Philbin pinch-hits for Thompson in Harrisburg budget address

Harrisburg Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff Bob Philbin presented Mayor Linda Thompson's 2014 budget proposal to city council Tuesday night.

“This is one of the last public acts of what has proven to be in many ways a historic administration,” said Philbin. “The budget includes no new taxes.”

Despite a 51 percent cut in revenues and a 55 percent cut in spending from the year before, Philbin said the 2014 proposed budget calls for the hiring of 12 police officers and 10 firefighters.

“Which is a year one strategy to rebuild our public safety contingencies year by year over time,” Philbin said.

Philbin said Thompson was out of town, but he didn't know where. City government insiders say Thompson has been absent from many functions she used to attend, but were surprised she would blow off the budget address without advanced notice.

“Little surprised that the mayor's not here tonight,” said Council President Wanda Williams.

City council will now go over the budget in the coming weeks, make some changes and then send it back to the mayor for final approval.

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