gave Mayor Nutter an earful on the budget cuts tonight.
Nutter held the first town hall meeting on his budget plan at South Philadelphia High School this evening. Many emotional attendees begged Nutter to reconsider closing libraries and pools, and asked him if he had sought out new revenue and outside funding for city services.
“I believe you’re cutting the middle class and the poor, the services that they need,” said Karen Brown, president of the Southwark Civic Association, “What are you going to do with the youth in the summer when crime goes rampant when they have no place to go?”
Catherine LuceyThis just came in from the press office:
STATEMENT FROM MAYOR MICHAEL A. NUTTER ON THE DEATH OF CAROL ANN CAMPBELL
Philadelphia, November 19 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter has issued the following statement:
Catherine LuceyMayor Nutter says he’s continuing with his effort to seek federal aid for cities. Last week he traveled to DC to deliver a letter – co-signed by the mayors of Atlanta and Phoenix -- to the Treasury Department asking that part of the $700 billion bailout fund to be used for ailing cities.
Now more cities are looking to join the effort. Nutter said Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon and Trenton Mayor Doug Palmer support the plan and he is talking to others. The mayors want the federal government to provide loans to municipal governments to shore up pension programs and invest in infrastructure projects. They also are asking for a short-term loan program for cities that are having difficulty borrowing cash to pay their bills.
“We’re trying to fill potholes, pick up trash, put police officers on the street, deal with our pension system and the like,” Nutter said.
Catherine LuceyMayor Nutter's press office just put this out:
MAYOR'S OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
Tuesday, November 18, 2008 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Catherine LuceyChris Brennan, who is currently covering a budget briefing for City Council members, reports that the Nutter administration plans to hold eight town hall meetings across the city from November 25 to December 18 to explain the budget cuts.
"The administration is prepared to go out to make sure we explain the actions we have taken to the community," said Nutter's Chief of Staff Clay Armbrister.
Mayor Nutter has announced substantial cuts to shore up a $1 billion gap in the city budget over the next five years. His plans include delaying tax cuts, laying off city workers and reducing some city services -- including shutting down 11 libraries and 68 pools.