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Council won’t take vote on budget plan C

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Philadelphia City Council will not vote on Mayor Michael Nutter’s so-called “doomsday” budget. Council President Anna Verna said, in a letter to the Mayor Monday, that council approval would be waived in order to quickly move the bill to the state authorizing agency.

Council President Verna called the budget “cruel.” But she says as the city waits for Harrisburg to approve a one percent sales tax increase, a deadline is looming. The city has to submit the new five-year-plan to the state oversight agency by next week.

Zack Stalberg is the executive director of the government watch-dog agency The Committee of Seventy. He says Council should hold the hearings on the new plan.

Stalberg: Well City Council does not like to hold hearings in the summertime so part of this is probably has to do with not coming back to work. And part of it is they don’t want a raucous hearing and certainly one could be expected given some of the ugly things given in the five year plan.

The new proposal includes cuts to police and fire, closings of all libraries and recreation centers, and eliminating 3,000 city positions.

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