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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
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.
NEWS
February 27, 2014
It's been said that you can't get to heaven on the Frankford El. After midnight, though, you can't even get to 15th Street. Though SEPTA officials are powerless to address the first fact, they're right to reconsider service during the wee hours, which would promote more use of a valuable public asset and encourage healthy trends toward a round-the-clock repopulation of the city. SEPTA officials told The Inquirer last week that they are pondering a pilot extension of service on the Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, starting this summer.
NEWS
January 24, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Jamie Timmons looked out her window Tuesday morning and saw snow starting to accumulate on the street, she knew to take an overnight bag to work. Good thing she did. As a 311 call agent for the City of Philadelphia, Timmons and her colleagues were about to work round the clock from 8 a.m. Tuesday through Wednesday afternoon or even to midnight, taking calls on everything from trash pickup to requests for plowing and salting on city streets. The 26-person crew, tucked inside a first-floor office in City Hall, received the city "mandate" at 11 a.m. Tuesday that it would be going into an emergency 24/7 operation.
NEWS
January 24, 2014 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia has become a magnet for young people in the powerhouse demographic group known as millennials, with residents ages 20 to 34 now accounting for more than a quarter of the city's population, according to a report released Wednesday. The surge from 2006 through 2012, primarily in neighborhoods surrounding Center City, has helped reverse population decline and lifted the percentage of Philadelphia's young adults into line with New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, according to "Millennials in Philadelphia" by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
NEWS
December 8, 2013 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
ONE OF THE city's savviest money men says the city could save millions by trimming the fat from the more than 10 million square feet of office space the city owns and leases. Tom Knox, chairman of the Mayor's Task Force on City-owned Facilities, and Mayor Nutter yesterday presented the task force's report finding the city could save as much as $121 million over five years by better managing its unused office space. "This is real, serious money," Nutter said. "This report joins a growing body of work . . . that urges the city to become more data-driven and begin tracking all the costs of maintenance and operations facilities, citywide.
NEWS
September 27, 2013
I COULDN'T help but read your article on Philly gambling and "all there is to know" about the six proposals that want to make Philly a new home for their casino, and wonder when you say "Learn more about the 6 proposals" if you are really being honest. For each proposal, you gave us insight on "the bidder," "the backers" and "the connected," but what I think is the most important information that you forgot to provide was: "The opposition. " What I am trying to say is, how about a story on those (and there are a lot of them)
NEWS
September 27, 2013 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
The University of Pennsylvania, with its Ivy League pedigree and large health system, is one of the nation's most prestigious colleges and is Philadelphia's largest private employer. With a $6 billion-plus budget, a $7.7 billion endowment, and a recently completed $4.3 billion fund-raising campaign, it's also arguably wealthy. But Penn, like other nonprofits in the city, is largely exempt from paying property taxes on its West Philadelphia campus. The Philadelphia School District's financial crisis has yielded a renewed cry from some corners for Penn, Drexel and La Salle Universities, and other colleges and nonprofits to make payments to the city - known as Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILOTs - as they did when Ed Rendell was mayor and the city needed every penny.
NEWS
August 9, 2013 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
U.S. Rep. Bob Brady wants to bring the Democratic National Convention - a huge economic boon, but also a complicated, expensive event - to Philadelphia for the first time since 1948. Brady, the city's Democratic Party boss, convened a group of the region's political, labor, and other leaders Wednesday morning at the Union League to discuss the effort. Notably absent from the gathering was Mayor Nutter, who later expressed his "enthusiasm about the possibility and the prospect of the city hosting another national party convention.
NEWS
July 30, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano and Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writers
Now that Detroit has filed for bankruptcy, will other financially challenged big cities follow Motown to U.S. Bankruptcy Court to escape some of what they owe? Maybe, but Philadelphia is unlikely to be one of them. Michigan officials wanted their biggest city to go bankrupt. They expect this will enable the city to trim what it has to pay investors who own city bonds, retired police who collect city pensions, and other creditors. "Michigan's antipathy for bondholders is startling," said Matt Fabian, managing director of Massachusetts-based Municipal Market Advisors.
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