When he announced his budget cuts, Mayor Nutter stressed that he and his top staffers would share the pain, taking pay cuts and furlough days to lessen the financial burden on taxpayers.

What Nutter didn't mention is that he is spending far more on his top staffers' salaries than his predecessor, John Street.

Thirty-five people in the mayor's and managing director's offices make six figures, not including the mayor. That's up from 22 under Street in 2007.

Even after the cuts, Nutter will be paying about $1.8 million more to top staffers than Street did.

Nutter defends the increased salaries.

"Philadelphia, unfortunately, has had, I think, traditionally lower salaries than other major cities across the country," Nutter said. "Even with the salaries a lot of these folks are making, they are significantly lower than what they were making before they came here."

The tab for Nutter's top staffers - including his chief of staff, managing director, deputy mayors and senior advisers - comes to about $4.7 million. That will be reduced by about $240,000 through salary reductions and furlough days next year, according to Finance Director Rob Dubow.

The total bill for Street in May 2007 for six-figure staffers in the mayor's and managing director's offices was about $2.7 million, according to personnel records.

Typically, not everyone in the managing director's office works directly for the managing director. In both administrations, some of the workers on the managing director's payroll were assigned to other departments, such as the Police Department or the Office of Supportive Housing.

Nutter said the people he has hired will prove to be a good investment.

"You have to invest in people and talent to get done the kinds of things that we want to get done," Nutter said. "Not only do we have many talented folks in the government, but they're also getting a lot done. They will 10 times over pay for themselves in the kinds of results that they'll get."

Nutter's chief of staff, Clay Armbrister, is taking a 10 percent pay cut, and 18 others on the list of six-figure employees are taking 5 percent pay cuts. All are taking five unpaid furlough days. *