Evenings, weekends for budget hearings contemplated by Council

    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says he used public input from town hall meetings, forums, and kitchen table talks to develop what he calls “The People’s Budget.” Starting March 25, Council kicks off its own lengthy schedule of budget hearings on everything from Fairmount Park to the Health, Fire, and Police Departments. This year, Council is adding some steps to its budget process in the spirit of transparency and inclusiveness.

    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says he used public input from town hall meetings, forums, and kitchen table talks to develop what he calls “The People’s Budget.” Starting March 25, Council kicks off its own lengthy schedule of budget hearings on everything from Fairmount Park to the Health, Fire, and Police Departments. This year, Council is adding some steps to its budget process in the spirit of transparency and inclusiveness.

    Transcript:
    For the first time, all the budget hearings will be rebroadcast in the evening, Council will take testimony by email from citizens, and will hold a Saturday session for citizen testimony at City Hall.

    Councilman Darrell Clarke says City Council’s also working on setting up official public hearings in communities.

    Clarke: “We could potentially be asking people to take upwards of a 20 percent increase in their real estate taxes.  I want to make sure that there’s every opportunity for a person who has to work, who simply can’t get downtown to Center City to our traditional budget hearings that happen during the course of the day, they have that opportunity to voice their concerns in their neighborhood.”

    Clarke says a hearing will be held on April 1 at Temple University. Dates and locations for other communities are still being hammered out.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090324council.mp3]

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