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Council Votes To Override Nutter's Parade Bill Veto

After months of haggling with the city over who should pay for parades and special events without reaching a resolution, City Council just voted to override Mayor Nutter's veto of legislation that would require the city to pick up police costs for parades and special events.

The vote was 14-3, with Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr., Curtis Jones Jr. and Jack Kelly opposing the override.

The bill's sponsor, Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez, who has been trying to work out a compromise with the Nutter administration, called for the override vote. Nutter last week vetoed the legislation, saying the city couldn't afford to shoulder those costs.

Quinones-Sanchez expressed frustration this morning. "I voted for a tax increase. I gave this mayor $100 million dollars. After nine months, the administration has not been able to come to a fair resolution," she said.

Nutter announced in 2008 that the city would start charging for police and sanitation costs related to special events, due to financial constraints. It was a controversial announcement, particularly to the city's ethnic parades like the St. Patrick's Day and Puerto Rican Day parades.

In a letter to the administration this week, Quinones-Sanchez said that, based on police data, the 72 neighborhood and ethnic events in the city last year cost the city less than $200,000. That does not include the Mummer's Parade. She wants costs to be divided between the city, the organizers and a new non-profit created by U.S. Rep. Bob Brady to help cover parade costs.

That fund - the Greater Philadelphia Traditions Fund - was awarded $500,000 by philanthropist H.F "Gerry" Lenfest. It will provide aid to the Mummers and ethnic parades and festivals.