Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

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Transparency Grade
Elected Officials
Administrative Officials
Permits, zoning
Lobbying P
Public records
Local taxes
County websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

Philadelphia County is a county in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia county consolidated with the City of Philadelphia in 1854.[1] The 2010 census showed the population had grown to 1,526,006, making it the most populous county in the state. Philadelphia County is one of the three original counties, along with Chester and Bucks counties, created by William Penn in November 1682.

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Pennsylvania county websites

In 2011 Philadelphia County earned a Sunny Awards for having a perfect website transparency score.

This website was most recently evaluated on Feb. 4, 2013.

The good

  • Budget
    • Budget is published.[2]
    • Budgets are archived for at least three years.
  • Meetings
    • City Council meeting minutes are published.[3]
    • Meeting schedules and agendas are also available.[4]
  • Elected Officials
    • The names and contact information for all city council members are provided.[5]
  • Administration
    • The names of all administrative officials are provided.[6]
  • Permits and Zoning
    • Information on building permits and zoning is provided.[7]
  • Audits
    • Audit reports are published.[8]
    • Reports are archived to 2003.
  • Contracts
    • Contracts are posted online.[9]
  • Public Records
  • Taxes
    • Tax information is provided.[11]
  • Ethics
    • The City's Ethics Laws are posted.[12]

The bad

  • Lobbying
    • City does not list taxpayer funded lobbying efforts.

City Council

The 1951 Home Rule Charter established Council as the legislative arm of Philadelphia municipal government, consisting of seventeen members. Ten Councilmembers are elected by district and seven from the City-at-large. Each is elected for a term of four years with no limitations as to the number of terms that may be served. Under the rules of Council, regular public sessions of Council are held weekly, usually on Thursday morning at 10:00 AM., in Room 400, City Hall.[3]

Every proposed ordinance is in the form of a bill introduced by a Councilmember. Before a bill can be enacted by Council, it must be referred by the President of Council to an appropriate standing committee of Council, considered at a public hearing and public meeting, reported out by the committee, printed as reported by the committee, distributed to the members of Council, and made available to the public. Passage of a bill requires the favorable vote of a majority of all members of Council. A bill becomes law upon the approval of the Mayor. If the Mayor vetoes a bill, Council may override the veto by a two-thirds vote.[3]


The city uses the "strong-mayor" version of the mayor-council form of government, which is headed by one mayor, in whom executive authority is vested. Elected "at-large," the mayor is limited to two consecutive four-year terms under the city's home rule charter, but can run for the position again after an intervening term. The current city mayor, having taken office in January 2008, is Michael Nutter, replacing John F. Street who served two terms from 1999 to the end of 2007. Nutter, as all Philadelphia mayors have been since 1952, is a member of the Democratic Party, which tends to dominate local politics so thoroughly that the Democratic primary for mayor is often more noticeable than the general mayoral election.


Expenditures FY 2009
FY 2010
09 to 10
 % Change
FY 2011
10 to 11
 % Change
Total Expenditures $3,915,288,000 $3,709,087,000 -5.27% $3,871,162,000 4.37%

Public employee salaries

Main article: Philadelphia employee salaries

The website posts information on salary schedules and career ladders for public employees,[13] job descriptions and specifications for county/city jobs,[14] and union codes for a variety of positions.[15]

Stimulus Funds

The County/City has a website dedicated to information relating to how stimulus dollars are being obtained and spend by Philadelphia.[16]

External links