Mayor’s budget cuts take bite out of Northeast program

    The Mayor plans to cut almost $950,000 from a program addressing “quality of life” issues in Northeast Philadelphia.

    With the weight of Philadelphia’s latest financial struggles bearing down, Mayor Nutter has proposed some drastic measures, including cutting Police staffing and hours at the library.

    The Mayor also plans to cut almost $950,000 from a program addressing “quality of life” issues in Northeast Philadelphia.

    The Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP) is aimed primarily at Councilwoman Joan Krajewski’s district. Its crews have trimmed more than 4,000 trees, cleaned and cleared 3,500 properties, and removed graffiti from 15,000 sites.

    Krajewski’s Chief of Staff Chris Creelman says the program began when Mayor John Street launched his Neighborhood Transformation Initiative.

    “We don’t have a lot of vacant lots,” says Creelman. “We don’t have a lot of abandoned buildings. But we did have a lot of quality of life issues. People in other Council Districts may say that it’s not fair that we have it or they want it but I mean this was a result of negotiations with the prior Administration it was kind of our piece of the pie so to speak from the NTI Initiative back in 2000 [and] 2001.”

    Louis Iatarola is with the Tacony Civic Association. He says a major cut in CLIP will slow efforts to address neighborhood problems.

    “The city in recent decades,” says Iatarola, “has not been able to be on top of these issues that can go unchecked and unattended for weeks and months at a time. And, if that continues, it’s just going to lead to a deterioration in the quality of life in some of the neighborhoods up here in the Northeast.”

    Iatarola says if the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections were more efficient, CLIP would not have been needed.

    Kreelman says Councilwoman Krajewski is negotiating with the Administration and she’s hopeful the cut will be less severe.

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