Bill Green thinks the city should invest a windfall from a new pension bond in infrastructure. Curtis Jones Jr. wants a new light-rail line to shuttle people from Center City to the Philadelphia Zoo. Maria Quiñones Sánchez is foursquare behind a property tax based on full market valuation.

Those stands were just a few aired yesterday by City Council's new members when they spoke at a roundtable event sponsored by Lambda Alpha International, a 78-year-old organization of "individuals who have made notable contributions to the study and ethical practice of land use," according to the group's Web site.

In explaining her position on property-tax valuation, Sanchez said: "There is no feeling in Council about addressing that issue. If we wait two years, it will be an election cycle, and no one wants to touch it."

Most on Council fear the repercussions that full valuation - which would result in higher tax bills for some and lower tax bills for others - would bring from the homeowners on the losing end of that equation. Many consider it political suicide to touch the subject. Sanchez, whose Seventh Councilmanic District is the city's poorest, would likely benefit from the full-value project.

The three rookie Council members agreed on Green's contention that the city is at a "tipping point," where failure to invest in education and infrastructure will lead to ruin.

Green said the city's infrastructure needs, and the cost of not addressing them, were so great that the city couldn't wait. While Mayor Nutter's first budget calls for $121 million for infrastructure in fiscal year 2009, which begins July 1, the city's Planning Commission said at least $180 million annually was needed. And subsequent years of Nutter's five-year plan don't approach that first-year figure.

Green said the city could save 10 percent to 20 percent on infrastructure costs in the long run if it addressed problems now, instead of waiting for roads to cave in or sewer lines to collapse. He suggested that the city should put $60 million to $125 million in savings realized by a planned pension bond into infrastructure, instead of conservative stocks or bonds.

Jones, who spent his first six months in office taking on the local impact of the mortgage crisis and helping resolve the transit police strike, said he planned to focus more narrowly on transportation as head of the city's Committee on Transportation and Public Utilities. One idea Jones is promoting is a rail line from Center City to various Fairmount Park locations, including the zoo.

Developer David Grasso, chief executive officer of Grasso Holdings and president of Lambda Alpha International's Philadelphia chapter, said development was hampered by the city's high construction costs that were compounded by low incomes from commercial properties.

Grasso said that the industry was looking for solutions from Nutter in combination with City Council, and that he was impressed by what the new Council members had shown thus far.

"And based on what we've heard today, we're even more encouraged," Grasso said.