Tuesday, June 30, 2015

OK, Now It's REALLY Time to Get to Work

The Daily News reminds the mayor today that last week was not the first time he declared a "new day" for Philadelphians (he returned to his familiar campaign note after the city was granted fiscal relief by Harrisburg). The paper calls on Nutter, now that he has this second lease on life, to really get ambitious about reforming the BRT, the city's tax structure, and its financial approach. Here's what the DN says about this last item:

OK, Now It's REALLY Time to Get to Work

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The Daily News reminds the mayor today that last week was not the first time he declared a "new day" for Philadelphians (he returned to his familiar campaign note after the city was granted fiscal relief by Harrisburg). The paper calls on Nutter, now that he has this second lease on life, to really get ambitious about reforming the BRT, the city's tax structure, and its financial approach. Here's what the DN says about this last item:

The credit markets have clobbered cities and states (as well as individuals) ... and that may not be a bad thing, if it means a rethinking of how we pay for certain things. Of course, cities must rely on borrowing for capital improvements and infrastructure, but the general mentality of buy-now-pay-later has led to devastating crisis in state and municipal pensions. Nutter began his administration with the idea of a pension obligation bond, which would have borrowed a huge chunk of money and invested it the stock market. Two years later, that kind of bond has got to be considered toxic.

Already, the financial industry has been tiptoeing back into risky securities despite the hard lessons of the mortgage meltdown; we urge the city to not do the same when it comes to their usual approach to financing— especially pensions.

There'll be more specifics on changes the city needs tomorrow, but the bottom line here is that Michael Nutter is not a "new" mayor anymore. People are not waiting to see what he's going to do. It's what he does now that counts.

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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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