Mayor Michael Nutter seems to have given a preview of his budget speech while addressing the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Nutter told the chamber in order to keep the city’s positive momentum going he wants several things done, including selling Philadelphia Gas Works, the city-owned natural gas utility.
“Selling PGW is a necessary step to protect the stability of our City’s finances,” Nutter said. “Selling PGW will infuse hundreds of millions of dollars into our struggling and severely underfunded pension system tackling a problem decades in the making.”
Nutter also called on the state to come up with a permanent funding solution for the public schools.
“We have to stop our tendency toward the politically expedient one time one year fixes,” he said. “There is not one business in this room that would operate that way. Your shareholders, your investors, your employees or your customers would not stand for it and when it comes to education, the school children and the parents of this city won’t stand for it either.”
The mayor also urged the state and city council to work together to create a new cigarette tax in Philadelphia earmarked for education. He also wants them to dedicate some of the city sales tax to schools and another portion to Philadelphia’s troubled pension fund.