Archive: October, 2009
A City Council committee just ended an informational hearing on the city's pension structure that was neither controversial nor terribly informative in the way of new facts - but it did seem to ratchet up tensions between Council and the Nutter administration, which was possibly the point in the first place.
Twice in the last year and a half, Councilman Bill Green, who chairs Council's Labor and Civil Service Committee, had scheduled a hearing to examine the state of Philadelphia's pension system and consider recommended fixes. Twice he postponed the hearing at the request of the administration.
A final straw seemed to come last week when Nutter spokesman Doug Oliver suggested that Council was "abdicating any responsibility" for finding ways to lower pension costs by refusing to pass a resolution creating a cheaper pension plan for newly-hired city workers. Council support for doing so was nil, with most members believing that was a collective bargaining matter to be settled at the negotiating table.
Mayor Nutter today said he's unaware of any city policy barring employees from bringing their pets to work, but that doing so could prove "a bit of a distraction."
Tell that to Managing Director Camille Barnett.
The Daily News reports that Barnet this week brought her two Yorkshire terriers to work with her at the Municipal Services Building, and also asked her staff to walk the pooches and give one of them eyedrops.
A yet-to-be released study that ranks Philadelphia as the most expensive county in the state when it comes to per-voter election costs garnered almost no attention this morning during a meeting of the City Commissioners.
As reported today in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the study found that Philadelphia spends $9.18 per voter, which is nearly double the median figure - $4.68 - spent by Pennsylvania's 15 most populous counties.
No matter, for now, to the three City Commissioners who oversee Philadelphia elections. "We will respond when we are good and ready... and you'll be surprised," Commission Chairwoman Marge Tartaglione said.
Mayor Nutter just released the winners of the Citizens Park Mayor's Box raffle for playoff tickets.
Read the release below:
Philadelphia, October 16, 2009 – Today Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the nine winners of National League Championship Series tickets. More than 29,000 people participated in the raffle. The winners were chosen by randomly generating nine numbers, from 1 to 29,000 (the number of correct response received), using a random number generator. Emails were then assigned a number, based on the order in which they were received. Emails with the randomly generated numbers were then selected as the winner.
Close to 200 of Mayor Nutter's friends and supporters showed up at a campaign fundraiser the mayor held last night at the Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Hotel.
Gov. Rendell stopped by.
And so did Bill Green, the only one of City Council's 17 members widely rumored to be considering a run against Nutter in 2012 - despite Green's insistence that he is not interested in running City Hall.
As promised, City Councilman Bill Green this morning introduced legislation that would revamp the Board of Revision of Taxes. Though the legislative process is now officially underway, any ultimate changes would not take place until and unless they were approved by voters on the May 2010 ballot.
Although Council leaders are supporting the bill, it's still unclear where Mayor Nutter stands. Green's legislation differs in some respects from an outline Nutter laid out earlier this week of what matters would need to be included for any legislation that he would support.
Here's some of what Green's bill calls for:
Mayor Nutter spent today in Seattle, where he's attending a three-day U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting that wraps up tomorrow.
Now comes word from his press office that come Sunday morning, he will be leaving the West Coast - and headed straight to San Antonio, Texas, where he will be attending another meeting that last through late Monday. This one is sponsored by the Council on Foundations.
While there, the mayor will be speaking on a panel about the city's mortgage foreclosure program. He will also be meeting with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Ed DeSeve, senior advisor at the White House Office for Management and Budget for Recovery Act implementation.