Philadelphia firefighters win another battle…still losing war

Agreeing to salt money away to pay for a firefighters arbitration settlement, Philadelphia City Council has overridden a mayoral veto. 

Republican Councilman David Oh, proposed the bill that would set aside $66 million to pay for the contract an arbitrator awarded to the firefighters when the court challenges are finally over. He’s happy that every councilmember voted to override the Mayor Michael Nutter’s veto.

“I believe it was a responsible thing to do for the city both for the firefighters as well as for the taxpayers,” said Oh.

But — even though council has ordered the money set aside — Oh says the mayor doesn’t have to spend the funds, since final spending authorization rests with the mayor’s office.

“Now the mayor may not use it but I do not think he can use it for other purposes,” he said.

A spokesman for the mayor says there is no reason to set aside the funds because according to the city charter the mayor must approve any transfer ordinance in the final four months of a fiscal year.

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