Metro: Nutter warns of a Doomsday Plan C budget

A photo I took of the police district headquarters where Mayor Nutter spoke yesterday.
A photo I took of the police district headquarters where Mayor Nutter spoke yesterday.

For free daily newspaper Metro Philadelphia, today I covered a press conference and related fallout from Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter warning of the Plan C budget he says he’ll be forced to introduce if two provisions aren’t passed by the state legislature.

I wrote a main brief on Nutter’s use of political theatrics: framing the legislative fight by a fight over cops and firefighters, groups that are taken very seriously in the part of the city he made the announcement.

Mayor Michael Nutter surrounded himself with police officers — and the Northeast Philadelphia residents that lean on them — to continue sending his message to Harrisburg yesterday that the city will be in dire straits without action from lawmakers.

Read the rest here. I also wrote a small sidebar item on some reaction from neighborhood onlookers.

Read the related story I wrote for NEastPhilly.com.

Below see some extra material that didn’t make it into either story.

A lede that wasn’t:

  • Something Mayor Nutter can still be sure of is police support in Northeast Philadelphia. So he used that certainty yesterday to help him with something far less preordained: Philadelphia’s fiscal stability.

Other

  • “We have already been cut by the last budget. I don’t want to see what will happen next,” Tara E. Smith, Germantown resident and community support services staffer of Operation Town Watch
  • Faced with a $700 million budget shortfall, Nutter described the “dangerous” effects his Plan C budget could cause
  • With that date looming and the state legislature still tangled in a budget debate, Nutter has gone on a publicity blitz.
  • Last Thursday, at a City Hall rally, he outlined the new budget he says he would be forced to submit if those provisions aren’t answered.

Jeff Jubilerer, a political consultant with Center City media firm Ceisler Jubelirer.

  • “It’s late, but it’s not too late because the budget hasn’t passed. Still, Nutter has no choice but to be using every weapon in his Swiss army knife,” he said. “That what [we] saw today.”
  • “There’s probably nothing more powerful than public safety… for a statement.”
  • “There’s only so many times in a day that Michael Nutter can say the same thing. He needs some help.”
  • He’s a smart guy. He knows where to go. He’s been to Harrisburg numerous, countless times. There’s not much more of that he can do. He needs to bring new voices into the fold to apply pressure.
  • No one is against cops. No one is against firefighters or anything that the mayor said will be cut. He’s smart. He’s going to need to break through this clutter and this logjam. What is going to take the state legislature to take up Philadelphia’s call?
  • “Nutter to his credit made some reference that maybe he would have approached [the library fight] differently. That shows some learning. He’s not new to the game. Now he clearly has everone in his world with him. In a way he has to make it an us versus them thing, but from a message he can’t piss off the legislature. And he hasn’t. He hasn’t said names. He’s outlined doomsday scenarios and he has been to Harrisburg so much and appears to be doing as much.”
  • A David Cohen and Mark Schweiker, Rob Wonderling, these are people who Republicans in the legislature or even Democrats from outside the city might be more likely to listen to than a Philadelphia mayor who might not get the same attention.
  • Some of the things are out of his control. The Philadelphia delegation isn’t his problem. Still, everybody cares about police. Let’s get that striaght: people in Bucks and Chester counties do want a safer Philadelphia, it’s just not their only or primary focus.