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NEWS
March 25, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Having endured only the latest round of unflattering reviews following the deadly building collapse at 22d and Market Streets in 2013, Philadelphia's Department of Licenses and Inspections should be approaching its crucial and daunting task with that much more care and caution. That is not the impression left by the revelation that hundreds of inspections were conducted by trainees who lacked required credentials. About 600 inspections conducted one week last month were performed by newly hired, uncertified employees but recorded under the name of a single experienced inspector, The Inquirer's Alfred Lubrano reported Monday.
NEWS
March 8, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Following the 2013 Center City building collapse that killed six people and injured 13, committees tasked by City Council and the Nutter administration to look into how to reform the Department of Licenses and Inspections concluded that the regulatory agency was underfunded. The department is budgeted at $28.8 million and 353 positions, 20 of which are unfilled. On Thursday, Mayor Nutter responded by calling for an extra $10.8 million for L&I, spread over three years. The first $5.5 million, to be allocated in 2016, would go toward hiring 43 employees, most of them building inspectors, and for new technology.
NEWS
March 7, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Who says Mayor Nutter won't be a player in this year's election to choose his successor? By proposing a 9.34 percent property-tax hike in his final budget, Nutter has given Philadelphians a barometer to judge which mayoral candidate they agree with on taxing and spending. In fact, with a number of City Council members all but declaring Nutter's tax increase dead on arrival, voters can also use the idea to gauge which Council candidates would be better fiscal stewards. Let the discussion begin.
NEWS
March 7, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny and Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writers
In his final budget proposal, Mayor Nutter said, he wanted to try something new to support the city's ailing schools - actually giving the district what it asked for. To meet the request for an additional $103 million, Nutter on Thursday proposed a 9.3 percent property-tax increase, calling it a sustainable funding source to usher in a new era for a district damaged by years of short-term fixes. Nutter's tax increase would raise $105 million, all of which would go to the district. "Now, more than ever, investing in education, in our city's future, is the right thing to do," Nutter said in his budget address to City Council.
NEWS
March 6, 2015
MAYOR NUTTER yesterday unveiled his eighth and final budget proposal, for fiscal year 2016, which begins July 1. It must be approved by City Council. Here are the highlights: * $3.95 billion in spending - an increase of 2.3 percent, or nearly $90 million. Nutter attributed the increase to nearly $51 million in rising city pension and health-care costs and a $27.4 million contract arbitration award for the Police Department. *  A projected $3.85 billion in revenues, an increase of $67 million.
NEWS
March 6, 2015 | BY WENDY RUDERMAN & MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writers rudermw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5924
MAYOR NUTTER eased into the property-tax-hike bombshell: He thanked political mentors who believed in "a wide-eyed kid from West Philly. " He asked for a moment of silence for "exemplary public servants" who died in the past year. He talked of good times and tough choices. He buttered up all 16 Council members, giving individual shout-outs for legislative accomplishments. "I'd like to take a few moments to thank all of you for what you have done to keep us moving in the right direction," Nutter said near the start of his 45-minute budget address before City Council yesterday.
NEWS
March 6, 2015 | BY WENDY RUDERMAN, Daily News Staff Writer rudermw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5924
ANOTHER storm is brewing, and we're not talking snow. We're talking about a fresh round of Mayor Nutter vs. City Council. Nutter is expected to unveil a budget today that will call for a more than 9 percent increase in property taxes to help infuse the Philadelphia School District with desperately needed money, according to sources. The mayor's proposed property-tax hike of 9.34 percent is likely to put City Council - which must approve Nutter's eighth and final budget - in a difficult position at a time when all 17 council members are up for re-election.
NEWS
March 6, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas and Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writers
Mayor Nutter will ask City Council on Thursday to approve a 9.3 percent increase in property taxes to fund the beleaguered School District. In his final budget address as mayor, Nutter will ask Council - in an election year - to approve a $3.95 billion spending plan that would raise property owners' taxes by hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. Currently, the tax bill for a home assessed at the median of $113,000 is $1,112. If Nutter's proposal was approved, it would go up to $1,216.
NEWS
February 26, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Four years after agreeing to submit to federal court monitoring of its controversial stop-and-frisk program, the Philadelphia Police Department has made little progress toward curbing unwarranted stops that disproportionately target minorities, according to an analysis filed Tuesday by a group of civil rights lawyers. The report found that 37 percent of the more than 200,000 pedestrian stops made by police in 2014 were done without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity - down from 47 percent from in 2012.
NEWS
February 21, 2015 | Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter said Thursday that his successor must understand the importance of preventing youth violence if Philadelphia is to thrive. "You know what year it is," he told a room crowded with educators, politicians, and youth outreach groups on Temple University's campus. "I will go. But the work, the effort, and the impact, must continue. Whoever comes next must understand how critically important, how critically vital, how impactful this work is. " The city has made some important progress, he noted: homicides are down, employment is up, and development is booming.
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