Head of PICA board overseeing Philly’s finances resigns

The director of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, the state board overseeing the city of Philadelphia’s finances, is leaving that post.

Uri Monson, who has been head of PICA since July of 2008, looked back, and ahead, at the city’s prospects.

During a dozen years working with the authority, Monson said he has been struck by the dependence of the city’s finances on forces beyond Philadelphia’s control.

“We’re still subject to the national trends,” he said. “When the economy is doing well nationally, Philadelphia was doing well and had large surpluses. When the economy turned, we suffered like everyone else.”

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Going forward, Monson said the pension burden is ione of the city’s biggest problems.

“Fifteen percent of Philadelphia’s budget goes to pay pension costs, so 15 cents of every dollar we spend is basically paying for services we received 30 years ago,” Monson said. “That is untenable in the long term.”

A nationwide search will be held for Monson’s replacemen. And he’s not talking about his next job just yet.

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