Tuesday, September 1, 2015

POSTED: Thursday, July 23, 2015, 10:26 AM
Jim Foster looks over a copy of the Mount Airy Independent at the paper's headquarters in Germantown. (Ron Tarver / Staff Photographer) (RON TARVER/ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

Germantown publisher Jim Foster plans to run for mayor as an independent, challenging Democratic nominee Jim Kenney and Republican nominee Melissa Murray Bailey in the November election.

“Since there are no real challengers, serious issues may never even be talked about. Maybe it would be good to have someone who knows the issues,” Foster said Thursday. “I expect to be on the ballot.”

Foster and any other independents who wish to run for mayor have until Aug. 3 to turn in at least 1,325 signatures on nominating petitions to be placed on the November ballot. Foster, 72, said Thursday he has 1,340 signatures so far but will continue to gather more signatures to avoid a petition challenge.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 6:39 PM
Family photo of Tyrone Tillman and his son, T-Jay, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in North Philly.

A press conference about Mayor Nutter’s trip to Frankfurt and Tel Aviv turned solemnly from business briefing to eulogizing, Tuesday, when he grieved the deaths of two young men killed in Philadelphia over the past week.

“These are the worst moments,” Nutter said to members of the press and city government in City Hall. “It is very, very hard to lose anyone in this city but it is really hard losing young people in the City of Philadelphia.”

On Sunday Tyrone “T-Jay” Tillman, 17, was killed in a hit-and-run accident while riding his bicycle in Huntington Park.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 3:34 PM

The state Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Philadelphia Fire Commissioner has discretion in deciding when to promote firefighters and fill positions.

The 3-1 ruling came after a lengthy battle between the city and the firefighters union, IAFF Local 22, over a promotional list that the city allowed to expire while the department had vacancies for captains and lieutenants.

“This confirms what is called ‘managerial prerogative,’” Elise Bruhle, who represented the city in the case, said. “We get to decide when we hire people, when we promote people.”

POSTED: Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 5:14 PM
Mayor Nutter, Bishop John J. McIntyre, and Donna Crilley Farrell, before their flight to Rome for a four-day trip to finalize plans for the papal visit in September.

Since June, Mayor Nutter has traveled on city business to Rome, Mexico and this week he visits Frankfurt, Germany and Tel Aviv, Israel. Of the trips, only Puebla, Mexico was paid for with city money, said Mark McDonald, spokesman for the mayor’s office.

McDonald said the trip to Mexico, which Nutter made along with Desiree Peterkin-Bell, the city's Director of Communications and Fernando Trevino, Director of the city’s Office of Immigrant and Multi-Cultural Affairs, cost $4,638 for airfare and lodging.

In Puebla, Nutter met with Mayor Jose' Antonio Gali-Fayad and discussed immigration as well as an economic partnership between the two cities. Mexico is already one of the state’s biggest trading partners.

POSTED: Friday, July 10, 2015, 12:13 PM

Philadelphia's City Controller on Friday called on the city's state-appointed fiscal watchdog to reject Philadelphia's recently passed five-year budget, saying it over estimates tax revenues and could lead to a deficit.

City Controller Alan Butkovitz said the budget makes flawed estimates regarding a host of taxes: the business income and receipts tax, sales tax, realty transfer tax and parking tax.

In asking the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) to reject the budget, Butkovitz said the tax estimates are especially flawed for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, when economic conditions are predicted to be less favorable than the city's projections.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 1, 2015, 5:52 PM

Despite Philadelphians smoking less, they are still smoking enough to help fund city schools.

As the 2015 fiscal year wrapped up Tuesday, state, city and school district officials were confident they would get the $49 million they were expecting from the new $2-per-pack cigarette tax.

Philadelphia's $2-per-pack cigarette tax took effect last October as a way to help plug a $71 million deficit this past year and continue providing much needed money for the schools in future years.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 30, 2015, 6:31 PM
Mayor Michael Nutter. (DAVID MAIALETTI/Staff Photographer)

Mayor Nutter announced Tuesday the members of a new Commission on Universal Pre-Kindergarten, who will look at the cost, space and staffing needs associated with providing an education to all 3- and 4-year-olds in the city.

The Commission, which met for the first time Tuesday and are expected to meet monthly until they submit a draft report to the mayor in January, will be led by Co-chairs Sharon Easterling, executive director of the Delaware Valley Association for Education of Young Children, and Loretta Sweet Jemmott, vice president for Health and Health Equality at Drexel University.

The members of the commission are the following:

POSTED: Monday, June 22, 2015, 7:35 PM
Several community and nonprofit groups and at least one city councilwoman are crying foul over the city’s upcoming tax lien sale on tax delinquent and typically blighted properties. (PlanPhilly)

At the 11th hour, several community and nonprofit groups and at least one city councilwoman are crying foul over the city’s upcoming tax lien sale.

The city is scheduled to start selling 1,400 tax liens on Wednesday in an online auction, in which it hopes to bring in some money on its vast stock of tax delinquent and typically blighted properties.

The lien sale process would give private investors the ability to foreclose on those tax-delinquent properties and to place fees and interest on the liens in hopes of one day recouping the money.

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About this blog

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

Inquirer City Hall Staff
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