PICA gives a soft 'OK' to mayor's 5-year plan

Katz
Katz
Posted: March 20, 2014

THE CITY'S FISCAL overseer gave a preliminary nod to Mayor Nutter's five-year financial and strategic plan yesterday, while suggesting it needs more time to comb through the fine print.

The Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority's executive director, Harvey Rice, said that the mayor's plan looks OK with the "reasonable assumptions" in revenues anticipated through 2019.

PICA officials said higher overall projected tax revenues are indicative of a brighter financial outlook for the coming years, although uncertainty remains over the unresolved contract agreement with one of the city's biggest labor unions.

"We have concerns about the budgeted appropriated future labor costs - such as for District Council 33 - because the [District Council] 47 costs are higher than what was projected in the November adopted plan," Rice said.

Nutter plans to spend $376 million in future labor costs, which includes the recently agreed upon deal with DC 47 and the foreseeable agreement with DC 33.

"So, that's a concern that we will continue to monitor as they go into negotiations with [DC] 33 as well as with the Fraternal Order of Police," Rice said.

"We'll ask about assumptions in the plan - performance measures and strategic goals - to get a better flavor of where they plan to be in five years. Prisons, police - the big departments will be examined. . . . Other than that, the plan is reasonable and we believe the assumptions are reasonable."

Nutter Finance Director Rob Dubow said that overall tax revenues are coming in higher than anticipated for the current year and the city's five-year plan would tentatively end with a $72 million surplus.

Gov. Corbett, meanwhile, must name a replacement for Sam Katz, who resigned as PICA chairman last month. Michael Karp, vice chairman of the board, said the governor may not decide on a replacement for several months. Karp will serve as acting chairman in the interim.


On Twitter: @RuffTuffDH

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