Friday, November 11, 2005

Friday round-up

  • Lest you breathe too deep a breath of relief, SEPTA still has another union it has to negotiate with. Local 1594 (responsible for suburban trolley and high-speed lines) walked out with TWU 234, but didn't sign on to their agreement (or any other). No srike is threatened, however.

  • Public concern about the anticipated revaluation of homes and consequent shifts in property taxes (see, e.g., here) are generating some ansyness around City Council. Two proposals for buffering homeowners from sudden tax jumps were introduced yesterday: Frank DiCicco's version would use a 5-year average as the basis for taxes (thus phasing in the new rate over four years), while Jim Kenney's would simply cap all tax increases at 10% per year, no matter how much the home value had changed. Unmentioned is Jannie Blackwell's suggestion that they just put the whole question off for a couple of more years (see here)...

  • There's more than one contentious difference buried in the pay-raise-repeal bills under discussion in Harrisburg (see prev. here): in proud Pennsylvanian tradition, the bill contains an unrelated provision that would provide for a new Utility Assistance Fund to help the poor pay their winter heating bills. Perhaps this is a Democratic attempt to get something good out of what is otherwise being portrayed as a conservative victory (given the source of much of the pay-hike press releases). Of course, there's no way to know what will come out of the negotiations to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bill...

  • Meanwhile, Governor Rendell claims to feel unthreatened by the pay-hike backlash. (Of course, that doesn't mean anybody else will let the issue go.

  • The Save Ardmore Coalition has had a good news/bad news kind of week: on the one hand, they replaced most of their Board of Commissioners with new faces who don't support the controversial development plan for the area, but on the other hand, a judge has ruled their lawsuit premature (because the development plan still isn't finalized).

  • Finally, the company behind the successful recycling pilot program (see prev. here) is tired of waiting around for somebody to widen its scope as intended. [Maybe the demonstrable lack of city commitment to recycling (see here) also has them concerned.] Anyway, let's hope that somebody at Planning Central picks up the ball.


Post a Comment

<< Home