Nutter speaks in West Philadelphia

Link: Feelin' kinda boo [Daily News]

Last night's town-hall meeting about Nutter's planned budget cuts - the seventh of eight such sessions around the city - was the most rowdy so far. The standing-room-only crowd hammered Nutter for his plans to close libraries and pools as part of a cost-cutting effort to shore up a more than $1 billion budget gap over the next five years.

The Kingsessing Library, next to the recreation center near Chester Avenue and 51st Street, is one of 11 libraries slated for closure. Nutter has repeatedly said he won't reconsider the closings.

"We walked up and down the streets to get you elected," said Lucille Walker, 46, a Kingsessing resident. "Now we need services. It's not right.

"This library here is a diamond in the rough, this is a rough neighborhood. What about the safety of this neighborhood? It seems like it's always Southwest."

Between choruses of boos, Nutter pleaded for understanding. He was flanked by top administrators, including Managing Director Camille Barnett, Finance Director Rob Dubow and Library Director Siobhan Reardon.

"Let us not get so locked into what the past has been about that we can't see into the future," Nutter said. "We have to make some changes in what we've been doing."