Upcoming Budget Vote Prompts Protests In City Council

City Council is expected this morning to pass the fiscal year 2010 budget, a deal cut with Mayor Nutter last week that includes a five-year increase by 1 cent in the local sales tax and a push down the road for some funding obligations to the pension fund.  That deal rankles some city residents and employees.  About thirty community activists and city union members gathered outside of Council this morning to protest the budget, which requires approval from the state General Assembly on the sales tax and pension issue.

"We don't want a budget that's balanced on the backs of workers in this city," said Rev. Jesse Brown of the Essential Services Coalition. "We are not seeing leadership in City Hall.  The mayor is not leading. City Council is not leading.  What they have done is business as usual."

Among the protesters were leaders of District Council 47, which represents white-collar city employees and want more probation officers hired, and the Neighborhood Networks.  The protesters called on the city to raise local wage and businss taxes rather than making cuts in services and jobs.