Sunday, August 2, 2015

More Council members turn down raises

The final tally on which Council members are going to accept the 1.9 percent cost-of-living raise they are entitled to collect starting July 1 is now available.

More Council members turn down raises

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The final tally on which Council members are going to accept the 1.9 percent cost-of-living raise they are entitled to collect starting July 1 is now available.

We wrote in today's print story, found here, that 10 of the 17 members are returning the raise to the city's general fund or donating the money (about $2,300 for most members) to charity. (Ignore the slight math error early in the story that suggests there are 18 Council members. If Heard in the Hall was good at math, we wouldn't be journalists.)

As of Wednesday, four Council members were taking the raise - Blondell Reynolds Brown, Maria Quinones Sanchez, Frank Rizzo and Frank DiCicco - and three members hadn't yet informed the Council President's office of what they wanted to do with the money.

As of today, all three late respondents have been accounted for: Jack Kelly is keeping the raise; Curtis Jones Jr. is returning the money to the general fund; and Joan Krajewski is donating the money to Special People in the Northeast, which serves people with disabilities.

And, today, Brown announced that she's had a change of heart. She is now going to donate her raise to four groups - Women's Way, City Year, Senior's Law Center and the Urban League of Philadelphia.

"After careful review and re-assessment at the close of this all consuming budget cycle, I had to hit the pause button and figure out what my priorities are," Brown said in a statement. "Economic hardships have resulted in several bruising budget cycles for some of our most valuable non profit organizations - particularly those that serve our most vulnerable populations. I have determined that the best use of my Cost of Living Adjustment is to help ease their pain."

So, the tally now stands at 13 Council members returning their raises or donating the money to charity, and four keeping the money.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Hepp, Tricia Nadolny, Julia Terruso, and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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