Saturday, November 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Archive: March, 2013

POSTED: Thursday, March 28, 2013, 10:42 PM
SRC Chairman Pedro Ramos has his work cut out for him to help the school district close a huge budget deficit.

When Mayor Nutter presented his $3.75 billion budget proposal two weeks ago it did not include additional revenue for the cash-poor school district.

But elected officials knew the request was coming.

At a School Reform Commission meeting tonight, officials revealed that they plan to ask the city for $60 million and the state for $120 million to help close a $304 million gap. School officials recently voted to close 23 schools and asked the union for $133 million annually in givebacks.

POSTED: Thursday, March 28, 2013, 12:01 PM

City Councilwoman Marian Tasco wants answers as to why a recreation center in her district was delayed. Tasco says it has to do with her position on the potential sale of Philadelphia Gas Works.

To stand by a promise made to a deceased loved-one, a family holds a wedding and funeral at the same time.

More than a dozen Traffic Court hopefuls are off the ballot.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 5:10 PM
Philadelphia Traffic Court at Eighth and Spring Garden Streets was in session Thursday, but some of the judges hearing cases were from out of town. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

The crowded field of 41 candidates for three endangered Philadelphia Traffic Court seats has thinned a bit now that 15 Democrats have withdrawn from the race or been removed from the ballot by a judge after legal challenges were filed about their nomination petitions.

The candidates removed from the ballot by court order are: Thomas McLaughlin, Andrew Grannum, Khalilah Cade and Alessandro Gatta.  Candidates allowed to withdraw during court hearings were: Fareeda Brewington, Erin Nowak, Juanita Jenkins and Ikeke Soncera.  Candidates who withdrew without hearings were: Tim Thornton, Lynwood Savage, Youngchu Song, Albert Littlepage and Armstead King Jr.

King on Friday filed an appeal to the state Commonwealth Court about the legal challenge filed against him.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 3:49 PM
Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz speaks during a community meeting on AVI at New Temple Baptist Church in Phila. on March 20, 2013. ( ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer )

Michael Williams dropped his bid for the May 21 Democratic primary election for City Controller Wednesday -- the deadline to withdraw from the ballot -- and endorsed incumbent Alan Butkovitz's bid for a third four-year term.

Williams, in a news release, said he had a "frank and productive conversation" with Butkovitz about the Controller's Office.  Williams said Butkovitz shared his concerns about key issues facing the city, including the Actual Value Initiative to adjust property taxes, ongoing municipal labor negotiations and making government more efficient.

Williams left a job as an attorney in the City's Law Department in October and announced his bid for controller in December.  He has been working for the forensic auditing group at the law firm Picciotti & Schoenber since then.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 12:04 PM

For the first two days of budget hearings City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell had a serious bone to pick with the Nutter administration.

"They don't want to send [administration officials] to my district," Blackwell said on Monday during a hearing on the proposed five-year plan.

Blackwell was referring to a series of community meetings the administration was holding throughout the city to inform residents about the Actual Value Initiative, a new property-tax system based on market values and relief measures.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 11:00 AM

A battle of epic proportions? TV talkshow host Geraldo Rivera vs. Newark Mayor Cory Booker for the U.S. Senate race.

How did President Obama make a South Jersey man angry?

City Council is wary over AVI valuations.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 3:02 PM

In the hot seat for the second day of budget hearings Tuesday was the Office of Property Assessments --the department tasked with reassessing every property in the city.

City Council held no punches and grilled the Nutter administration on how parcels were assessed, why some assessments appear to be out of whack and the progress of outreach efforts to inform residents about the new property-tax system based on market values, the Actual Value Initiative. 

OPA has been working to reassess all 579,000 properties for the last two years. Assessment notices were mailed out in March and residents who will likely see dramatic increases to their tax bills under AVI have been up in arms.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 9:38 AM

City Council began its budget hearings on Monday, quizzing top administration officials on the five-year plan. Today, it's the Office of Property Assessments.

Helen Ubinas thinks putting metal detectors in elementary schools is a no-brainer.

Those boobs who stole cop cars in Philly and Camden are getting their day in court.

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
 Follow Chris on Twitter

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
 Follow Jenny on Twitter.

PhillyClout Team
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected