July 10, 2014 |
Philadelphia City Council may have taken the summer off, but its tit-for-tat continues with the Nutter administration over the sale of the city's gas utility. Council is spending $20,000 to run radio ads explaining why it has not taken action on the proposed sale of Philadelphia Gas Works, which Nutter announced more than four months ago. Under the nearly $2 billion sale agreement proposed in March, Connecticut-based UIL Holdings Corp. has the option to back out of the deal after July 15 if City Council has not taken action.
May 28, 2014
Suffer the children As the parent of a kindergartner in the Philadelphia schools, my message to elected leaders is straightforward: You cannot continue to do nothing about the situation ("Inexplicable behavior," May 25). At my son's school, McCall Elementary, a nurse was rehired after money was raised by parents, and politicking, and who knows what else. But she also serves as: late-desk check-in, lunch aide, recess aide, guidance counselor, and volunteer coordinator. In April, they took away the security guard, so the nurse has to do all that he did, too: fire drills, emergencies, visitor security.
May 24, 2014 |
A critic of Mayor Nutter's proposed sale of Philadelphia Gas Works for $1.86 billion to UIL Holdings Corp. on Thursday urged City Council not to rush into a decision. Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco's call for restraint came after the Committee of Seventy on Monday pressured Council to schedule a public hearing on the issue and the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority on Tuesday endorsed the sale. Council is currently awaiting a consultant's report on the proposed sale.
March 22, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA City Council passed an ordinance Thursday that bars city officers and employees from receiving cash from anyone seeking business or official action, while allowing receipt of non-monetary gifts worth up to $99 per donor per year. The vote was unanimous. The bill amends the existing gifts ordinance with language that is easier to enforce, and some say stricter, than is on the books now. Mayor Nutter is expected to sign the bill into law. The city code now prohibits gifts of "substantial economic value," but leaves the term undefined.
January 8, 2014 |
City Council wants to hire a consultant to explore whether there is a "higher and better use" for the Philadelphia Gas Works than privatizing it. Council last week issued a request for proposals from experts to analyze potential uses for PGW in light of new discoveries of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation. The deadline for the proposals is Jan. 29. The consultant specifically would look at whether the city could get more use out of its liquefied-natural-gas (LNG) plant in Port Richmond, where gas is stored in liquid form for use on peak winter days.
December 12, 2013 |
Memo to bidders competing to buy Philadelphia Gas Works: Put a lid on it. City Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco complained Tuesday that lobbyists purporting to represent bidders for the city's gas utility have reached out to her and other Council members, apparently in violation of confidentiality agreements to keep the sale process secret. "I have a problem with being contacted by individuals," Tasco said at a meeting of the Philadelphia Gas Commission, the city's oversight board that she chairs.
July 9, 2013 |
Eulogies for William H. Gray III, the minister and former congressman who died last Monday, will pay tribute to his fight against apartheid, his rise to majority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, his service as head of the United Negro College Fund. But in the Philadelphia political world, Gray may be best memorialized as the pillar of a group of independent black activists who emerged from outside the Democratic Party structure to gain unprecedented power and spawned a generation of political and civic leaders.
June 21, 2013 |
A proposal to add 10 percent or $1.8 million to the annual fee Philadelphia Gas Works pays to the city has been put off until the fall, according to city officials. The measure, proposed last month by Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. as a means to generate additional revenue for the cash-strapped city, was approved by the Public Property and Public Works Committee on June 6. But the bill was greeted skeptically by Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco, the chairwoman of the Philadelphia Gas Commission.
June 13, 2013 |
Philadelphia City Council gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill that would cap the 10-year tax abatement on new residential construction at $500,000 of value. The cap would go into effect in July 2015. The committee took a rare roll-call vote on the divisive issue, and the bill passed by 9-7, with Marian B. Tasco absent. The bill, sponsored by W. Wilson Goode Jr., could receive final approval on June 20. During testimony on the bill, Goode and Symphony House developer Carl Dranoff had several testy exchanges on the merits of the current tax abatement, which does not have a cap. The abatement has been credited with sparking a building boom - mostly in Center City and surrounding neighborhoods - but has been derided as an unnecessary tax credit to rich homeowners.
April 4, 2013 |
COUNCILWOMAN Marian Tasco on Tuesday literally called "bulls---" on the Nutter administration's explanation for why a project in her district was delayed last year. Tasco last week accused Mayor Nutter's administration of holding up a $3.5 million renovation at Oak Lane's Sturgis Recreation Center because she opposed an issue related to Nutter's plan to privatize Philadelphia Gas Works. She continued her attack at a budget hearing Tuesday. "What was the priority over Sturgis?