Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Grade the Administration: Larry Ceisler

This week, 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. Today's assessment comes from political consultant Larry Ceisler, of Ceisler-Jubelirer.

Grade the Administration: Larry Ceisler

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Larry Ceisler.
Larry Ceisler.
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This week, 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. Today's assessment comes from political consultant Larry Ceisler, of Ceisler-Jubelirer.

Grade: Incomplete

Comments: The problem with grading this effort is we have no idea what went on behind the scenes. If Mayor Nutter’s team was taken by surprise by the Senate amendments, but managed to get the GOP-controlled chamber to drop these reforms, then the City had a great day in Harrisburg. But if the Administration was complicit in the drafting of these amendments to take advantage of a crisis, then the Mayor came arguably within an irresponsible whisker of plunging the City into an unnecessary crisis. Rahm Emanuel famously said that one can never waste the opportunities that lie in a crisis. Most objective observers would agree there was merit in many of the pension reforms contained in the Senate version. But it is very apparent that we have a very short respite until the next day of reckoning. So if I was advising the Senate, I would say not to throw away those amendments, and as for Mayor Nutter; put those layoff notices in a dry, safe, place…you may need them again.

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Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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