Mayor Nutter's effort to get more federal aid for cities is moving forward. Yesterday, top city administrators -- including Budget Director Steve Agostini and Finance Director Rob Dubow -- hosted a conference call with officials from cities around the country to talk about municipal fiscal woes.
On the call were chiefs of staff and budget personnel from Dallas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Baltimore, Miami, Milwaukee and Minneapolis. They talked about Nutter's request that the federal government make some of the $700 billion bailout package available to cities -- so that cities could borrow to shore up pension funds, run their governments and start infrastructure projects.
Many cities, like Philadelphia, are facing devastating budget shortfalls due to low tax revenues and poor performance of pension fund investments. Nutter spokesman Luke Butler said the other cites expressed support for the request for federal aid. The next step will be a conference call between the cities and the Treasury Department.