By Dan Wing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s 2013 budget season got underway with a first of it’s kind neighborhood budget hearing in Southwest Philadelphia Wednesday night, allowing the public to voice their opinions and concerns with the city’s finances.

Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke started the hearing in Paschall off by reminding attendees that the as elected officials, the City Council was there to represent them.

“We will ensure you that we will take that seriously and appropriately with respect listen to your priorities this evening so as we enter into this process to determine how we spend your money, we will take into account the priorities that have been established at these community sessions.”

The hearing was mostly calm with residents airing some grievances about blighted areas, funding for schools and REC Centers, and encouraging more residential development and job growth in the area.

Wednesday’s neighborhood hearing was the first of many scheduled between now and early May.

A full schedule of the neighborhood hearings can be found here:

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