Philadelphia City Council

Patrick Duff
(Image from City of Phila. TV)

Council’s Public Speaking Rules Bashed By Public Speaker

In Philadelphia City Council, lawmakers impose restrictions on what the public can say at its weekly meetings. One speaker this past week made his displeasure with the rules quite evident.

10/19/2014

(Joe Schulle, head of Philadelphia firefighters' union Local 22, testifies before City Council's Human Services, Health, and Safety Committee.  Image from City of Phila. TV)

Phila. Firefighters’ Union Says Ebola Gear Issued By City is Inadequate

Joseph Schulle, head of the firefighters’ union Local 22, has no faith in the CDC standards and believes that hazmat suits are needed for the paramedics should they have to respond to a potential Ebola outbreak.

10/16/2014

(A man sells flowers and bottled water to passing motorists on Sixth Street, near Vine.  Photo by Ed Fischer)

City Council Eyeing More Regulation For Curbside Vendors in Philadelphia

City Council president Darrell Clarke calls them “entrepreneurs,” those folks who set up a folding table on a sidewalk to sell everything from handbags to CDs to incense.

10/14/2014

City Hall (FILE PHOTO credit: Tim McLaughlin)

Cooperation At City Hall Over Plan For More Affordable Housing

Has peace broken out at Philadelphia City Hall? Seven months after City Council announced an ambitious plan to boost affordable housing in Philadelphia, the effort is finally moving forward with the cooperation of the Nutter Administration.

10/13/2014

(City Council president Darrell Clarke.  Image from City of Phila. TV)

Councilman’s Bill Takes Aim At Unruly Behavior By Temple U. Students

Council president Darrell Clarke, who represents the area around Temple University, says neighbors face public drunkenness and related issues on a regular basis.

10/09/2014

(Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, left, and Rebecca Swanson, of L&I, at a meeting of Council's "Streets and Services" Committee.  Image from City of Phila. TV)

Phila. L&I Pushes Back Against Councilwoman’s Plan For Street Vending

The city’s Department of Licenses & Inspections says street vendor spots are assigned by a neutral lottery, not by a neighborhood group, and L&I would have no way to control what could be subsequent chaos.

10/06/2014

(credit: Mike Dunn)

Philadelphia’s Disabled Community Calls On Harrisburg For More Handicapped Accessible Cabs

Members of Philadelphia’s disabled community turned out in City Council this past week in hopes of prodding state lawmakers to put more handicapped accessible taxis on city streets.

10/06/2014

(Philadelphia city councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez, in 2012 file photo.  Image from City of Phila. TV)

City Council Plan Aims To Help Residents Who Don’t Speak English Well

Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez wants to change Philadelphia’s Home Rule Charter so that every agency and department would be required to have a plan for working with residents who don’t speak English well.

10/04/2014

A PGW payment office in center city Philadelphia.  (Credit: Andre Bennett)

Firm Hired To Analyze Proposed Sale of PGW Finds Several Issues With Deal

A consultant hired by Philadelphia City Council to analyze the proposed sale of PGW finds several big concerns with the deal, including the possibility that the buyer could simply flip PGW to another buyer.

10/01/2014

(A print ad placed in local newspapers by UIL Holdings, which has offered to buy PGW for nearly $2 billion.  The copy reads, 
"Philadelphia is facing an important decision.  UIL investing in Philadelphia Gas Works means a faster fix of the dangerously outdated gas lines under the city -- the second oldest system in the country.  Repairing the system means preventing catastrophic accidents.  And that means keeping families and businesses safe.")

Councilwoman Says PGW Bidder Using “Scare Tactics” To Push Sale

A print ad sponsored by UIL Holdings, the Connecticut-based firm that wants to buy PGW from the city, claims the city’s gas infrastructure is “dangerously outdated.”

09/30/2014

(City Council's Finance Committee meets on September 23, 2014.  Image from City of Phila. TV)

Stopgap Borrowing For Phila. School District Moves Forward in City Council

A City Council committee has signed off on a measure to provide $30 million in temprary funding to the cash-starved Philadelphia school district.

09/23/2014

(Activists favoring a ballot question on the Philadelphia School Reform Commission demonstrate in the City Council caucus room prior to the vote.  Photo by Mike Dunn)

Ballot Question on Control of Phila. School District Gets Council OK

Council today approved that ballot question, but it was not immediately clear if the mayor will sign it in time for it to appear on the November ballot.

09/18/2014

(A clerk calls the roll of City Council for a vote on the bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.  The measure passed, 14-2.  Image from City of Phila. TV)

Bill Decriminalizing Small Amounts of Pot Gets Phila. City Council OK

The measure, which passed 14-2, embodies the compromise announced last week by Mayor Nutter and the bill’s sponsor, councilman Jim Kenney.

09/18/2014

(Philadelphia VA regional benefits office director Diana Rubens, left, and Philadelphia VA Medical Center director Daniel Hendee at a Philadelphia City Council hearing.  Image from City of Phila. TV)

Phila. City Council Explores Status of VA Health Care Reforms

The lawmakers heard promises of improvements from local officials, and tales of bureaucratic bungling from veterans.

09/15/2014

(credit: CBS)

City Continues To Face Problem Of Illegal Dumping Of Trash

Philadelphia City Council plans to take a look at one of the longest-running issues facing the city: short dumping — the illegal dumping of trash on vacant lots or even sidewalks.

09/13/2014

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