Doomsday averted for Philly budget

PHILADELPHIA - September 18, 2009 For top city officials, flames were a beautiful thing as they burned the 3,000 layoff notices that were set to go out to city workers today.

If House bill 1828 had not been passed, the fire commissioner would have had to make due with some 200 less firefighters.

"This a great fire. This is one that symbolizes to all the citizens that indeed it is a new day; we're going to move forward," Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said.

Mayor Nutter says he feels as if an enormous pall has been lifted from over the entire city.

"Yesterday's actions don't solve all of our problems, but it at least provides us with stability in our finances. We know what we have," Mayor Nutter said.

The mayor went to personally tell some senior citizen's their center will not have to be shut down now; the place broke into song.

The center's director Lynne Sieruc was worried that she and her 14 member staff were going to be off the city payroll October 2 along with 3,000 other city workers.

"It was going to affect so many people's lives in so many different ways," Sieruc said.

Veteran officer Juan Delgado is relieved to hear that nearly 740 fellow cops are not getting pink slipped.

"When you have a lack of police officers, it's just more stress on other police officers to cover more areas," Delgado said.

For Mayor Nutter this euphoria will not last long as approaching him is the resumption of contract negotiation with the city labor unions which were not going well when they were suspended to wait for the city's financial picture became clear.

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