Goode grief! All but one on Council return raise

File photo
File photo
Posted: August 06, 2009

With just one exception, every City Council member has declined to take some or all of a cost-of-living raise the legislative body was awarded July 1.

Council members were mandated to get a 5.13 percent raise July 1. Twelve members received a $5,758 raise on their annual $112,223 salaries. Council's five leadership posts pay more, so their raises were slightly higher.

Given the city's dire financial problems, most members felt that this was a tough time to take extra pay. So, they'll return it or donate it, although the exact amount - and where it will go - varies depending on the member.

Seven members are giving up the entire raise - Frank DiCicco, Anna Verna, Curtis Jones Jr., Jim Kenney, Darrell Clarke, Maria Quiñones-Sánchez and Bill Green.

Nine are giving up a smaller portion of the raise, based on the taxes they expect to pay on the money.

Most members are returning the money to the city's general fund. But three have designated the funds to go elsewhere. Quiñones-Sánchez wants her raise to go to the 7th Councilmanic District that she represents. Councilwoman Marian Tasco will donate $3,593 to the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition. And Green is donating his raise to the Friends of the Free Library.

Clarke stipulated that his giveback run until the end of the calendar year, when, he said, he will revisit the issue. He said that it was important to make a symbolic sacrifice during the city's financial crisis.

"I just don't feel it's appropriate for me to accept a raise, given the municipal workers' situation," Clarke said.

Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. is not returning his raise to the city general fund. He said that instead he plans to make several early property-tax payments during the current fiscal year, to provide the city and school district with additional funds.

"I am going to prepay and overpay my real-estate taxes," Goode said. "I have already put in process a payment for my 2010 property taxes. I am giving money back to the city directly."

Goode said that he was effectively returning the raise in a fashion different from his colleagues.

Council is guaranteed the cost- of-living allowance based on legislation approved in 2003.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|