Councilman Wants Rebuttal to Nutter TV Address on Schools Funding

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (left) will appear on 6ABC at 7 p.m. to address school funding. Councilman Brian O'Neill (right) also asked for time to rebut Nutter's speech, but his request wasn't granted. (Staff Photos)

UPDATED to reflect comment from 6ABC.

Mayor Nutter is set to make a televised address on 6ABC tonight seeking support for extra schools funding. But one City Councilman doesn’t want to let him have the last word.

Councilman Brian O’Neill has asked the station to give him a slot on the airwaves to respond.

“I know he’s talking about he’s not happy with Council,” said O’Neill, a Republican. “I really don’t know what it would be, but it would be an opportunity to give another side which is shared by the majority of my colleagues. I don’t know what [Nutter’s] emphasis may be. I also don’t know if I’m going to get on.”

Council spokesman Tony Radwanski phoned the television station today to see if O’Neill could get on tonight.  But Diane Hamlett of 6ABC said, as far as she knows, "we're only carrying the Mayor's address."

O’Neill does not support any of Nutter’s tax-hiking proposals which include the administration’s preferred 2 cents per ounce soda tax and a 10-percent increase in property taxes.

“I don’t think there’s enough votes for a tax increase period,” O’Neill said. “I don’t believe that you ever raise taxes if you don’t have to and one of the best reasons not to raise taxes is that you have surplus money. Taxes should always be a last resort.”

But the administration has warned against reducing the projected-surplus fund balance for the coming fiscal year, arguing that it would force cuts to the city budget.

Tune into 6ABC tonight at 7 p.m. for Nutter’s address.