Friday, May 20, 2005

City budget negotiations

City Council and John Street continue to wrestle over the Philadelphia budget, with differences on proposed spending cuts (in libraries, firehouses, and funding of Philly institutions) as well as tax plans (with new levies on valet parking proposed, and separate legislation on reducing the business privelege tax being sidelined). As usual, nobody's completely satisfied, but it sounds like there might be willingness to make some compromises -- such as Street restoring some library and ladder funding, and regional Councilpeople letting go of recreational pork -- that could see the process through. Tough issues, not unlike the balancing act anywhere in the nation.

I was interested to note one detail that I hadn't seen previously: part of Street's rationale for cutting some firehouses was related to plans to increase the number of EMS vehicles in the city. Given the appalling recent story on the ambulance crisis in Philly, I'm glad that that issue is part of the discussion.


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