Mayor Nutter talked about the city's fiscal problems with Brenda Jorett on WHYY this morning. Nutter again said that the city plans to announce a revised budget shortfall estimate this week. He also said he wants to change the budget process to include more citizen input.
Here's the exact quote:
"That’s one of the other things that when I make the announcement about our current financial situation, I’ll also be talking much more in depth about the upcoming budget process. It will have a significant amount of citizen participation, opportunities for input, unlike anything that the city government has ever done in the past.We want to make sure that we’re hearing from citizens as much as possible. But also not just hearing from folks and what their concerns and complaints may be, but at the same time, we need more information out there and also I want citizens to have a much better sense of what it takes to balance a budget - what it means to have trade offs - When you have x amount of dollars and then some of that goes away, the kinds of choices that you have to make."
Mayor Nutter is quoted in this Bloomberg story today about losses to government pension funds.
Here's an excerpt:
“Not a whole lot of people get too excited about pension funds,” Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said in an interview. “But if you have to pay those costs, they do grab your attention.”
Mayor Nutter plans to bring his wife Lisa and their 13-year-old daughter Olivia to the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama in Washington DC next week.
"Olivia obviously, whether she wanted to or not, has grown up in a political family. She pays a lot of attention to all of this and is very very excited," Nutter said. "Just being a part of this, I think is a wonderful thing for a teenager."
Nutter said Olivia has also pondered what life in the White House will be like for Obama's two young daughters, 7-year old Sasha and 9-year-old Malia.
Mayor Nutter says he's still waiting on the cheescake NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised him if the Eagles beat the Giants on Sunday. But he says he's sure it will show up soon -- and that it will be appreciated.
"I've been asked by about my half my staff members when the cheesecake would come in," he joked.
Looking ahead to the NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals, Nutter said he has made a wager with the mayor of Glendale, AZ, Elaine Scruggs. (The game will be played at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale.)
Mayor Nutter read an essay on NPR's "This I Believe" on Friday. Nutter spoke about his journey to the mayor's office, noting that his commitment to public service was instilled by his parents during his childhood in West Philadelphia.
One of the life lessons he learned as a kid? That he had to shovel snow on his block for free because it was his civic duty. How very Dickensian.
You can listen to Nutter's essay here.
Mayor Nutter plans to head to Washington, DC tomorrow to take in President-elect Obama's speech on the economy.
Obama is expected to talk about the need for a massive stimulus package -- millions in both tax cuts and spending measures -- to help kick-start the plummeting economy. In a press release, his transition team said Obama would "make the case for urgent action on an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that will save or create over 3 million jobs while investing in priorities like health care, energy, and education that will jumpstart economic growth."
Nutter -- who is struggling with a more than $1 billion budge deficit over the next five years -- has been lobbying hard for direct federal aid to cities in the package. Last month he and other members of the US Conference of Mayors met with the Obama transition team in Chicago to talk about the stimulus package.
After striking down the Nutter administration's last-minute plea for relief, Common Pleas Judge Idee Fox released her full written order on the library suit. And she sticks to her guns, saying the mayor needs Council approval to close libraries.
Check it out here.
Catherine LuceyOn Monday Mayor Nutter plans to ask a Court of Common Pleas Judge to reconsider her ruling that the administration can’t shut down 11 libraries without City Council approval.
Nutter said his administration will detail the financial impact of keeping the libraries open.
“We only have a certain number of personnel to operate the 53 total branches, which will impact the level of service and continued service,” Nutter said. “That will cause us to have to cut back service days and programmatic activity.”