The citizens may get their say Wednesday over some controversial budget cuts Philadelphia City Leaders have planned to make up a $1 billion dollar deficit over the next 5 years.
An early afternoon public hearing takes place in City Hall. Seven bills are being talked about, but they won’t actually be voted on until next week. These bills include items like raising fees for alarms, raising parking meter fees from $1 to $2, with the goal of eventually raising the fee to $3 an hour in Center City and raising fees on permits and licenses for different types of work in the city.
The buzz around City Hall Wednesday is that the controversial issues of pools and library closings WILL come up. Mayor Michael Nutter has total control over those items.
Mr. Mayor, here’s a prediction, some advice and the video that just about says it all from the neighborhoods:
Prediction: The Honeymoon is Over!
The budget crisis may mean the end of the honeymoon for Mayor Nutter. “Ten months after taking office, a confluence of factors seems to have strained, if not ended, Nutter's political grace period,” writes PolitickerPA.com reporter Dan Hirschhorn. “Most notable among them is a national financial crisis, which has hit cities and states hard, leaving Philadelphia staring down the barrel of a 5-year budget gap that seems almost certain to surpass $1 billion. That in turn has forced Nutter to make painful-and in many circles unpopular cuts. Gradually, progressives who hailed his election have turned ever so slightly against him. The change has been most noticeable in outcry sparked by his plan to close 11 libraries.”
Advice: The Dreaded “T” Word…
Before we make those huge cuts, isn’t there anything else we can do to bring in some more money? That’s the question Ray Murphy asks in his op-ed in the Metro on Wednesday. He’s the co-editor of YoungPhillyPolitics.com. Murphy wants us to all look at it just like we do our own household budgets: “In my household, when times get hard, I look for a way to earn more money—a raise, or extra work. If things get really bad, I borrow money from friends or family. No doubt, I always cut the non-essentials when cash is scare, but not before I explore other options. Mayor Nutter has already stared on this path. He went to Washington last week and asked for help. But between Wall Street, automakers and everyone else look for a bailout, he may need to utter the “T” word,” Murphy writes.