Philadelphia ballot questions: the ayes have it
November 8, 2012By NewsWorks staff
As of Wednesday, it appeared that Philadelphia voters had approved four ballot measures, by a wide margin, on Tuesday that will amend the city's home charter rule and allow it to borrow money.
Ballot question No. 1
Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to allow for the establishment of an independent rate-making body for fixing and regulating water and sewer rates and charges and to prescribe open and transparent processes and procedures for fixing and regulating said rates and charges?
Result: City Council is permitted to to create an independent body (not, as it haas been, the Philadelphia Water Department) to set water and sewer rates and to regulate how those rates are imposed. Council may also establish the open and transparent procedures under which the new body operates.
Ballot question No. 2
Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to authorize the creation by ordinance of requirements for additional information to be s submitted with the annual operating budget, annual capital budget, and capital program, including, but not limited to, information about the cost of performing specific functions, the effectiveness of such functions, and the costs versus benefits of proposed expenditures, and to require the Finance Director to provide such information?
Result: The City Council is authorized to require the city's Director of Finance to show them details of the mayor's budget proposals, including information about the costs and benefits of specific functions and expenditures.
Ballot question No. 3
Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter – which allows for a preference in the civil service regulations for the children of Philadelphia firefighters or police officers who were killed or who died in the line of duty – be amended to further allow for a preference for the grandchildren of such firefighters or police officers?
Result: The City Council is authorized to give preference on civil service entrance exams to the grandchildren of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty. Their children already had preferential treatment.
Ballot question No. 4
Should the City of Philadelphia borrow $123,670,000 to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows: Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?
Result: The City may now borrow $123,670,000 for five identified purposes — transit; streets and sanitation; municipal buildings; parks, recreation and museums; and economic and community development, thereby increasing the city's indebtedness.