Sunday, October 4, 2015

POSTED: Thursday, July 30, 2015, 5:38 PM
Jim Kenney speaks at the Broad Street Ministries lunch in Philadelphia on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. (STEPHANIE AARONSON/Staff Photographer)

If he is mayor, former City Councilman Jim Kenney likely won’t have his passport stamped as much as Mayor Nutter.

Kenney’s vision to get international business to Philadelphia includes expanding the port and airport, and not so much traveling overseas. The Democratic nominee for mayor stood before an international business crowd of about 200 on Wednesday night to share his ideas for bringing more jobs to Philadelphia.

“We need to get people working,” he told the crowd on the top of the South Broad Street Bellevue building Wednesday evening. “The port would bring job opportunities… pick up people out of poverty.”

POSTED: Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 11:08 PM
Sam Katz (left) and Bill Green. (Staff file photos)

Forget about a Sam Katz-Bill Green ticket for the Nov. 3 general election for City Council.

The two politicians said Wednesday night they have decided against registering their own political party to seek two of the seven City Council at-large seats set aside in the City Charter for a minority political party. Those seats, in a town controlled by Democrats, have been held for decades by Republicans.

Katz, who ran three times for mayor as a Republican, said he was "gratified that so many Philadelphians were so encouraging to me and that Bill Green, a dedicated and talented leader, wanted to team with me to create an independent party."

POSTED: Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 2:51 PM

Philadelphia is paying more in pension payments, as a percentage of its operating budget, than any other major city in the country, a Moody's pension report said.

The report, Pension Liabilities Rise for Most of 50 Largest Local Governments, released Friday, shows that in 2013, Philadelphia paid 18 percent ($660.6 million) of its $3.7 billion operating budget to its pension fund. Second to Philadelphia was the Metro Water Reclamation District of Chicago (a fund separate to the city pension fund) at 14 percent of its operating budget. Los Angeles was third with 14 percent ($647 million) of it $4.7 billion budget going to pension costs.

The good news is that in 2013 Philadelphia paid more than its Annual Required Contribution (ARC) of $634.2 million for that year. The not so great news is that Philadelphiais paying the third highest ARC relative to the city's revenues. Chicago is the worst with a required annual payment that is 37 percent of its revenues. Cook County, Ill. Followed at 20 percent.

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.

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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