It's Our Money is asking various experts and advocates to grade the Nutter administration on its performance in the budget process -- it's handling of the process, and the quality of the budget it ultimately got, given the circumstances. This assessment is from Karen Bojar, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for Women, although she speaks only for herself in these comments, not for NOW. Bojar volunteered for Nutter during his mayoral campaign.
Grade: "Solid" BComments: There is no way a mere mortal could get a grade of “A” in an economic situation like this; no one could have avoided a few missteps. Philadelphia was in difficult straits before the financial meltdown. No one knows whether the national (and global) economic situation has stabilized or whether we are in for a double dip recession. In this financially volatile situation, Mayor Nutter managed to get us through the immediate crisis: He is widely credited with working tirelessly in Harrisburg to get approval from head-in-the-sand Republican legislators for the sales tax increase necessary to keep libraries, recreation centers, and all other City services functioning. Perhaps it would be better if revenue were raised through other means, but there was no consensus on anything else, and it’s not at all clear that the mayor could have secured enough Council votes to raise sufficient funds in any other way. Finally, although some have claimed that Mayor Nutter exaggerated the severity of the City’s financial woes, I have not seen any substantiation of these claims.