Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty’s reaction to staff cuts contained in city council’s 2012 budget was simple.
“We will do more with less,” Mr. Doherty said Wednesday, reflecting on how his administration plans to grapple with looming personnel reductions after lawmakers on Tuesday night overrode his veto of their $85.3 million 2012 budget.
Despite a wide-ranging list of cuts – including 29 firefighter layoffs proposed by Mr. Doherty himself – the mayor maintained there could be delays in nonessential services, but stressed garbage collection will continue uninterrupted.
“We have to live in the budget they give us,” said Mr. Doherty. “We are going to make it work.
Harrisburg City Council tonight adopted a $54.3 million 2012 budget that includes a 16 percent real estate tax hike for homeowners.
The increase will tack on $50 to $100 in real estate taxes for most property owners. A person whose property is assessed at $50,000 would pay $40 more annually in property taxes. Property owners with houses valued at $100,000 would pay an additional $80 in taxes per year.
Council’s budget cuts spending by $1.2 million compared to the $55.5 million plan Mayor Linda Thompson introduced last month. Thompson’s proposal also included a 16 percent tax hike.
The city of Pittsburgh‘s residential properties are now assessed at a total of $10.78 billion, up 46 percent from their prior assessment of $7.33 billion, officials said in the courtroom of Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. today.
“That would mean everyone whose assessment went up by one-third would actually be paying fewer taxes, if the commercial came in at that amount” of increase, Judge Wettick said.
The city and school district must lower their millage, he noted, so they do not take an illegal windfall from the county’s reassessment.
A minor traffic accident involving a Jackassstar turned surreal at times Thursday in Chester County when the driver at fault reportedly became giddy when he recognized the other motorist.
State police said MTV star Brandon “Bam” Margera was “stopped at a properly posted stop sign” at 1:48 p.m. on southbound Locust Grove Road at Corrine Road in Pocopson Township, close to his home. An unidentified driver of a Ford pickup who was turning onto Locust Grove sideswiped Margera’s 2011 Porsche Panamera, police said.
Murders are up again this year in Philadelphia, and the city still has the highest homicide rate of the nation’s 10 most populous cities, according to stats provided by each city’s police department. At the same time, fewer murders are getting solved.
With a few days left in the year, the city’s homicide tally stood at 324 Wednesday, including the eight victims allegedly killed in previous years by West Philly abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Last year, 306 people were killed, and the year before, 302.
But despite the jump in homicides this year, city officials prefer to focus on the past. When they compare numbers, they go back to 2007, when murders in Philly were at the five-year high of 392. Looking at it that way, they get a 17 percent decrease in the murder rate from 2007 to 2011.