Analysis of sales of city property might be done early

Tom Knox, the former mayoral candidate who is heading the committee that will review possible asset sales by the city, says he hopes to finish the project well before the August 2013 deadline.

Although the committee was first announced in February of last year, it took until now to find enough members. The committee, which includes Drexel University President John Fry and Council members James Kenney and Maria Quinones Sanchez, met for the first time Tuesday.

Knox said the committee will review all city leases and consider consolidating facilities, as well as other options. If the committee spots an immediate opportunity, it will recommend making the change right away.

"You see a big savings. you are not going to hold it back a year," Knox said. The analysis also will include a look at utility bills that the city pays for many nonprofits and other organizations, he said.

"You have to make sure that if you’re paying somebody’s expenses, it’s the proper thing to be doing," Knox said.

Councilman Bill Green plans to introduce legislation this month that would require proceeds of any asset sales to go to the underfunded city pension, arguing that the return there would be much better than if the dollars went into the operating budget.

"We want it to be in addition to our minimum mandatory obligations  (to the pension) so that it is creating savings in the following year," Green said.



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