Archive: July, 2010
Here's the press release:
STATEMENT FROM MAYOR NUTTER
Philadelphia, July 28 – Following the verdict of a Common Pleas jury earlier today finding two defendants guilty in the first degree murder of Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski, Mayor Michael A. Nutter issued the following statement:
Here's the release:
Butkovitz Questions Overtime Costs for City’s Vehicle Fleet
Auditors found 76 hours of unapproved overtime in one day at one facility
PHILADELPHIA – City Controller Alan Butkovitz today released an FY07-09 audit of the Office of Fleet Management that included a sampling of time sheets for two pay periods that found employees were paid 128 hours in overtime without any supervisory approval.
The city continues to struggle with blight and a collection of about 40,000 vacant or abandoned properties.
The DRPA squabble claims a body: Public Safety Chief Mike Joyce resigned yesterday.
The feds want info about claims that teachers are eating subsidized lunches for students at one school.
Mike Joyce, the chief public safety officer for the Delaware River Port Authority, resigned today after weeks of complaints by John Dougherty, a local labor leader who serves on the agency's board. Joyce was suspended last week for three days and had to pay the DRPA $600 after admitting that he used an E-ZPass transponder assigned to another agency employee.
Ed Kasuba, a DRPA spokesman, confirmed this afternoon that Joyce resigned but could offer no other information. Joyce, an attorney, was paid $180,081 by the agency along with a $9,000 car allowance and also did legal work outside of the office.
DRPA executive director John Matheussen last week said that Joyce told him John Lawless, the agency's corporate secretary offered him the E-ZPass transponder in October 2008. Joyce, who had his own DRPA E-ZPass transponder, used the one from Lawless in a family car. Lawless was escorted out of DRPA's headquarters in Camden in April for reasons that remain unclear but is still on the agency's payroll.
The Nutter administration's long-awaited study of the controversial Deferred Retirement Option Plan should be released next week, said spokesman Doug Oliver today.
Nutter first commissioned the study in March 2009 and Boston College was awarded the $80,000 contract. Oliver said that internal review of the report has delayed the release.
Started under Mayor Ed Rendell, DROP lets workers set a retirement date up to four years in the future. At that point, their pension benefit is frozen and they start accruing pension payments in an interest-bearing account. Workers then collect those payments in a lump sum when they retire. After retirement, they also receive their city pension, based on their years worked at the time the benefit was frozen.
Mayor Nutter was in Washington DC today to call on congress to pass a jobs bill that would provide direct aid to cities like Philadelphia.
“I know everyone’s concerned about the deficit, but the people who are talking about the deficit are people who have jobs,” Nutter said in a phone interview.
Nutter’s visit was prompted by a new report which says that local governments will likely cut 500,000 jobs nationwide over the next 18 months due to fiscal declines. The study was done by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties. Nutter serves as second vice president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Fire department poised to start rolling brownouts.
Support gathering for a state corruption investigation commission.
Drexel basketball players* surrender in robbery.
We just got some more details on how the fire department “rolling closures,” designed to save on city overtime costs, will work. Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers is set to brief fire fighters on this topic later this evening.
Deputy Mayor for Public Safey Everett Gillison tells us that the city plans to shut Engine 38 for up to two years. That company had been located on Longshore Ave, near State Road, but has been moved between other sites since the firehouse was demolished as part of the I-95 expansion. Gillison said Engine 38 will restart when the new firehouse is built, which could take up to two years.
In addition to shutting down Engine 38 for the near future, the city plans to shut two companies per shift on a rolling basis. Gillison said those companies will be determined based on size, capacity and proximity to other fire facilities. He said a full schedule of what companies will be closed when over the next year, should be released next week.