Wednesday, October 1, 2014
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POSTED: Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 3:16 PM
At left is President of AFSCME District Council 33 being greeted by supporter outside Philadelphia City Hall. Unionized workers with the city of Philadelphia protest outside City Hall on the morning Mayor Michael Nutter will give is state of the budget address inside city council chambers. Photograph from Thursday, March 6, 2014. (Alejandro A. Alvarez / Staff Photographer)

Philadelphia’s largest municipal union has agreed to a new contract that will give its 9,000 members immediate raises yet force them to pay a pinch more toward the city’s underfunded pension system.

AFSCME District Council 33 ballot count Tuesday reflected an overwhelming support to ratify the union’s contract, which expired in 2009 and making it the last of the four major unions to settle a contract with Mayor Nutter. The vote was done by mail-in ballots and reflected a 4492 to 213 vote, union spokesman Bob Wolper said.

As part of the contract agreement, the Nutter administration agreed to drop a lawsuit in which it sought to impose new contract conditions on DC 33.

POSTED: Friday, September 5, 2014, 12:36 PM
File photo: Terry Gillen, then director of the city's Office of Federal Affairs, in July 2010. (JONATHAN YU / Staff Photographer/File)

Let the race begin.

Terry Gillen, who served under mayors Ed Rendell and Michael Nutter, is announcing her candidacy for mayor on Saturday, making her the first official candidate in what is expected to be a crowded 2015 mayoral race.

The announcement is scheduled to be held in Gillen's Graduate Hospital neighborhood where she has been politically active for decades.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 10:56 AM

Of course there were mummers and cheesesteaks as a committee to select the city to host the Democrats 2016 presidential convention started a two-day tour of Philadelphia in Philly style.

The mummers strummed as the bus carrying the Democratic National Committee delegation pulled up to a crowd waiting the Warwick Hotel that included reenactors dressed in colonial period garb and the Eagles mascot.

Also in the crowd to greet the visitors were former Gov. Ed Rendell and Mayor Nutter, who posed with a donkey mascot, and and Rep. Robert Brady.

Live Blog Democratic National Convention representatives tour Philly
POSTED: Monday, August 11, 2014, 3:20 PM

As the 2016 Democratic National Convention site selection committee tours New York City today and tomorrow, Philadelphia operatives are putting final touches to their plan to woo the committee later this week.

The 18 Democratic National Committee representatives will have their own Sixers, Eagles, Phillies and Union jerseys with each of their last names printed on the back, according to Kevin Washo, lead strategist for host committee. The Sixers jerseys will have the number 16 on the back for 2016.

Also included in the swag bags will be custom-made Duke & Winston t-shirts with the DNC PHL logo on them.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 11:25 AM

(NOTE: Previous post had an inaccurate headline. Not everyone needs to hire an attorney to get any sheriff's sale monies they are owed.) 

Former Philadelphia property owners who lost their homes to a sheriff’s sale must claim sale proceeds, if any, individually, Commonwealth Court ruled last week, dismissing a class action suit appeal.

Joseph O’Hara and his company Finn Land Corp., the representatives in the class in the 2011 lawsuit, sued the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office for failure to distribute millions of dollars to former property owners who were owed proceeds. The lawsuit was based on a City Controller’s audit of the sheriff’s office that questioned the use of $53 million in custodial funds. A later forensic audit concluded that the “primary source” of $5.2 million in unclaimed bank balances between 2006 and 2010 were undistributed excess sale proceeds.

POSTED: Thursday, July 31, 2014, 5:07 PM

For all the hype last year over the creation of a land bank, the Philadelphia Land Bank board’s first public meeting Thursday was quite the snoozer.

Gone were the big signs and the yellow t-shirts. In were the bored faces and plain work attire.

Since Mayor Nutter signed the land bank legislation in January —— creating a new quasi-government body whose mission is to return thousands of vacant parcels to productive use —— staff at the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, where the land bank will be housed, has been doing some preliminary work. But the board, an interim one, had not yet had an official meeting. 

POSTED: Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 5:22 PM
Mayor Nutter, Council President Darrell Clarke and other officials at the ground-breaking of the 11th and Cecil B. Moore athletic field.

A scrappy North Philadelphia football field that is home to one of the country’s best Pee Wee football teams is getting a $2.5 million makeover.

The new synthetic turf field will serve as the home field of the Blackhawks Athletic Club, which won the 2010 football team won the 2010 pop Warner Pee Wee National Championship, and will also be used by St. Joseph’s Prep sports teams. 

City officials, including Mayor Nutter and Council President Darrell L. Clarke, attended the ground-breaking ceremony Wednesday at the 11th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue field. 

POSTED: Friday, July 25, 2014, 4:13 PM
Mayor Nutter posted this photo on Twitter. "Great conversation with Mayor @Anne_Hidalgo, discussing climate change, bike share, student exchanges and jobs," he wrote.

The news that the Republicans have chosen Cleveland for their 2016 national convention has buoyed hopes of Philadelphia’s tourism infrastructure that the Democrats will select Philadelphia for their convention.

“We think New York is our number one competitor,” Julie Coker Graham, vice president of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the Pennsylvania Convention Center Board at its monthly meeting Friday. She said that because the Republicans chose Cleveland, it is unlikely that the Democrats will choose Columbus, Ohio. That leaves Philadelphia, Birmingham, Phoenix and Brooklyn in the running.

The Democratic National Committee’s site selection team, she said, will travel by bus from Brooklyn to visit Philadelphia on Aug. 13 and 14, staying at the Radisson Blu Warwick. If the Democrats do pick Philadelphia for the 2016 event, she said, most of the convention action would take place at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia, but the Convention Center would host many caucus meetings.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Troy Graham and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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