In delivering his 2012 Budget Address to City Council on Thursday, Mayor Michael Nutter painted Philadelphia as a city which saw “shared sacrifice” help it weather the recession.
He listed three major challenges facing the city: the School District of Philadelphia still being in the midst of a financial crisis, a state budget proposal which further cuts education and social services, and “the growing cost of our employee benefit system and the increasing strain that these costs place on our budget and our ability to provide public services.”
Then, there is the looming chaos of new property reassements all across the city.
Northwest Philadelphia was not singled out in the big-picture address, but its council members offered their reactions.
Curtis Jones, Fourth District: “The jury’s still out. So much of it depends on state (and federal) funding, particularly with the CDBG (community development block grants). What they eventually decide to do could have an earthquake impact on what we do with the city budget moving forward.”
Cindy Bass, Eighth District: “It sounds very interesting, but we’ve just received all the documents and need to read through them, study them, in order to talk intelligently about what it all means. It’s a two-way street. We, and the citizens, will be heard throughout it. Obviously, the union support is here. We could hear them from a block-and-a-half away earlier. Getting them a fair contract is very important.”
Marian Tasco, Ninth District: “There were no surprises. Given the financial condition we’re in, he’s trying to move the city forward. The greatest challenge moving forward will be dealing with the … reassessment of properties. Those will be real challenges for us.”