We Got Your Budget Right Here: Philadelphia Magazine Offers Forward Thinking

In a special report prepared with the input of Philadelphia Forward, Philadelphia magazine presented budgeting advice for Mayor Nutter in its February issue.

There’s an old saying — never let a crisis go to waste. So far, though, Michael Nutter has done exactly that. Believe us, he knew how bad the budget crisis was before he took office. He even told us all about it in our November 2007 issue. Then he inexplicably passed a budget planning to overspend revenues by $144 million — a deficit that in recent weeks has ballooned to $2 billion over the next five years. These are our suggestions for how Nutter can get back on track — without shutting libraries and pools. The good news is, all he has to do is live out the narrative that carried him to victory in 2007: Reformer wins on a platform of change. Unfortunately, the cleaner we elected was replaced by a mayor who behaves like he owes his victory to the Democratic party machine. It’s time for you to step up and do what you said you’d do, Mike, and we’ve got ideas on how to do it (prepared with help from Brett Mandel of the reform group Philadelphia Forward). There’s never been a time, or a crisis, like the present. 

Philadelphia magazine's suggestions for the Mayor include:

Unload our gas company
Take some advice, please
Right-size the workforce
Slash your own staff
Launch Survivor:  Row Office Edition
Go get what's ours
Keep murdering the BPT by degrees (just the way it killed Philadelphia's business climate)
Deep-six handouts to the private sector
Sell a bridge to somewhere
Form a committee of city-planning superheroes
Take the paper out of city government
While you're at it, take the perks out of city government

(Full Feature - http://www.phillymag.com/home/display/we_got_your_budget_right_here/)

Now the question is:  Will the Mayor listen?

So far, I am not so happy to report that the Mayor has not taken Philadelphia Forward's advice on budgeting...or other experts' advice...or even the advice he offered as a mayoral candidate, but maybe that will change.  The Nutter Administration has scheduled a series of budget workshops to engage the citizenry in the effort to clean up Philadelphia's budget mess...


Registration 6:15pm; Program 7:00 to 9:30pm

Thursday, Feb. 12: St. Dominic's School 8510 Frankford Ave. (Northeast)

Wednesday, Feb.18: Mastery Charter School, Pickett Campus, 5700 Wayne Avenue (Germantown)

Thursday, Feb 19: St. Monica's Catholic School, 16th & Porter Streets (South Philadelphia)

Monday, Feb. 23: Pinn Memorial Baptist Church, 2251 N. 54th Street (West Philadelphia)

If you want to give the Nutter administration your advice on budgeting, don't be shy about stopping by.


Philadelphia Forward is a non-partisan, non-profit citizens’ organization educating the region about how Philadelphia raises and spends public money. We advocate government efficiency and fair, simple and competitive taxation so Philadelphia can become a world-class city for neighbors to build strong communities and businesses to create jobs.

Philadelphia Forward informs the public about city tax and budget issues; proposes and promotes policies to sustain and grow the city’s economy and population; and advocates reforms necessary to bring about such changes.  We believe that by taxing and spending wisely, Philadelphia can become an attractive place to live and do business.  We collaborate with citizens and the business community to ensure that Philadelphia becomes a world-class city that works — and grows.