A look at some of the latest proposals issued by major candidates in Philadelphia's May 15 mayoral primary:

Former City Councilman Michael Nutter

promised yesterday to remake the city's budget process if elected. He pledged that, as part of the new process, he would present realistic estimates of the costs of proposals, including his campaign promises, and explain how he'd pay for them. In addition, he said he would launch an "honest and cooperative effort" to redesign pensions and health benefits for city employees to make them sustainable. If no changes are made, pensions and health benefits are projected to eat up about one-quarter of the city budget by the end of the next mayor's first term.

Price tag:

Nutter estimated that his campaign proposals so far, including the hiring of 500 more police officers and additional funding for Community College of Philadelphia and the school district, would cost $591 million over five years.

Where he'd get the money:

Nutter provided a list of how he'd generate the $591 million through a series of one-year and longer-term moves. Among them are cumulative efficiency savings of $288 million, new state and federal grants of $100 million, and $30 million in collection of back taxes. He also assumed, based on past performance, that the revenue estimates he would inherit for his first budget would be $50 million too low.

Pro and con:

No other candidate has provided anything like Nutter's explanation of how he'd pay for his campaign promises. "There is no funny money here," he said. But several of the items - such as the efficiency savings, the back taxes, and the additional state and federal grants - are open to question.

The full text:

Read Nutter's proposal at

» READ MORE: www.nutter2007.com/index.php?/issues/


- Larry Eichel