Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 10:23 AM
PICA chairman Sam Katz (LAWRENCE KESTERSON / File)

The chairman of the city’s financial oversight board, Sam Katz, has resigned from the job, effective immediately.

Katz, a former finance consultant and  three-time Republican mayoral candidate who has devoted himself for several years to a series of historical films about Philadelphia, sent a letter to Gov. Corbett resigning his seat on the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority.

The agency was created more than 20 years ago to help the city through a budget crisis and has since played a role reviewing the city’s five-year financial plans and passing judgment on their soundness.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 9:31 AM
From left to right: Jake Stein, deputy mayor for economic development Alan Greenberger, Mayor Michael Nutter and Bob Moore at yesterday's ribbon cutting. (Claudia Vargas / Staff)

Just before Mayor Nutter addressed the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce at its annual luncheon Tuesday, he celebrated the new office space of a Philadelphia start-up company that nearly doubled in size in the last year.

RJ Metrics, a tech firm that helps businesses analyze their data and has more than 250 clients including Hootsuite and Threadless, is an example of a company that can “start in Philly, grow in Philly and stay in Philly,” Nutter said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Dozens of young professionals mingled around a fancy breakfast spread at the top of the Weidner Building on Broad and Chestnut Tuesday – RJ Metric’s new home to fit its 46 employee base and more – as RJ Metric’s CEO Bob Moore offered remarks alongside the mayor.

POSTED: Monday, February 17, 2014, 5:18 PM
Pete Matthews, president of AFSCME District Council 33, is calling for round-the-clock negotiations with the city to end a five-year contract impasse. (file photo)

Pete Matthews, president of AFSCME District Council 33, the largest bloc of  Philadelphia’s unionized municipal workers, issued a press release today calling for round-the-clock negotiations with the city to end a five-year contract impasse.

The union and the city are scheduled to resume contract negotiations Friday, Matthews said in the press release, “and should continue, around the clock if necessary, until a fair contract settlement is reached.”

There was no indication of any change, however, in the union’s position on an issue the Nutter administration has described as critical – a bid to change pension benefits for newly-hired employees.

POSTED: Monday, February 17, 2014, 5:18 PM

Sherrie Cohen isn’t wasting any time – more than year before the May 2015 primary, she announced in an e-mail to supporters Monday that she would run again for a seat on City Council because “justice can’t wait.”

Cohen, the daughter of the late Councilman David Cohen, finished sixth in 2011 for one of the five Democratic at-large seats, just 1,600 votes behind the fifth-place finisher.

Cohen, like her father, champions progressive causes, and she would be the first open member of the gay community to serve on Council. After her 2011 showing, some political insiders predicted that the LGBT community’s growing numbers and political strength would guarantee a spot for Cohen in 2015.

POSTED: Sunday, February 16, 2014, 9:19 PM

Senator Marco Rubio and his Republican colleagues should come to Philadelphia to see how poverty-fighting tax dollars are being used, Mayor Nutter said while discussing poverty on Friday’s PBS NewsHour segment.

In the Friday evening interview, PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff asked Nutter what he thought of Rubio’s recent comments that costly poverty programs have not had the intended effect of getting people out of poverty and that the federal government can only do so much.

“I wish that many elected officials… especially many on the Republican side of the aisle, I wish that they would actually come on the ground and see what’s going on in communities all across the United States of America,” Nutter said in the televised interview.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 7:10 PM

The city’s use of two anti-blight laws in the last few years has resulted in increased property values for certain parts of the city, according to an analysis by the community development financial institution, The Reinvestment Fund .

The report, “Strategic Property Code Enforcement and Impacts on Surrounding Markets,” to be released in a few weeks (an executive summary and presentation was released this week) found that addressing blighted properties through fines and permit fees increased the sales value of surrounding properties by as much as $74 million.

“This would translate into increased transfer tax revenue for the City estimated at $2.34 million,” the report states.

POSTED: Friday, February 7, 2014, 1:57 PM

Mayor Nutter on Friday announced that Hope Caldwell would become the city’s new Chief Integrity Officer, replacing Joan Markman, who retired last week.

Caldwell had been Markman’s chief deputy since 2011.

The chief integrity officer position was created by Mayor Nutter on his first day in office, as part of a pledge to clean up government and make it more open and transparent. Markman, a career federal prosecutor, was the first person named to that post.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 12:30 PM

After an extensive all-night snow removal effort involving more than 700 workers and 300 vehicles, Mayor Nutter announced that the city’s snow emergency will end officially at 6 p.m. Wednesday night, allowing people to resume parking on some 100 miles of snow emergency routes.

Nutter said that the city work force ­– joined by private contractors called in to help with the 13-plus-inch snowfall – had done an exemplary job overnight clearing roads and dealing with other aspects of the storm.

City Streets Commissioner David J. Perri estimated that by 6 p.m. Wednesday, snow would be cleared off all primary and secondary roads and 80 percent of the city's tighter, tertiary streets, where parked cars and the narrowness of the roadway makes snow removal much more time consuming, taking up to an hour for every block.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Troy Graham and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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