PICA Board delays vote on mayor's five-year plan

The city’s fiscal watchdog today delayed a vote on Mayor Nutter’s five-year-plan, after the administration provided the board with a list of cuts they would make to pay for a fire arbitration award currently under dispute.

Members of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority had indicated their discomfort with approving Nutter’s original five-year-plan, which didn’t include any details on how the city would pay for retroactive raises and benefit increases in a recent fire arbitration award. The Nutter administration had originally not included the costs because they have appealed the award.

But today the administration gave PICA an addendum that listed a series of severe cuts they would make to pay for the award, which the city estimates will cost $200 million over five years. The cuts include eliminating positions in departments across the city, reducing hours at libraries and deactivating fire companies. Finance Director Rob Dubow said the city hopes to avoid making the cuts through a successful appeal.

PICA Board Chairman Sam Katz said the board needed to review the new materials and would vote before the end of the month.

Members of the fire union packed the typically quiet PICA meeting today, continuing their effort to lobby the city to accept the award.