Guest commentary: Mayor Nutter quick to respond to budget shortfall
September 17, 2008
Steve Wray, WHYY/ It's Our City
Steve Wray, Executive Director, Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. The Economy League and Pew Charitable Trust's January 2008 report "Philadelphia's Quiet Crisis: The Rising Cost of Employee Benefits" analyzed the impact of the city's pension and benefits' costs on the budget at present and in the long term.
"The Mayor's announcement makes it clear that the City is facing economic challenges similar to those that businesses across the city and region are facing. By acting quickly and publicly, the Mayor is sending a clear signal that the City cannot do everything, and that the limited resources available must be focused on the outcomes and priorities crucial to future success.
"The challenge is that this is not a short-term issue. While an improved economy can bring revenues back, current pension losses will have an impact well beyond this year's budget, increasing the pressure on the City and other governmental bodies (who will face similar problems) to find creative and long-term solutions.
"The good news is the open approach the Mayor is taking. The challenge is that there are no easy answers."