By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Weeks after one of his bills was vetoed by Mayor Nutter, a city councilman has offered a jaw-dropping proposal. He wants the city charter changed so that council has the authority to spend hundreds of millions of dollars.
City Council can appropriate money to departments, but only the mayor can actually spend it. Councilman Mark Squilla saw his plan to earmark $2-million more for city parks vetoed this month by the mayor.
Now he is proposing to change the charter so that council could actually have power to spend one-tenth of the budget each year, roughly $300-million.
“This charter change would enable council to decide at budget time, if they felt the need, to throw a couple of million dollars extra, whether its to parks and recs, or to L&I or maybe the district attorney’s office. This will give us the ability to at least have the authority to pinpoint money to specific causes,” Squilla said.
This plan would have to be approved by voters in a referendum. Squilla hopes for that in the Spring 2013 primary.
A spokesman for the mayor says only that the Administration will review the proposal.