If elected City Controller, we have a long list of things to tackle and at the top of my list are the following three:
Spend taxpayer dollars more efficiently and effectively, savings millions of dollars each year.
Philadelphia city charter requires the City Controller to audit every department every year. The current Controller has failed to do that. I will follow the city charter with a focus on modernization and best practices. I will drive this towards a minimum of $10 million a year in general fund savings which can be put towards the needs of our communities. It is through the modernization of city government and the careful auditing of each department that we will be able to identify inefficiencies and waste to invest in the services our communities deserve.
Increase transparency of city government by releasing data to the public.
I believe that the City Controller should take a more active role in the call for publishing data sets and releasing government information to the public. By releasing information such as expenditure data, government transparency is increased which undoubtedly will lead to savings as the public will be able to see all that the city spends its money on. In addition, residents and businesses should be able to see what their government is spending money on; increased transparency builds trust between government and people.
Improve performance of pension fund investments.
The City Controller sits on the City’s Pension Board and as such, oversees the pension fund investments. With my background in finance and financial markets, I believe the City’s Pension Board can do a much better job at improving the returns on the investments now in place, which will benefit both members of the fund as well as taxpayers. In the past year, the Pension fund under Alan Butkovitz’s watch lost 3.17% of its value, a total of $149 million while the market (S&P 500) only lost .13%. The year before, the pension fund only had a .29% return, well below the market average of 5.25%. Philadelphia’s pensioners deserve better.