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Philadelphia City Council

(Philadelphia City Council president Darrell Clarke confers with school advocates outside City Council chambers.  Photo by Mike Dunn)

Council President Faults Phila. School District For Current Budget Gap

City Council president Darrell Clarke says the school district’s immediate need for $35 million by month’s end is a “self-inflicted wound” because the district, in his view, dragged its feet on selling old, shuttered buildings.

06/05/2014

(Philadelphia School District headquarters.  File photo by Mike DeNardo)

Phila. Officials Scrambling as School District Real Estate Sell-off Falters

At a Council hearing this morning, school district COO Fran Burns said seven of the 27 buildings have buyers, and the rest are not likely to bring in as much as had been hoped.

06/04/2014

(Activists gather outside City Council offices in Philadelphia City Hall to present petitions objecting to the sale of PGW.  Photo by Mike Dunn)

Group Says 1,000+ Signed Petition Against Privatization of PGW

Mayor Nutter wants to sell the city-owned utility to a Connecticut firm called UIL for $1.86 billion.

05/27/2014

(Philadelphia city councilman David Oh.  File photo credit: Mike Dunn)

City Councilman Claims Mayor Nutter’s Proposed Budget Is Far From Lean

Councilman-at-large David Oh says there are plenty of dimes and nickels tucked away in corners of Mayor Michael Nutter’s budget proposal.

05/27/2014

(Jennifer Schultz, of Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, testifies before City Council's Finance Committee.  Image from City of Phila. TV)

Low-Income Advocates Urge City Flexibility on New Property Tax Programs

Jennifer Schultz, of Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, testified that the new assessment system known as “AVI” (Actual Value Initiative) left many homeowners confused and scared.

05/24/2014

City Hall (FILE PHOTO credit: Tim McLaughlin)

Philadelphia Voters To Fill Vacant City Council Seat

In Philadelphia today, three candidates are vying to fill the City Council seat made vacant when at-large Councilman Bill Green resigned to become chairman of the School Reform Commission.

05/20/2014

(City Council president Darrell Clarke, shortly after his school funding plan was introduced.  Image from City of Phila. TV)

‘Compromise’ School Funding Bill Aired in Phila. City Council

The Philadelphia school funding crisis was coming to a head in City Council as the Council president introduced a bailout plan that neither the mayor, state lawmakers, nor school advocates are likely to embrace.

05/15/2014

(Councilman Wilson Goode Jr., left, and city finance director Rob Dubow, right.  Photo by Mike Dunn)

With Phila. Schools Starved For Cash, Councilman Irked By Property Tax Abatements

City councilman Wilson Goode Jr. is accusing the Nutter administration of ignoring the needs of the school district by opposing his plan to scale back the city’s ten-year property tax abatement.

05/14/2014

(With the former Inquirer headquarters as a backdrop, Philadelphia City Council president Darrell Clarke announces formation of "Avenue North Renaissance."  Photo by Mike DeNardo)

New Agency Formed To Promote North Broad Street Revival

A new agency is hoping to do for North Broad Street what the “Avenue of the Arts” has done for South Broad, according to City Council president Darrell Clarke.

05/14/2014

(credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Council Committee OK’s Fines For Leaving Pets Outside During Extreme Cold, Heat

Man’s best friend is getting some new protection in Philadelphia.

05/09/2014

(Jerry Jordan, head of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, testifies before City Council about how the union would like to see the schools funded.  Photo by Mike DeNardo)

Phila. Lawmakers Hear Competing Views on School Budget Options

Teachers’ union president Jerry Jordan called on City Council to allocate all $120 million from a city sales tax extension to schools.

05/07/2014

(Philadelphia schools commissioner William Hite, left, and SRC chair Bill Green testify before City Council.  Image from City of Phila. TV)

Phila. School District Says It Needs Hundreds of Millions More Next Year

The district is already counting on City Council to provide $120 million more for next year by extending the one-percent city sales tax hike. But that’s far from a done deal. And it says it wants $96 million beyond that.

05/05/2014

(Philadelphia public safety director Mike Resnick testifies before City Council.  Image from City of Phila. TV)

Nutter Administration Hoping to Curtail Fire Station ‘Brownouts’

Mike Resnick, the mayor’s public safety director, says overtime savings in other areas within the fire department may allow them to either reduce brownouts or end them outright.

04/29/2014

(Philadelphia Parking Authority executive director Vince Fennerty and deputy executive director Rick Dickson, testifying to Phila. City Council.  Photo by Mike Dunn)

As Phila. Parking Meter Rates Rise, Cell Phone Payments May Arrive

City Council’s Streets and Services Committee okayed a rate change for all 8,000 meters in Philadelphia, from 50 cents an hour to $1.00 an hour.

04/29/2014

(Amy Laura Cahn of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.  Image from City of Phila. TV)

Philadelphia Moves Toward Posting Its Regulations Online

The city charter requires that departmental regulations and notices of meetings be published in local newspapers. That charter dates from the early 1950s, so of course there’s no mention of the Internet.

04/28/2014

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