What's happening in Harrisburg, from Inquirer reporter Amy Worden:
Philadelphia lawyer Robert O’Donnell – a Democrat who once occupied the top post in the state House of Representatives - offered up some budget crisis advice today for Mayor Nutter.
“I think the mayor should redefine the mission of the city,” O’Donnell told an audience at the Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon in Harrisburg. “Municipalities in Pennsylvania don’t have the capacity to be the provider of social welfare.”
It may sound harsh from a liberal, O’Donnell said, but cities can’t afford broad missions and should narrow their focus. The former House Speaker urged Nutter to make “fact based decisions,” not decisions driven by ideology or good press.
“Ask the question does it work? If it doesn’t ,don’t do it,” he said, adding he understood that some might consider such a question offensive.
O’Donnell offered no suggestion of exactly how the city government should narrow its mission.
But he did throw out an example of a program he thinks should be trashed: the 311 community help line. He said it just introduces another layer of bureaucracy. If people want potholes fixed, he said, they should call the Streets Department.