Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

07 November 2008


I've never claimed to be an expert when it comes to matters of money. This is because I'm not a money-matters expert. But I know this much: Things have to be pretty bad for Mayor Nutter to do what he did yesterday. By that, I mean basically take a (presidential-campaign reference in coming in one word) scalpel to the city's budget. For specifics, the Inky's coverage breaks it all down.
Layoffs. Tithe-sized salary cuts to his own paycheck. Limits on how many trashcans we're allowed to put out at night. And, illogically, cuts to fire departments that mean ladder trucks will arrive without the engine trucks needed to, y'know, actually pump water toward a fire.

I know what'll soften the blow, Mr. Mayor: Plastic trees and shrubbery. Shrubbery? Yes, shrubbery. Rubbery shrubbery.

But if you'd afford a non-expert a bit of rope, I'd like to make a humble suggestion here. There's all this talk about closing pools, right? Now, I'm sure there are insurance issues, biiiig insurance issues, that might render this a bit difficult, but why not privatize some of the pools and after-school/summer programs that keep the kids cool when the heat of summer could drive them crime-crazy? Even the libraries. I'd hate to see it, but a Comcast Branch would be better than a Closed Branch for a young kid who's interested in, you know, educating him- or herself.

Graphic from the Inky

Is that out of the question? I mean, that's a lot of land to be sold (or leased) off, right? And, if they're charging a nominal neighborhood-considerate fee, it could pump some money back into the coffers, right? Maybe I'm off base here. But maybe I'm not.
Sure, privitizing is one of those words that make the union community break out in hives, but if it's a matter of saving jobs and tamping taxes down, isn't it worth a shot?
P.S. Great move taking $350K from the Mummers. Those dudes still creep me out.
P.P.S. John Street must still be laughing about the fact that his hated sucessor won't be able to plow all the streets come snow time.
P.P.P.S. It's about time something's done to stave off the total collapse that the DROP program will bring about.


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