Ignoring Mayor’s Deadline, Council Looks Likely To Adjourn Before Voting On PGW Sale
By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s looking less likely that City Council will schedule a public hearing on the proposed sale of PGW before it adjourns for the summer.
City Council must vote yea or nay on the mayor’s plan to sell PGW for nearly $2 billion (see related story). Even though Nutter sent the legislation to council weeks ago, no member has introduced it and no hearing has been scheduled. Council is scheduled to adjourn for the summer on June 19th.
Council President Darrell Clarke says one matter delaying things is that council staffers were given heavily redacted documents by the Nutter Administration, and then forced to sign confidentiality agreements.
“That has proven to be a real problem for this whole process, because everybody was sworn to secrecy based on these confidentiality agreements. So therefore you don’t really have a sense of what’s in these documents. So we have to wait until all that information and all those documents are reviewed before we are able to get a snapshot of where we are.”
Aides to Clarke say the documents that were originally redacted were later made fully available to council staffers who did sign the agreement.
The ticking clock is that the firm chosen to buy PGW (UIL Holdings of Connecticut) can jump ship if Council doesn’t act by July 15th. Clarke says that date was chosen by the mayor and UIL — not by Council — and that the lawmakers will proceed at their own pace.
Council has hired a consultant to review both the details of the purchase agreement and the larger question of the best use for PGW. The mayor says one-quarter of the $2 billion sale proceeds would be invested into the struggling city worker’s pension fund.