Above is Rodin’s Gates of Hell, currently on display at the Rodin Museum here in Philadelphia. Soon we’re going to find out what’s on the other side. As a result of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s failure to pass a state budget which would authorize the city to (1) raise sales tax and (2) restructure pension funds, city government is now being dismantled.
Here’s the mayor speaking at today’s press conference:
This is not a game. This is not an exercise. This is not about leverage, and no one is crying wolf, pointing fingers, or blaming anybody. We have no money.
The cuts will eliminate the jobs of approximately 3000 city employees, but this may not be all bad. there is so much fat that needs to be trimmed from the city’s bloated bureaucracy, that extreem measures will result in a leaner and more efficient government. And while my heart goes out to those that will lose their jobs, that’s not the major problem with the so-called “Plan C” that is now going into effect.
Of greater concern is the brutal evisceration of city services. There will be no more libraries. there will be no more Recreation Department. 1000 police officers – gone. Fairmount Park Commission – gone. The Court system, the district attorney and the public defender – all partially shut down. Office of Arts and Culture – gone.
If Harrisburg comes to our rescue in the next few days with approval for the sales tax increase and pension restructuring, this may not have to happen with such violence. But, right now, the picture is extremely bleak.