Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Morning Money: See you in court

Mayor Nutter got some pushback yesterday on his plan to take over the Board of Revision of Taxes. Donna Aument, a BRT employee and Democratic ward leader, filed a lawsuit to stop the city from moving employees onto the city payroll and curtailing their political activities. Aument is arguing that voters need to approve a charter change in May to restructure the BRT before the administration can move forward. The city has six days to respond.

Morning Money: See you in court

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Mayor Nutter got some pushback yesterday on his plan to take over the Board of Revision of Taxes. Donna Aument, a BRT employee and Democratic ward leader, filed a lawsuit to stop the city from moving employees onto the city payroll and curtailing their political activities. Aument is arguing that voters need to approve a charter change in May to restructure the BRT before the administration can move forward. The city has six days to respond.

Who knew that Harrisburg was so dangerous? Mayor Linda Thompson racked up more than $3,000 in police overtime during her first week in office, for her security detail. At the same time, Thompson has announced plans to cut police and fire overtime to help balance the city’s precarious budget. Mayors in other mid-state cities, like Lancaster and York, manage to get by without security details.

You know how Philly has had some trouble getting its act together to apply for stimulus funds? We're not alone. Pittsburgh’s city council passed legislation over the summer that would establish a committee to oversee the city’s stimulus efforts, but Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has nixed the idea, saying he doesn't need help.

Just weeks after New Jersey ended the state takeover of Camden, Gov. Christie is talking about increasing state control over Atlantic City. An audit found more than $23 million in waste, mismanagement and inefficiency in city operations. One city council aide, for instance, was hired to scan newspaper obituaries to see whether any constituents had died.

Finally, Phoenix’s city manager is proposing 500 police and fire layoffs to balance his city’s budget. He also wants to close six of the city’s 15 library branches. Sound familiar?

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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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