Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Money pledged from one shady, barely competent city organization to another!

In a move that has widespread ramifications for how the Philadelphia taxpayer's money is wasted on our crumbling city institutions, the corrupt, state-owned Philadelphia Parking Authority has agreed to provide 3.07 million to the fiscally irresponsible, state-owned Philadelphia School District. This sure-to-be-inconsequential pledge can be attributed to Mayor elect Nutter's powerful influence over how our city bureaucracy will ultimately let us down.

As we can see, the PPA has engaged in some shady business practices over the years:

By legislative agreement, the city gets the first $25 million in parking enforcement profits, while the rest goes to the schools. But since the state seized control of the authority in 2001, the agency has typically fallen well short of that threshold and exceeded it only in 2004.

That financial track record prompted a series of articles in The Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News over the last two months that examined the authority's free-spending ways, including a doubling of the agency's staff, the high salaries of its top executives, big consulting contracts and more.

"free spending ways"? Parking Authority!? As we can see, the Republican-dominated PPA ownership loaded the institution with patronage jobs and no-bid contracts to friends. Let's face it: if you're gonna be stuck in a job that's as soul-sucking as parking authority management, you might as well get your Gordon Gecko on and cook the books as much as you can. In fact, the Republican Party must have treated the PPA as some sort of prison colony for their underperfoming lackeys, and whoever they assigned to these positions must have decided to turn it into their own Australia: High deficits, gradual privatization, and an income base that draws from the mistakes of 18-25 something Americans (PPA: Ticketing me constantly. Australia: Relying on the tourism of University of Texas coeds who think there's actually something in Australia other than the outback, weird accents and Romper Stomper.)

As we can see below, the PPA initially tried to lowball the city on this deal:

After a few days, the authority came back proposing a $700,000 increase in its payment to the city. Nutter said he told them that wasn't enough. The final deal was worked out Friday, Nutter said.

The extra money for the city and schools came after insistent requests by Parents United for Public Education.

"The parents deserve a tremendous amount of credit," Nutter said. "They came upon this issue, focused on this issue, and drew some serious attention to it, and they are the true champions here."

Thanks to the good work of Parents United and Mayor Nutter, the Philadelphia School District will now have 3 million to throw away into a budget black hole. The good news, however, is that at least 100,000 dollars won't disappear, and it will be used to buy four new computers, eight 2007 edition textbooks, and possibly a mobile "music class Winnebago" that will service 150 different schools for one 50-minute period a year. The remaining 67,000 of that money will be spent on alcohol for the annual PPA and Philadelphia School District joint X-mas party. They are both owned by the state, after all.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Romper Stomper was set in Australia? Who knew?