Previous month:
March 2013
Next month:
May 2013

April 2013

Philadelphia Budget Hearing Update Monday, April 29, 2013

Dave Kralle blog photoToday, City Council hosted a special all-day Committee of the Whole session featuring only the School District of Philadelphia. While Council members had a great deal of questions, the same answers were being applied to various questions and so here are the broad strokes.  

School Reform Commission chairman, Pedro Ramos started with a broad overview of the District listing some recent accomplishments of the new SRC. It did not go without notice that Ramos, on several occasions, made reference to the "new" SRC. This was to draw a stark contrast from the last group who, many claim, with the help of the late Arlene Ackerman drove the district into its current financial position.  

Among the accomplishments noted by Ramos were:

  • Reduction of a deficit of over $700 million to "only" $20 million
  • Reduced contracted services spending by $21 million
  • Reduced central office staffing
  • Negotiated a new partnership agreement with SEIU Local 32 BJ District 1201leading to a greater financial contribution by District employees
  • The adoption of a Five-Year Financial Plan to better inform a path to financial stability
  • Made the decision to shutter 24 schools 

Last year, according to Ramos, the District added more students with an opportunity to enroll in high-performing District-run schools by adding more than 2,000 seats. They also approved new renaissance charter schools and installed high performing charter manages in chronically low-performing schools.

Continue reading "Philadelphia Budget Hearing Update Monday, April 29, 2013" »


Surra Race Team starts off with a strong run at Hummingbird Speedway

Triad Sponsored Race CarThis is the first in a periodic series of posts highlighting the exploits of the Triad sponsored Chevy Monte Carlo operated by the Surra Racing Team.

The Triad Strategies sponsored Chevy Monte Carlo driven by three time NCAA wrestling All American/National Champion Doug Surra was at the Hummingbird Speedway for opening night last Saturday (April 27). Hummingbird is a 3/8 mile dirt bull ring located in North Central PA's Jefferson County. The track has been in existence since the 1960's and is noted for its tight, action packed, wheel-to-wheel racing action.

Continue reading "Surra Race Team starts off with a strong run at Hummingbird Speedway " »


Friday Happy Hour: Eye of the Beholder Edition

Masonic EyeThis week’s public policy roundup brings to mind a scene from the movie, “Annie Hall,” where the Woody Allen and Diane Keaton characters are speaking with their respective therapists. In side-by-side frames, the question arises simultaneously about the frequency of sex.

“Hardly ever, maybe three times a week,” says Woody Allen.

“Constantly, I’d say three times a week,” says Diane Keaton.

Similarly, the outcomes of state government’s activities this week were strictly in the eye of the beholder. It all boils down to whom you ask.

For example, Medicaid expansion either will or won’t generate $435 million for Pennsylvania, depending on whom you ask. The legislative Independent Fiscal Office said it would, but acting Public Welfare Secretary Beverly Mackereth warned that the money the fiscal office is counting on isn’t guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act.

Continue reading "Friday Happy Hour: Eye of the Beholder Edition" »


Taking a Bite Out of Cancer

Reps VS Food BLK WHT (2)

What happens when the constituents, friends, and families of legislators have been impacted by cancer?  In Pennsylvania’s state capitol they come together in a bipartisan fashion to raise money from the political and corporate community in order to fund the research necessary to find a cure for cancer.

On May 6, 2013, State Representative Jeff Pyle will pull together over twenty of his colleagues for an evening of fun to support a serious fundraising cause.  “Take a Bite Out of Harrisburg:  Reps Vs Food” will challenge these legislators to consume two pounds of prime rib and a one pound baked potato in one hour.

 

Any PA State Representative willing to step up to the plate (pun intended), or if you would like to be a sponsor, see Representative Pyle in room 147b, EW, or contact Erica Godsey at 783-5327 or egodsey@pahousegop.com

The Triadvocate is a publication of Triad Strategies, LLC, a bipartisan lobbying, public affairs, strategic communications, grassroots advocacy, issue management consulting firm located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh


Philadelphia Budget Hearing Update Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dave Kralle blog photoThis will be the shortest of all budget briefs. The only panel today was the Philadelphia Fire Department and Council made the most of Commissioner Lloyd Ayers' appearance. 

Ayers testified in defense of his Department's request of $219,152,358 which represents a $632,468 increase over last year's budget. Ayers highlighted some successes of his Department over the past year to justify his request. Last year boasted the lowest number of recorded fire fatalities in the City's history at 25. This represents a 22% reduction over the prior year. Of the 25 fatalities, 13 occurred in properties without a properly working smoke alarm. Last year, the Department responded to 231,520 calls for emergency medical services with 75% of those calls leading to transportation to a local hospital. 

The Commissioner also noted an aggressive new public outreach campaign which led to the development of a new fire safety app for smartphones, the dissemination of smoke alarms into 14,280 residences throughout the city, the Community Risk Reduction program and the opening of a new state of the art fire station for Engine 38.

Continue reading "Philadelphia Budget Hearing Update Wednesday, April 24, 2013" »


Philadelphia Budget Hearing Update Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dave Kralle blog photoIn its last full day of first time testimony from departments within the administration, City Council today heard from the Department of Revenue, the Board of Revision of Taxes (BRT) and the Finance Director who discussed all revenue (tax) bills. 

Revenue Department

Getting us started was newly minted Revenue Commissioner, Clarena Tolson. You might remember Tolson from a few weeks ago when she testified as the Streets Commissioner. In her new role, Tolson received praise from Council members who all expressed optimism that Tolson and her counterpart, the new Chief Collections Officer Tom Knudson, would begin to aggressively seek out payment of the hundreds of millions of dollars owed to the City. 

In requesting $20,560,621, this year's appropriation represents an increase of $1,163,843 over the FY 13 estimated obligation. Tolson claims to require these additional funds to adequately pay for an additional 18 positions and accompanying equipment and supplies to support the Delinquent Tax Collection Strategy.  The Department's mission is to increase collections by "leverage advance technology, increase enforcement, promote education and outreach and more fully utilize private collection agencies and to continue to build partnerships with sister agencies" (Tolson 4/23/13).

Continue reading "Philadelphia Budget Hearing Update Tuesday, April 23, 2013" »


Philadelphia Budget Hearing Update Monday, April 22, 2013

Dave Kralle blog photoWell, today is the day we've all been waiting for. Fireworks in City Council. The day started off typically tame (read, boring) but after lunch it took a turn for the interesting. Keep reading to find out why!

First Judicial District 

The day began with the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania.  Judge John Heron, court administrator Kevin Cross, Common Pleas President Judge Pamela Dembe, Municipal Court President Judge Marsha Neifield and Family Court administrative judge Kevin Dougherty all took their turns justifying their $109,321,420 request during the two (2) hour long testimony. It is worth noting that the Mayor's proposed budget only allocates $104,973,196 for the FJD. 

The court system consists of three courts: The Court of Common Pleas, the general jurisdiction court, and two limited jurisdiction courts: Municipal and Traffic Courts. Combined, there are 125 elected and appointed judges, 13 senior judges, six Arraignment Court Magistrates and 2,500 full and part-time eployees. The system adjudicates more than 400,000 cases annually and supervises approximately 48,000 adult and juvenile offenders. Cases range from traffic citations to mass torts to capital homicides.

In years past, the Civil division was rated the number 1 judicial hell hole in the United States but as a result of numerous reforms, they have fallen numerous slots.  They've reduced the tort backlog, instituted zone courts to address public safety through closer prosecutor cooperation with neighborhoods, and they have saved over half a million dollars monthly through the implementation of the Court Innovation Technology Program which provides for videoconferencing and decreases the need to transport criminals from prison to the Criminal Justice Center.

Continue reading "Philadelphia Budget Hearing Update Monday, April 22, 2013" »


Friday Happy Hour: First Responder Edition

Boston Marathon bombingLet’s face it: for most Americans, this week stunk. We’ll dispense with much of the usual levity and begin with contrasting profiles in courage. 

The first comes from Boston, where a couple of steeped-in-evil nut jobs killed three people and maimed hundreds more with home-made bombs they planted near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The reaction, of first responders in particular and Bostonians in general, was nothing short of remarkable. Somehow, Stephen Colbert managed to strike a tasteful balance between comedy and tragedy in his tribute to the people of Boston

A fertilizer plant explosion in Texas killed at least 12 people, injured dozens more, and leveled a farm town near Waco. Volunteer fire fighters were among the dead, and other first responders have set about the grim task of searching smashed homes for survivors and for those not so fortunate.

Continue reading "Friday Happy Hour: First Responder Edition" »


Sometimes All Politics Aren't Local

John Pippy Blog

By John Pippy, CEO of the PA Coal Alliance

www.pacoalalliance.com

As the Chief Executive Officer of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance and a former Pennsylvania State Senator, I have witnessed firsthand the unintended consequences of shortsighted government policies.  Nowhere has this been more evident than in the area of energy policy.

The Obama Administration, through the efforts of the EPA, has mercilessly attacked the coal industry by imposing regulations that are forcing the electric generating industry to shut down coal fired capacity.  In turn, by reducing the domestic demand for coal, coal mines have been forced to shut down or reduce production.  This has had a devastating impact on our communities who have been dependent on the coal industry.

Continue reading "Sometimes All Politics Aren't Local" »


Rafferty launches transportation funding plan

It was bipartisan and bicameral, featuring representatives of business and organized labor, trucking companies and railroads, motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and AARP. More than five dozen advocates joined Sen. John Rafferty at a news conference yesterday, kicking off the introduction of legislation that would provide a comprehensive funding solution for Pennsylvania’s transportation needs.

Rafferty, majority chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, was joined by PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch and his three fellow transportation chairs in launching Senate Bill 1, which would increase Pennsylvania’s transportation investment by $2.5 billion per year.

Rafferty said his plan would improve safety, relieve congestion and create tens of thousands of jobs. He said he crafted the legislation using a combination of Governor Corbett’s earlier funding proposal and the recommendations of Corbett’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission. 

Schoch said the cost to a typical motorist, based on the analysis that accompanied the TFAC report, would be in the neighborhood of between $2.50 and $2.60 per week. Rafferty predicted that the Senate would send the measure to the House within the next few weeks.

 

The Triadvocate is a publication of Triad Strategies, LLC, a bipartisan lobbying, public affairs, strategic communications, grassroots advocacy, issue management consulting firm located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh


Philadelphia Budget Hearing Update Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dave Kralle blog photoThe City Controller

City Controller Alan Butkovitz, in the midst of a re-election primary, started the day. The job of the City Controller is that of chief auditor of the City of Philadelphia. This year, Butkovitz is asking for $7,696,397 which represents a $31,000 increase over last year. 

In the past year, the office audited 43 departments through their Annual Auditor's Report, six (6) performance/special audits, a grant audit and an issued an opinion on the 5-Year plan. In those reports, the office made 345 new recommendations to safeguard assets, enhance financial management, strengthen internal accounting controls and improving operating economies and efficiencies. It is estimated that these audits have identified reporting errors, compliance deficiencies, cost reductions and increased revenues totaling more than $1,728,666,587. 

The Controller's goal for the current year is to continue to collect overdue payments owed to the City.  His office issued a Guide to Generating Revenues and Savings which he shared with the new Chief Collections Officers.

Continue reading "Philadelphia Budget Hearing Update Tuesday, April 16, 2013" »


Philly Budget Hearing Update - Monday April 15, 2013

Dave Kralle blog photoIt was an extremely light day in Philly Council's budget hearings. Hearings ran on time and because of a rather sparse set of questions from members, ended hours early. Just three departments came before the Committee of the Whole today. Those departments, Community College of Philadelphia, the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Office of Human Resources made it out generally unscathed. In a Council first, the morning session actually ran early. 

Community College of Philadelphia president, Stephen Curtis and Board of Trustees chair, Matthew Bergheiser began the day with their pitch. CCP made the case that an investment in the College goes well beyond classrooms and school organizations but has a very real and substantive impact on the City as a whole. Graduates are working right here in Philadelphia in hospitals and community-based healthcare clinics as well as patrolling the streets of Philadelphia as police officers. These officers apply CCP gained knowledge in anthropology, sociology and community-based policing.

Continue reading "Philly Budget Hearing Update - Monday April 15, 2013" »


Friday Happy Hour: Going Postal Edition

Costco FLRemember Old Pat Toomey, that rock-ribbed Republican, former president of the Club for Growth, ideological darling of the Tea Party? Well, check the basement for pods, and meet New Pat Toomey, pragmatist extraordinaire, an increasingly rare and increasingly influential Washington lawmaker with an emerging national reputation for building bipartisan consensus, even on polarizing issues

This week, to the dismay of the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment aficionados everywhere, Pennsylvania’s junior U.S.senator reached across the aisle to Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginiato craft a compromise amendment that would expand background checks for firearms buyers. Before that, Toomey’s heroic (albeit ultimately unsuccessful) efforts in late 2011 to strike a compromise agreement on a federal budget drew bipartisan praise. Suddenly Toomey is in the spotlight as The Voice of Reason. Who knew?

Continue reading "Friday Happy Hour: Going Postal Edition" »


Philly Budget Hearing Update - Wednesday April 10, 2013

Dave Kralle blog photoYesterdays Council budget hearings consisted of testimony from Aviation, the Water Department, the Streets Department, the Department of Public Property and Fleet Management. 

Airport CEO Mark Gale discussed his department's funding request by noting some major achievements as well as a few goals for the future. The Philadelphia International Airport is the 10th busiest airport in the country with 27 different airlines. In 2012, the airport accommodated 30.3 million passengers including 4.3 million international passengers on 443,000 aircraft takeoffs and landings.  In that same year, PHL grew with the addition of four (4) new carriers. New projects include a 1,500 foot runway extension, redesign and enhancement of Terminal B and C ticketing areas, replacement of current rental car facility service lots and an initial design for a people mover system just to name a few. 

Continue reading "Philly Budget Hearing Update - Wednesday April 10, 2013" »


Philly Budget Hearing Update - Tuesday April 9, 2013

Dave Kralle blog photoThis budget brief will be brief because we only have two departments on which to report. Out of respect for the fallen fire Captain Mike Goodwin, the Fire Department has been moved to a subsequent day and City Planning was included in a previous post because Triad obtained an advanced copy of their testimony. 

Most of the morning, actually all of the morning, involved Council's questioning of Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey who testified in support of the Police Department's (PPD) request for $646,305,906. This represents a 4% increase over FY13 as a result of wage increases. Ramsey reported the following, mostly positive, statistics:

Continue reading "Philly Budget Hearing Update - Tuesday April 9, 2013" »


Philly Budget Hearing Update - Monday April 8, 2013

Dave Kralle blog photoPhiladelphia City Council kicked off this week's budget hearings with the City Representative, Commerce, Parks & Rec and SEPTA.

Philadelphia's newly minted City Representative, Desiree Peterkin-Bell testified in defense of her department's budget request for $977,917 representing a decrease of over $34,000 from FY13. For those of you who are not aware, the City Representative is essentially Philadelphia's in-house marketing agency. They promote the city through tourism marketing campaigns such as "Love, Philadelphia" or "Philly's More Fun When You Sleep Over" (I still cannot get the image of John Street in pajamas out of my head). They are responsible for the Wawa Welcome America festivities and orchestrated the infamous Made In America Concert.

City Commerce Director Alan Greenberger requested $359,098,501 for the Commerce Department. The job of the department is to promote and coordinate economic development in the City. Some of their successes promoted by Greenberger are Startup PHL - which supports startups and entrepreneurs via two components: 1. Startup PHL makes seed stage investments in Philadelphia companies through a partnership with PIDC and 2. providing funding support to organizations providing services that promote entrepreneurial growth. Additionally, Greenberger touted Philadelphia's 9th place ranking by CIO Magazine as a "Top City for Tech Startups." The City has also partnered with PIDC, Community College, the Chamber of Commerce and others to provide business education from companies further along in their lifecycle. The Office of Economic Opportunity has seen progress in participation levels of minority, women and disabled own enterprises. In spite of all of these positive accomplishments as well as some great news surrounding increased population in the City, the Department of Commerce is concerned with the high unemployment rate and feels as if their funding request will advance programs to promote job growth.

Continue reading "Philly Budget Hearing Update - Monday April 8, 2013" »


Friday Happy Hour: New World Order Edition

Lizard People

Public Policy Polling surveyed American voters on well-known conspiracy theories and this week published some rather startling results. To wit:

  • 37 percent of us believe global warming is a hoax.
  • 28 percent believe a secretive power elite is conspiring to eventually rule the world with an authoritarian “New World Order.”
  • 21 percent believe the U.S. government covered up a UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947.
  • 14 percent believe the CIA was behind the crack cocaine epidemic in the 1980s.
  • 14 percent believe in Bigfoot.
  • 7 percent believe the moon landing was faked.
  • 4 percent believe Lizard People control us by seizing political power. 
This being April Fools week and all, we might have been inclined to laugh off the poll itself as a hoax, were it not for the increasingly manic anonymous reader comments posted on news websites these days. So before proceeding with a few conspiracy theories of our own, we’ll anoint the poll as this week’s We Can’t Make This Up feature. 

Continue reading "Friday Happy Hour: New World Order Edition" »


Philly Budget Hearing Update - Wednesday April 3, 2013

Dave Kralle blog photo

If you thought yesterday was exciting, buckle up because in today's budget hearings, City Council heard from the Finance Department, the City Treasurer, the Sinking Fund Commission and the Board of Pension and Retirement. Try to contain your excitement just long enough to read this summary.

Finance Director Rob Dubow got things started by outlining his request for $1,322,785,093 representing a $56.9 million increase over FY 2013 estimated obligation levels. This increase is caused by an increase in fringe benefits such as pensions. $300,000 of his budget request will fund the new Chief Collections Office which will support Mayor Michael Nutter's newly aggressive approach to collections. At present each department is charged with their own collections which is proving to be a problem for departments whose main charge is not revenue collection. 

City Treasurer Nancy Winkler testified in support of her department's request for $899,260. She noted some achievements under her watch in the office such as various Bond Rating increases, debt service savings, a $22.6 million deposit to the pension fund and TRAN savings through competitive bond sales. 

Charles C. Jones, executive director of the Sinking Fund is requesting $572.4 million for his department. The Sinking Fund Commission oversees the repayment of bond principal and interest on City-related debt and ensures the timely payment of said debt. The Commission presently oversees payments involving the General Fund, the Water Fund, the Aviation Fund and the Car Rental Fund. 

Wrapping things up was Francis X. Bielli, the Executive Director of the Board of Pensions and Retirement. With a request of $8,776,000 this represents a $42,000 decreased over last year's budget. Bielli noted that there were 945 retirements and 504 withdrawals of contributions from July 1, 2012 to February 28, 2013. This represented an increase over FY2012 of 887 and 661 respectively. During the same period, there were 266 DROP enrollments, down from 922 in FY 2012. 

Questions were tame today with a focus on the school district budget. The initial budget request for the School District of Philadelphia was $60 million less than what the School Reform Commission is now asking for. Council President Clarke asked Rob Dubow where the administration intends to find the additional $60 million. Dubow answered that he wants to work with Council on that issue at which point Clarke noted it was the administration, not Council who is supporting this last minute, and sizable, request. 

Councilman Wilson Goode asked Dubow if the administration intends to amend its initial budget proposal to reflect the new request for the school district. Dubow's answer was a tentative yes. Goode then moved to asking whether or not Center City still needs a 10-year tax abatement and asked if we knew how much revenues were lost because of the current abatement. Dubow indicated a willingness to have conversations with Council on that topic. 

Councilman Jim Kenney, wanted to know where the additional school district request was coming from, going so far as to ask if they will be proposing any new taxes. He was also particularly irked that he learned of this request, not through an official communication from the SRC or the administration but on twitter. 

Councilman Mark Squilla has some pointed questions about the Mayor's new aggressive approach to collections. He wanted to know why the 5-year plan does not represent any new revenues from collections. Specifically, he asked if Council removed from the budget funding for this new collections office, would that impact the 5-year plan. The answer he received from the administration was no. 

As you can see, it was an exciting day in City Council. Budget hearings will be on hold until Monday where we will hear from the City Representative, Commerce & OEO, Parks and Recreation, SEPTA and they will begin with departmental callbacks. City Council meets in open session tomorrow where we may or may not see an attempt to override Mayor Nutter's veto of Councilman Bill Greenlee's paid sick leave bill. 

 

The Triadvocate is a publication of Triad Strategies, LLC, a bipartisan lobbying, public affairs, strategic communications, grassroots advocacy, issue management consulting firm located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh


Philly Budget Hearing Update - Tuesday April 2 ,2013

Dave Kralle blog photo

Greetings, City Council aficionados. Yesterday's FY 2014 budget hearings were about as exciting as watching paint dry. The lineup included the Mayor's Office, the Mayor's Executive Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development, the Mural Arts Program, the Managing Directors Office, the Procurement Department (contain your excitement) and the Office of Innovation and Technology.  

Mayor Michael Nutter's Chief of Staff, Everett Gillison led off the morning's testimony on behalf of the Executive Office of the Mayor. The Mayor's Office is requesting $5,341,881 which is an increase of $1,437,752 over the FY 2013 estimated obligations. A majority of this budget request falls within Class 100 funds, or salaries. A majority of these employees are being transferred from other City departments which accounts for a large portion of the increase. They are also looking to employ three (3) full-time and one (1) part-time employee as new hires to strengthen the Graduation Coach Campaign

Another area expected to see greater financial support in the FY 2014 budget is the new Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs (OIMA) as well as the Mayor's Education Office. OIMA, presently composed of two staffers, is charged with making Philadelphia a welcoming city to all ethnic groups. 

Gillison also boasted about the success of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability. He asked Office Director, Katherine Gajewski to address Council briefly where she informed the members that since 2009, the Greenworks Philadelphia plan has led to the reduction of municipal energy usage by 5% which translated to a whopping $4 million in avoided costs.  

A major theme of the day, outlined in all subsequent testimony and questioned by many members, was the issue of minority, woman, and disabled-owned businesses (M/W/DSBE) participation in contracting. The M/W/DSBE participation rate paid out of the Mayor's Office was 26% for the first half of FY2013. Just for reference, the FY 09 rate was 13%. 

Eva Gladstein was next at bat testifying in her capacity of Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (formerly the Office of Community Services). They are seeking $8,690,533 Gladstein discussed how CEO helps vulnerable Philadelphians move towards self sufficiency. It's important to note that the funds CEO is seeking come from the Grants Revenue Fund and not the General Fund. Gladstein was able to secure five (5) grants from non-City organizations. In short, CEO's two main functions are to provide strategic support in the development of an anti-poverty plan in the City and to serve as a single point of contact for all of the City's anti-poverty efforts. 

Batting on behalf of the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development was Housing Director Deborah McColloch. McColloch's office is requesting $163.857 million from four different funds (grants Revenue Find, Community Development Find, the Housing Trust Fund and the General Fund). The office has seen a decrease in funding due primarily to the federal sequester and the loss of one-time stimulus funds. 

Taking the prize for the most energetic witness of the day, Jane Golden, touted the successes of the Mural Arts Program. Requesting $1.15 million, a majority of the program's funding come from outside sources. The MAP's partnership with the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services is an innovative program designed to promote health and wellness in Philadelphia as well as include those with intellectual disabilities in this exciting program. 

Managing Director Rich Negrin, discussed his department's $79,091,792 request. The bulk of his funds ($39,056,067) are being directed towards Legal Services covering the Defender Association of Philadelphia, Support Center for Child Advocates and Community Legal Services. Negrin was pleased to report the success of the Philly311 program which is overseen by his office designed to interact with City residents in ways to find solutions to city problems. Another feather in his cap is the Center for Excellence which was established to train City departments in organizational development, project management and performance management. 

The Procurement Department was represented by Commissioner Hugh Ortman, where he defended his request of $4,712,143 followed by the Office of Information Technology led by the Chief Innovation Officer Adel Ebeid, who requested $84,994,181.

Because of the exciting nature of all of these departments, member's questions were generally focused on general organizational structures. Councilmembers Blackwell, Goode, Jones, Quinones-Sanchez, Reynolds-Brown andTasco all asked questions about M/W/DSBE participation rates among most departments as well as woman and minority hiring procedures. Quinones-Sanchez was particularly irked by the fact that only 7 Latinos are presently serving in the Fire Department.  

Councilwoman Blackwell expressed concern about the lack of inclusion of the African and Caribbean Communities in the Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs. 

Councilman Goode demanded to know why the Mayor's two appointees to the School Reform Commission were not aware of the additional $60 million being requested by the SRC that the school district did not include in their initial budget request. He was perplexed by the fact that the administration was not involved during any part of the school district's budget development.  

Councilmembers Oh and Squilla asked where the additional $60 million in funding requested by the SRC would come from.  

And in the most interesting line of questioning of the day, Councilwoman Tasco continued her questions about why capital projects in her district were held up for so long. When it was clear that she was not going to get the answer she was looking for from Chief of Staff Gillison, the Councilman interjected with "just stop, just stop, just stop, stop. This is bull sh*t" 

Tomorrow, Council's Committee of the Whole will convene budget hearings at 10am with the Finance Department, the City Treasurer, the Sinking Fund and the Board of Pension and Retirement. 

The Triadvocate is a publication of Triad Strategies, LLC, a bipartisan lobbying, public affairs, strategic communications, grassroots advocacy, issue management consulting firm located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh


Philadelphia Budget Hearing Update - Revised Schedule

Dave Kralle blog photo

We will be providing an overview of Philadelphia City Council’s budget hearings over the next few weeks.  Reported by Dave Kralle, this series will provide an overview of the prior day’s hearing. We hope you find this information useful.

Philadelphia City Council recently released a revised FY '14 budget hearings schedule. We have posted the schedule below for your use and you can also find it at: http://philadelphiacitycouncil.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/FY-2014-Budget-Hearing-Schedule-Revised-03-22-13.pdf

Continue reading "Philadelphia Budget Hearing Update - Revised Schedule" »