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NEWS
December 11, 2006 | By VERN ANASTASIO
THE MORE I talk to taxpayers, the more I hear the same complaint: With taxes so high, wouldn't it be nice if we the people at least received our money's worth in services? Philadelphians deserve a city government that is effective, cost-efficient and responsive to their needs. That gets the job done right, on time, within budget. That's accountable to all residents and all neighborhoods. And here's how: City Service Reform. Getting there means implementing an innovative and highly successful performance-management strategy called CitiStat.
NEWS
January 16, 2013 | By Jim Kenney
By Jim Kenney City Council will soon begin discussing one of the most important questions it's dealt with in a generation: how to create a more equitable property tax system. But as part of this debate about how we are levying taxes and collecting revenue, we should address an equally important issue: what we're spending taxpayer money on and whether we're getting what we're paying for. The city's Actual Value Initiative has initiated a reassessment of the nearly 600,000 commercial and residential properties in Philadelphia, some of which have not been assessed since the 1980s.
NEWS
April 22, 1987 | By MICHAEL DAYS, Daily News Staff Writer (Staff writer Bob Warner contributed to this report.)
Residents of North and West Philadelphia soon won't have to come to Center City to pay real estate taxes or order a copy of a birth certificate. Managing Director James S. White said yesterday that within two months those areas will have mini-city halls, modeled after the Northeast Municipal Services Center that opened in September 1985. White said final sites have not been chosen. But he said the city's goal is to place both service centers in locations "where people would normally go while taking care of other business.
NEWS
August 24, 1999
'What changes would you like to see in your neighborhood once the new mayor takes office?" That's the question we're asking people from neighborhoods all over Philadelphia. Below is the second of a series of 11 "Neighborhood Dialogues" that will run right up to voting day. Participants were chosen from among folks involved in the Citizen Voices project. Our focus in this second dialogue is South Philadelphia. Charles Baltimore and Scott Drake live in different parts of South Philadelphia.
NEWS
November 24, 2001 | By Clea Benson INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Philadelphians are a tiny bit less satisfied with city services this year than they were in 2000, but they still seem much more pleased than they were five years ago. In the latest annual citizen survey and report on city services, about 62 percent of 1,100 respondents rated themselves either "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with how the city was doing its job in fiscal year 2001, down from 63 percent in fiscal year 2000. That compares to only 41 percent who gave city services a positive review in 1997.
NEWS
December 8, 1988 | BY JOYCE BROOKS
Are we moving to a state of genocide here in Philadelphia? City officials, under the Home Rule Charter, are supposed to provide services to the citizens in such a way that their health and well-being are maintained. Are we being provided adequate services when our Police Department is understaffed; when our fire stations are closed and not replaced; when fire engines needed to fight fires are used to answer emergency rescue calls; when our health centers are being privatized, understaffed and under-supplied; when our Streets Department workers no longer sweep our streets?
NEWS
February 18, 1987 | By Russell Cooke, Inquirer Staff Writer
Even as his administration's snow-removal procedures were being assailed in City Council, Mayor Goode said yesterday that he would fare well if Democratic mayoral challenger Edward G. Rendell made city services a campaign issue. "April, May, . . . the issue will not be snow removal," Goode said. "The issue will be trash pickup, police protection, fire protection, public property services. And I'm saying, look across the board at all of those and you will see absolute improvement.
NEWS
July 8, 1986
As negotiations with striking city employees resumed yesterday there were indications that a settlement might be imminent under terms similar to those that were discussed publicly by Mayor Goode over the holiday weekend. They included substantial increases in wages and in city payments for health and welfare benefits. The city would get new authority to audit health and welfare expenditures and retain the right to contract city services to private firms. What is most important to the people of Philadelphia, though, is what they can expect to see in the way of improved municipal services, including trash collection, and more imaginative use of private contracting to cut government costs.
NEWS
June 10, 2010 | By Marcia Gelbart, Inquirer Staff Writer
With tempers still flaring over Mayor Nutter's decision to stop using city dollars to cover the cost of parades and street festivals, one event has been quietly allowed to get a free ride: Welcome America, the nonprofit group that is host to Philadelphia's Fourth of July party. In the days after last year's celebration of the nation's birth, Welcome America's executive director vowed to repay City Hall $300,000 for crowd control, cleanup, and police and emergency-medical services. That commitment was in keeping with a new and controversial administration policy that requires organizers of the Mummers Parade, the St. Patrick's Day Parade, and other traditional events to absorb the costs for city services.
NEWS
May 18, 1992
Some in Washington suggest that so-called "enterprise zones" are the answer to many of America's inner-city problems. They can be. But the American Street corridor in Philadelphia's Kensington section shows evidence, not only of the good in these zones, but also of the bad and the downright ugly. Since 1979, every conceivable federal, state and local economic development program has pumped grants, loans and technical assistance into making American Street a showplace. The success of these efforts is visible, and encouraging: Sixty-five companies that employed thousands of people have been assisted.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
January 9, 2015
ISSUE | END-OF-LIFE CARE Being there, praying for their journey It was 40-some years ago that I carried my 5-year-old son into Sacred Heart Home ("Divine Care in Hunting Park," Dec. 29). It was the light at the end of a four-year tunnel, and he had been discharged from two hospitals as terminally ill. But I cannot describe the loving care he was given at Sacred Heaert, and the support our family received until his death. And never a penny from us or friends or relatives: Can you imagine what that meant to us, with my being a stay-at-home mother of three other children?
NEWS
December 19, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
THE CITY IS now in a partnership with a San Francisco firm to help improve city-to-resident and neighbor-to-neighbor communications in neighborhoods across Philadelphia. Whether the need is finding a local handyman, a baby-sitter, a lost pet, or even a cup of sugar from your neighbor, Project Nextdoor is now live on the Web. The Nutter administration yesterday announced the official launch of the free, private social network designed to connect neighbors with one another and with city services.
NEWS
December 16, 2014 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was a quiet victory on a rainy Saturday, the results announced not to a cheering crowd but to a dozen people huddled under a sidewalk awning in North Philadelphia. Rodney Muhammad had been elected the new president of the Philadelphia NAACP, a victory that in past years might have guaranteed public adulation but that now promises mostly hard work. Muhammad, 62, takes over the leadership of a venerable organization torn by internal dissent, assuming local command amid national protest over the police killings of unarmed black men in New York City and Ferguson, Mo. "He's got a big job," said A. Bruce Crawley, a public relations executive who has known Muhammad for more than 20 years.
NEWS
December 11, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
NANCY WINKLER, whose daughter was among the six people killed in the June 5, 2013, Market Street building collapse, yesterday warned a City Council committee against giving initial approval to a proposal that would change how the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections operates. The bill, championed by Council President Darrell Clarke, would create a new Department of Planning and Development, under which the functions of the dissolved L&I would be placed, along with the functions of a handful of other building-related offices.
NEWS
September 19, 2014 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
CITY CONTROLLER Alan Butkovitz took a serious shot at Mayor Nutter's legacy yesterday, accusing him of running a "VIP hot line" for the well-connected to call round-the-clock for city services. For Nutter, who ran for the city's top office in 2007 promising to provide equal access to all city services, that could not stand. His staff quickly pushed back, saying Butkovitz didn't bother to learn the facts before issuing a news release to the media. Everett Gillison, Nutter's chief of staff, said the six people who answer the phone line are the "nerve center for the city," answering calls only from city employees and elected officials.
NEWS
September 3, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
  The furniture has been rearranged, and new decorations adorn the walls and bookshelves of Room 312 in City Hall. Former State Rep. Ed Neilson is officially moved into his new Philadelphia City Council office and is preparing for the start of the Council session next month. He is making use of the quiet time this week to prepare his new office, get up to speed on issues, and tour various city neighborhoods. Neilson, a Democrat and former political director of Electricians Local 98, was sworn in this month to finish Bill Green's at-large City Council term.
NEWS
June 20, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
CITY COUNCIL yesterday passed a $4.5 billion operating budget for next year, complete with a smorgasbord of bills out of Council, closing out the final session before its 12-week summer sabbatical. Council approved borrowing $27 million to help the school district with its needs for the current fiscal year, and Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown introduced a bill that asks to borrow an additional $30 million to ease next year's funding fix. Brown says the loan would be covered by the reimbursement from the extension of the sales tax. Councilman Jim Kenney prevailed with his controversial but veto-proof Small Amount of Marijuana bill, which amends the Philadelphia Code to create a civil penalty for possessing an ounce or less of weed, punishable by a $25 fine.
NEWS
May 22, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham and Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writers
How do you comfort a family that's suffered an unspeakable loss? Gloria Guard wondered that as she stood outside Families Forward, the West Philadelphia shelter that was home the 7-year-old boy who died Wednesday after falling ill at Jackson Elementary. "We are devastated," said Guard, the shelter's director. "We are trying our best to support this family, any way that we can. We are working with other families at the shelter to try to get them through this, one teeny step at a time.
NEWS
March 24, 2014 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
PHILADELPHIA'S political, business and labor leaders gathered behind closed doors yesterday to prepare for a bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, one week after Congress made that a more expensive proposition. Former Gov. Ed Rendell will serve as chairman of a new nonprofit hoping to raise $50 million to make the bid and host the event at the Wells Fargo Center. The U.S. Senate last week approved legislation to strip the Democratic and Republican parties of public financing for conventions.
NEWS
February 28, 2014
After five contentious years, Mayor Nutter has reached a tentative agreement with the city's white-collar workers that strikes a balance between fairness to employees and cost control for taxpayers. Nutter stuck to his plan to begin stabilizing pension and health-care funds by requiring increased contributions from workers. The employees' new costs would be partly offset by a bonus and modest raises. Both the administration and the 4,000-member American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees District Council 47 can claim victory on an agreement that should serve as a model for other city labor deals.
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