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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
September 20, 2016 | By Claudia Vargas, Staff Writer
For some time now, Philadelphia has been working diligently to reduce wage and businesses taxes to attract residents and businesses. As tax revenues have gone down, the city's spending has gone up, forcing officials to take money from the city's slim savings, or fund balance. The balance is now near empty - about 1 percent of revenue - and financial experts suggest that the city stop the tax cuts or increase property taxes. Moody's Investor Services, troubled by the trend, recently downgraded the city's outlook from stable to negative on its A2 (high-medium grade)
NEWS
August 30, 2016
IT IS NOT CHEAP to put one ambulance on the street (Stu Bykofksy, Aug. 23), but to have many on the street is a very high cost. There is the maintenance cost, fuel cost, staffing cost, not to mention the cost of equipment, which goes up every year. A heart monitor alone costs $30,000 to $50,000. Then you have the maintenance cost to keep it going. Now, into the picture, you throw the insurance companies, who run the health-care business. Medicare has a base figure it will pay out to certain things used during a call - equipment, medications and so forth.
NEWS
August 22, 2016 | By Michael Smerconish
A winter snowstorm hammered Philadelphia on Feb. 23, 1987. I'm not normally a horoscope person, but for some reason I saved my Pisces directive that day: "You'll have reason to celebrate. . . . The boss recognizes your value. " I'd like to think that was true. It was my first day working for Frank L. Rizzo. Due to the weather, I was the only staffer who made it to work. For me it was easy. I lived in a small studio on Rittenhouse Square and needed only to walk three blocks to 1528 Walnut St. Either Anthony or Joe who managed the building let me into Suite 2020, where I sat in the outer area reserved for visitors to the former mayor.
NEWS
July 8, 2016 | By Maddie Hanna and Andrew Seidman, TRENTON BUREAU
Gov. Christie's campaign last year to overhaul pension and health benefits for New Jersey's public employees hasn't come to fruition. But the governor took action last week that could serve as a bargaining chip in his call to cut costs: He tied millions of dollars for municipalities and nonprofits in the state budget to negotiations over worker health benefits. Christie issued an executive order placing nearly $100 million into reserve from the $34.5 billion fiscal year budget he signed into law last week.
NEWS
March 8, 2016
ISSUE | SODA TAX The makings of a better, healthier Philly The Philadelphia City Council must enact Mayor Kenney's proposed 3-cents-per-ounce tax on sugared beverages ("Kenney presents budget to Council," Friday). This tax has short-term and long-term benefits - it is an excellent means to raise an estimated $400 million for essential services, such as universal pre-K and repairs to libraries and rec centers, and to improve public health. Proponents say that a price increase for sugared beverages will cut demand sharply.
NEWS
February 27, 2016 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Staff Writer
Philadelphia would offer municipal ID cards that could be used by undocumented immigrants to access city services, file police reports, or potentially open bank accounts if legislation introduced Thursday to City Council is approved. The cards, proposed by Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez, could also benefit a wider audience. In other cities, the cards come with perks ranging from gym discounts to museum memberships. The legislation has the backing of Mayor Kenney, who cosponsored unsuccessful municipal ID legislation in 2013 while a member of Council.
NEWS
January 20, 2016
By Frank Gilliam The behavior of the New Jersey government toward Atlantic City in recent days can be compared to that of a mugger - a robber who takes his victim's money, demands his jewelry, and then threatens to shoot him for not having enough money. Let me explain. While it's without doubt that Atlantic City faces difficult financial circumstances, much of the difficulty is caused by the state. For decades, the state and its agencies have treated Atlantic City as their own bank, taking more than $1 billion.
NEWS
January 12, 2016 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Mayor Kenney used plain language to describe his vision for Philadelphia's government during his inauguration last week: City services will be effective and efficient. One tangible element of his strategy is to use existing school buildings to deliver social services - such as adult English-language instruction, health care, and homeless assistance - to neighborhoods, making them available to people where they live and sparing those who don't have the time or ability to trek to Center City for help.
NEWS
December 4, 2015
EXCUSE US for being surprised by the news this week that the city will be picking up $8 million of the cost of the World Meeting of Families and the visit by Pope Francis in September. According to the city, the total bill for city services during that event was $17 million. The World Meeting of families has already paid $5.2 million and has said it will send the city another $3.4 million. The city will pick up the tab for the rest. During the run-up to the conference, the parties involved - including Mayor Nutter - said that all costs would be covered by the World Meeting organization.
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