City Drops Library Appeal, But Nutter Says He Still Has Authority to Close Branches

Mayor Nutter yesterday dropped his appeal of a ruling that barred the city from closing libraries without City Council approval. But Nutter said today that he still believes he has the authority to shut branches.

Nutter said he "absolutely rejected" the view that council approval is required to shut libraries.

"There is no concession on that particular issue and I fully expect if we have to, based on the numbers we released on Monday, all future decisions about any closures or changing the use or purpose of facilities as far as I’m concerned are still on the table," Nutter said.

The Nutter administration last fall announced plans to shut down 11 libraries as part of a series of budget cuts. But Common Pleas Judge Idee Fox ruled in December that the city could not shut down library branches without council approval. The administration has said the branches will all stay open through June.

Nutter said the appeal was dropped for practical reasons, noting there would likely not be a ruling for many months and the city is now working on their next budget. "We need to move on and get ready for fiscal year 10," Nutter said.