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NEWS
February 12, 2015 | Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sometime as early as April, Philadelphia's beleaguered pension fund will begin sending out $62 million in bonus checks to retirees. It will do so despite being woefully underfunded - it has less than 48 percent of its $10 billion in obligations - and sucking up an ever-growing portion of the city's overall revenue. It is required to make the payments as a result of legislation championed eight years ago by then-City Councilman James F. Kenney, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor in the May primary.
NEWS
February 11, 2015 | Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
Having recently released reams of statistical data arguing the success of his administration, Mayor Nutter now has a poll showing that Philadelphia voters are already convinced. The poll, most notably, found that 57 percent of those surveyed approved of Nutter's performance in office, compared with 36 percent who disapproved. Nutter's pollster, Washington-based Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, termed the numbers "surprisingly high marks for an incumbent nearing the end of two terms.
NEWS
February 9, 2015 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter wants Philadelphians to take a look at the numbers and see how their city has done over the last seven years with him at the helm. The murder rate has hit a historic low, jobs have trickled back into town, and the city is putting more money into its schools than at any time in 30 years. Experts eye those numbers and say yes, but consider: Crime fell nationwide, as did joblessness. The schools are running on bare-bones budgets, and Philadelphia still has the highest poverty rate among big cities.
NEWS
February 3, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Mayor Nutter signed an executive order last year requiring certain contract workers doing jobs for the city to be paid at least $12 an hour beginning in January, it seemed like a smart political move, especially given the attention the matter has received from progressives and Democratic politicians, including President Obama. Several weeks into the new year, however, the city is starting to get pushback from some contractors, especially nonprofits, that say they can't afford the new wage scale without help from the city.
NEWS
February 2, 2015 | By Sarai Flores, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter met his match Saturday afternoon in a game of chess, beaten by one of Philadelphia's best players - 12-year-old Candida Layla Wilcox. She didn't hesitate to say why Nutter lost. "He wasn't really controlling the center, so he didn't really think long and hard on his first couple of moves," said Candida, an honor-roll student at the cyber charter school Commonwealth Connections Academy. "After I pinned him in, I got him in checkmate. " It took her less than 15 minutes to hand the mayor his defeat.
NEWS
January 31, 2015 | By Chris Brennan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter, with a nod to the candidates running to succeed him, on Thursday laid out for the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce a seven-year history of measured accomplishments and continuing challenges. Nutter's walk-on music - "Run This Town" by Jay-Z and Rihanna - served as a reminder that he holds the office for an additional 11 months. The two-term mayor used his final annual chamber address to tout economic development, citing $8.5 billion in construction projects completed, underway, or announced in the last year.
NEWS
January 30, 2015 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
A BILL APPROVED by a City Council committee yesterday faces opposition from Mayor Nutter because it places tighter restrictions on whom the city can hire to represent defendants too poor to afford a lawyer. Introduced by Councilman Dennis O'Brien, the bill passed quickly out of Council's Law and Government Committee yesterday, goes for a first reading today and could pass by next week, creating a new set of rules for the hiring of legal counsel for the poor. O'Brien earned a victory in May when Philadelphia voters approved a ballot initiative that revoked some of the mayor's power in awarding contracts for indigent legal counsel.
NEWS
January 30, 2015 | BY WENDY RUDERMAN, Daily News Staff Writer rudermw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5924
AS MAYOR NUTTER strode onstage and took to the podium, the song "Run This Town" by Jay Z, Rihanna and Kanye West echoed through the hotel ballroom speakers: Got a problem, tell me now. Only thing that's on my mind. Is who's gonna run this town tonight . . . We gonna run this town . Although the intro music elicited a laugh from Nutter, the mayor's speech at yesterday's annual Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce luncheon seemed crafted to leave little doubt about who has run this town - steering the city through one of the worst economic downturns in the nation's history and installing a chief integrity officer to weed out government waste and corruption.
NEWS
January 29, 2015 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
As meteorologists apologized for predicting a blizzard that amounted to little more than a dusting, Mayor Nutter stood by his decisions to shut down the city, saying it's better to be prepared and inconvenienced, than unprepared and in danger. "The overriding component of our decision-making process is public safety," Nutter said. "I'd rather be wrong and virtually nothing happens as opposed to wrong and 14 inches of snow shows up and we're not ready for it. " All courts and city government offices are closed Tuesday along with public schools, many private schools and private businesses.
NEWS
January 22, 2015 | By Chris Brennan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ethics in government, a potent point in Michael Nutter's 2007 bid for mayor, emerged Tuesday as an issue for the candidates seeking to replace him. Terry Gillen, a longtime Nutter aide and briefly a candidate for the Democratic nomination for mayor, sparked the issue with an essay published in The Inquirer saying the next mayor and City Council should affirm the ethics reforms Nutter has put into place. And one of the candidates promptly heeded her call. Gillen pointed to the chief integrity officer, a post Nutter created, and the Office of Inspector General, which enjoyed significantly increased powers and resources after he took office in January 2008.
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