Nutter announced an array of grim budget cuts Thursday, from pool and library closures to a freeze in tax relief.
Nutter volunteered to give back 10 percent of his $186,044 salary - as did Chief of Staff Clay Armbrister, who is paid $198,500 - and demanded that his cabinet take at least 5 percent cuts. He also required all exempt employees to take five days of unpaid leave this year and next.
City Council President Anna C. Verna, through a spokesman, said Council would trim its budget 10 percent without cutting salaries. Donatucci said his total cuts were expected to be 6 or 7 percent.
"The City Council agreed to take a 10 percent cut, and we can do it without impacting elected officials' salaries," Verna said.
It's not clear whether Council members will follow Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr., who cut his staff salaries 5 percent. He has not yet decided about his paycheck.
When Nutter was asking union workers to take no raise and a one-time bonus of $1,100 in budget negotiations this year, he agreed to increase Council's personnel budget by 10.7 percent.
This translated into an extra $40,000 for each member of Council. Ssome used it to give employees raises, others kept salaries flat and added an employee, still others haven't spent it. Spokesmen for both Nutter and Verna defended that increase, saying the city was in a different financial position during budget negotiations earlier this year.
Donatucci, who has outside real estate and other businesses that provide him income, said he was discussing with his five deputies whether they would also take voluntary cuts, unpaid leave or both.
Controller Alan Butkovitz and Margaret Tartaglione, chairwoman of the three-member Board of City Commissioners, each expected to take some kind of pay cut but had not decided how much.
Other elected officials were not rushing to follow the mayor.
District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham reserved comment pending a meeting with the administration next week. Sheriff John Greene and Clerk of Quarter Sessions Vivian T. Miller, who will also be in on that meeting, could not be reached for comment. City Commissioners Joe Duda and Anthony Clarke didn't return calls.
Some of those affected by the budget crisis were angry with Nutter yesterday, saying Nutter announced the cuts - such as the closing of 11 libraries and the removal of five fire-engine companies and two ladder companies - without meeting with groups to try to find alternatives.
"There was no transparency in this process," said Brian McBride of Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters. "That's what I wanted, and I don't feel I have gotten that this time."
McBride is also piqued that the administration has declined to share with him a copy of a study it said it did to determine which fire-engine and ladder companies to close.
Public Safety Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison said that study analyzed a reduction in structural fires, total average response patterns, and the location of all fire companies.
Annamarie Smith, spokeswoman for the Women's Action Group of Pennsylvania, said she hoped Nutter would have worked with the private sector to save libraries.
"I would have hoped he would have reached out to the business community to start an 'adopt-a-library' fund," said Annamarie Smith, spokeswoman for the Women's Action Group of Pennsylvania.
Smith and others are trying to build a grassroots campaign to keep the libraries open, beginning with a rally Monday afternoon to save the Holmesburg Library in Northeast Philadelphia.
The budget woes were already causing political fallout. Darrell L. Clarke, Council's majority whip, said he was disturbed that doubts he and others had about the administration's economic projections had "proved to be correct." While Council does not have legal oversight on cuts Nutter makes, it must approve a rollback of tax cuts and increases in fees that Nutter is seeking.
Clarke said he wants the controller, Council, and others to have greater oversight on cuts rather than depending on Nutter's staff.
"I really think it's time for us to expand the scope of the number of responsible parties that should be in this debate, not just depending on the mayor's budget people," Clarke said.
City Finance Director Rob Dubow said the city consulted with a number of parties, in and out of city government, in developing projections. "We're always happy as we're developing our projections to talk to the Council and controller as much as they would like," Dubow said. "We're happy to get their input. We do want as much input as we can get."
Contact staff writer Jeff Shields at 215-854-4565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.