Reading Mayor, City Council President At Odds Over Appointments

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer on Monday accused City Council President Francis G. Acosta of waiting so long to appoint members to a new city authority that it could derail a major city revitalization effort.

“The process is taking too long,” Spencer said. “I’m turning up the heat, because I don’t want it said that we dropped the ball on this.”

He said the administration’s timeline calls for members of the new Reading Revitalization and Improvement Zone Authority to be chosen by Wednesday, so there’s time to make the required advertisements, incorporate the authority, have members choose officers, and finally submit an application to the state – all before Nov. 30.

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Reading May Not Cut Commuter Tax Or Earned-Income Tax

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading City Council members who weeks ago tentatively agreed to a slight drop in earned-income and commuter taxes have now changed their minds; they want both taxes to stay flat.

The difference would mean an extra $1.2 million in annual revenue – mostly from commuters – and council is focusing on the 2015 and 2016 budgets that have gaps of more than $10 million each.

Council President Francis G. Acosta, who is against the move, said he was surprised when a poll of council members Monday showed five in favor of keeping the tax flat.

But he and other council members said they don’t want the extra 2014 revenue to be used to hire more people at City Hall, but rather be put in the contingency fund, or be reserved for 2015 and 2016.

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