Big Cardboard Check? Check. Philly Parades? Check.

paradecheckHow’s this for a thing that’s something: the City government isn’t solely paying for parades with money you don’t have anymore! And they’ve got the gigantic cardboard check to prove it!

Seeking nice press, Rep. Bob Brady and Mayor Michael Nutter today announced the reception of $200,000 from the Greater Philadelphia Traditions fund, a nonprofit group thought up by Bob Brady, which helps the city with costs regarding things like parades. The group also helps seek corporate sponsors for these traditional Philadelphia events.

KYW is reporting that “another installment of $100,000 in private donations is expected in January.”

How We Got Here

You know how there was no parade last year commemorating the time in which pirates took over the United States and began one of the greatest mass slaughters, and then internments, in history? Well, that’s cause of all the budget cuts M. Nutt laid out, and the recession. But Philly wanted its events, and we wanted them bad. So much so, City Council passed legislation that would have had the city just pay for these parades, anyway.

So what does M. Nutt do in the face of such tenacity and no money? He strikes down the legislation with his veto pen. In response, City Council overrides that veto by a 14-3 margin (only Goode, Jones and Kelly voted against the override) and when the override passed, the bill’s sponsor Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez claims, “I voted for a tax increase. I gave this mayor $100 million dollars.”

Extra Cash

And so did others, like friendly H.F. “Gerry Lenfest, a philanthropist who’s now giving the Greater Philadelphia Traditions Fund $100,000 a year for five years (thank you, thank you, thank you!) It began in 2009, which, if my math calculations are good’n’stuff, means there’s your $200,000.

But we can’t figure out why he even donated the money. Sanchez had that $100 million just laying around. Doesn’t she have more? Seems to me that if you up and give the mayor $100 million, you’ve probably got a little extra laying around. She is truly a kind soul.

Image: CBS News

UPDATE: The City of Philadelphia’s WordPress picked up this story. Here’s what they wrote, hot off the WordPress:

Philadelphia, October 13, 2010 – Today, Mayor Michael A. Nutter received $200,000 from the Greater Philadelphia Traditions Fund, lead by Congressman Bob Brady, to cover non-police parade costs for the city’s ten “ethnic” parades: the Mummer’s Parade, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Greek Independence Day Parade, the Odunde Festival, the Gay Pride Parade, the Steuben Day Parade, the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival, the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Pulaski Day Parade and the Columbus Day Parade. These dollars will defray the costs for calendar years 2009 and 2010. The Fund will donate another $100,000 to the City in January of 2012 to cover non-police costs for the ten named events through calendar year 2012.

“The Great Recession has forced the City to make difficult budgetary decisions, luckily community partners such the Greater Philadelphia Traditions Fun, have stepped forward to help the City through these tough times,” said Mayor Nutter. “I want to thank Congressman Brady, Gerry Lenfest and the many other donors to the Fund for all that they have done to help preserve our city’s cultural events.”

“Today marks an historic agreement between the Greater Philadelphia Traditions Fund and the City of Philadelphia that will preserve some of our greatest traditions for years to come,” said Congressman Brady. “I want to thank my friend Gerry Lenfest for his commitment to the Fund and the Mayor and his staff for working with us to preserve some of our most treasured parades and festivals.”

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