April 10, 2009
OUR city has drug dealers on just about every corner. Police are being killed on a regular basis. City services are just about null and void, and we have no budget to speak of. So what's our City Council (all paid more than $100,000) doing? Making sure our menus are labeled. Now that I know how many calories are in a Big Mac, I really feel safe and secure. George Madden, Philadelphia
February 11, 2013 |
After Hurricane Sandy, Gov. Christie made an obscure service famous when he urged people in need of social services to call the 211 hotline. In Philadelphia, that gubernatorial endorsement only drove home the absence of a similar service across the river from New Jersey. But on Monday, officials with the United Way here announced the launch of a 211 hotline for the five-county Philadelphia area. Jill Michael, president and chief executive of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, said the current economic climate and recent nearby crises such as Sandy prompted the Pennsylvania United Way to finally fund the service.
March 26, 2012 |
AS PROPERTY taxes in Philadelphia are expected to cost taxpayers an extra $90 million later this year, the Daily News ' recent story ("Not To Call You Cheap, But . . . " ) on the lack of tax payments by some of the city's biggest enterprises demands further examination and review. Holly Otterbein's It's Our Money story centers on nonprofit institutions that pay little or nothing for the city services from which they benefit, and on a mayor who has made little effort to collect for those services.
May 24, 2013 |
Making no reference to protesters outside the Westin Hotel, Mayor Nutter welcomed 32 mayors and more than 200 other municipal officials Thursday to a three-day conference on innovation in city got government. The "Mayors' Innovation Summit," cosponsored by the city, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Temple University's Fox School of Business, is designed to let cities share ideas and accomplishments in using technology to improve city services. In opening remarks, Nutter touted some of his administration's own steps, including an open data initiative to share government data with the public, a 311 smartphone application for citizens to report problems and ask questions of city government, and creation of an Office of New Urban Mechanics to try to spur innovation throughout city departments.
July 30, 2013 |
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.
August 26, 2007 |
Dear Aaron and Laura, This is a great issue that you've raised. We need to change the relationship between public officials and the people they serve. Philadelphians make an investment in their city through tax dollars, and they expect a return on that investment in the form of high-quality city services. City government must be in the business of providing superior customer service to the people of Philadelphia. If I am elected mayor, we will develop a customer-service training program for all public employees, making public satisfaction with city services a priority.
June 2, 2010
WHY IS IT that every time the mayors or Council members write a letter or talk to the media, they all talk about cutting city services, having to raise taxes, having taxpayers tighten our belts, but no one mentions cutting their huge budgets? I hope voters remember when they come up for re-election. Here's a ballot question: "Shall the City of Philadelphia abolish half the Council seats and all their perks in order to save the taxpayer's money to help reduce our property-tax increase and keep police and fire on the streets?"
February 17, 2009
I READ where Mayor Nutter had a 71 percent approval job rating. Is that true? Could it have been just 71 people total? With all the cutbacks in the fire department, libraries and other city services, and doubling the parking-meter rates, how many people would give him a positive approval rating? All he has done is give employers of ex-cons city tax credits and get ex-cons jobs at Goodwill. Could the ex-cons make up 71 percent of the people? Mayer Krain, Philadelphia
February 16, 1987
The city is decaying, make no mistake about it. All we have to do is look around. Consider the loud-mouth and defensive-looking members of City Council whose names immediately come to mind. Think about the corrupt judges and the farce called a Gas Commission. Think about the city services we're not getting. Call City Hall and you're exceptionally lucky if you get satisfaction. It's pretty bad when these civil servants think we work for them, rather than the other way around.
March 9, 2013
Saying he wanted to provide better service to Philadelphia's growing immigrant population, Mayor Nutter signed an executive order Thursday establishing the Mayor's Office of Immigrant and Multi-Cultural Affairs. The office will seek to improve access to city services for people whose English is limited. It also will help develop economic opportunities and educational resources. Nutter named Jennifer Rodriguez executive director of the office. She will be paid $100,000. Fernando Treviño-Martínez will serve as deputy director and will be paid $90,000.