Friday, June 17, 2005

Updates from the budget war front

Philadelphia's City Council just voted Mayor Street's "capitol budget" (which covers physical upkeep of various city properties) for the next fiscal year, apparently over concerns about how the bonds underlying some new capital funding would be issued (not their value, but who gets to process the release).

Meantime, a flurry of somewhat mysterious last-minute bills:
In other business yesterday, Clarke, together with Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, introduced legislation asking voters to decide whether the city should consolidate the Fairmount Park Commission and the city's Recreation Department. The bill is sure to spark controversy among the city's parks groups.

In a separate measure, Council approved a resolution calling for hearings on the feasibility of the Street administration's Wireless Philadelphia proposal - as well as on its potential impact to help economically disadvantaged children. The resolution was sponsored by Brown.

Also yesterday, Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Goode, to hire an outside firm to study whether banks holding city deposits engage in redlining.
Those first two make you think maybe somebody is hoping for a lot of political maneouvering over the summer...


Blogger Rep. Mark B. Cohen said...

Merging the Parks Commission and the Recreation Department is not a really good idea. The Parks Commission has a duty to protect and enhance open space, and not just provide recreational opportunities.

Further, the structure of the Fairmount Commission--of being led by a board independent of the city government--makes it easier for the Commission to access both idealistic volunteers and foundation grant money.

The structure ought to stay as it is, but there should be a new concentration of effort at all levels of government and the private sector to see that the Commission gets substantially more money than it now has.

9:09 PM  

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