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Pa. Municipal Officials, Visiting Philadelphia, Lend a Neighborly Hand

(Photo by Paul Kurtz)

(Photo by Paul Kurtz)

Paul Kurtz Paul Kurtz
Paul Kurtz is a Philadelphia native who has been working as a reporter...
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By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Grassroots politicians from all across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are in Philadelphia this week for the annual convention of the Pennsylvania Municipal League.

Today, they kicked things off by refurbishing a dilapidated playground at 38th and Poplar, in West Philadelphia.

Wearing t-shirts and shorts, this small army of mayors and councilmembers  didn’t seem to mind the blazing sun as they planted shrubs,  installed new  equipment, and put a fresh coat of paint on walls and benches at the Clayborn & Lewis Playground.

“It gives us a chance to give back, builds camaraderie among the elected officials across the state, and helps the community,” said Allentown mayor Ed Pawlowski.  “You can’t ask for more.”

A sweaty Mayor Nutter led the paint detail although, to hear his flowery description of the work, the heat may have getting to him.

“At a municipal type level, it is Michelangelo-type work,” the mayor effused. “You’ve never seen a wall painted like this!  I want you to look at the expertise, the technique, and that style on that section of wall…”

On a more  serious note, Nutter said one of the hot topics of discussion this week is how to best achieve full and fair funding for public education in Pennsylvania.