Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

  • Good morning, everyone.

  • (Good morning.)

  • It appears we have established a quorum. I would ask all guests and visitors to please retire behind the rail and all members to take their seats. Thank you so much.

    At this time, to give our invocation, the Chair would recognize the Reverend Derek A. Bell, Pastor of Living Word Church. He is here today as the guest of Councilman Wilson Goode, Jr.

    I would like to ask everyone to please stand.

  • (Members and guests rise.)

  • Good morning. Let us bow our heads for prayer.

    Father God, we thank you, Lord, for just another day, another opportunity to be here to do the things that you put in our lives for your plan and your purpose.

    Lord, I pray for this Council this morning, Dear Lord. I pray for wisdom. I pray for knowledge. I pray for understanding in this Council. I pray that there would be no derision in this Council, Dear Lord.

    I pray for the educational system in this city, Dear Lord. I pray that there would be funding, Lord, that would be released to bless the children of this great city, Dear Lord.

    And I pray for peace to come over this city, Lord, peace between each other, Dear Lord. That you would get all the glory, in the precious name of Jesus.

    Amen.

  • Thank you, Pastor, for those inspiring words.

  • (Council at ease.)

  • Thank you so much. And, again, Pastor, thank you for your words.

    The next order of business is the approval of the Journal of the meeting of Thursday, September 26th, 2013.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Greenlee.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move that the Journal of the meeting of Thursday, September 26th, 2013 be approved.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • Thank you. It has been moved and properly seconded that the Journal of the meeting of Thursday, September 26th, 2013 stand approved.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and the Journal is approved.

    The next order of business is the request for leaves of absence, and the Chair recognizes Councilman Jones.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. On behalf of the majority, there are no requests for leaves of absence today.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair now recognizes Councilman O'Neill.

  • Mr. President, on behalf of the republicans, there are no requests for leave of absence.

  • The Chair thanks the Councilman.

    At this time, I would like to dispense with the regular order of business and I would like to welcome and thank all of our visitors day. We really appreciate you taking time out of your day to come down to see your government in action. We hope that you genuinely enjoy yourself, and we'd like to see you come back again. So, again, thank you very much for your attendance.

    At this time, I would like to recognize Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who will present a resolution honoring and recognizing and commending WURD Radio for its ten years of service as "The Voice of the Community." Would Ms. Stephanie Renee and those accompanying her please join the Councilman at the podium.

    And joining Councilman Johnson we have Councilwoman Tasco, Councilwoman Blackwell, and Councilman Jones and Councilwoman Bass, and we also have Councilwoman Brown.

  • Good morning, everyone.

  • (Good morning.)

  • Today I'm truly honored and privileged to stand with my colleagues and honor an organization that serves as the voice of the African American community.

    WURD, for the last ten years, has provided a venue and a voice for the African American community to talk about all issues that relates to improving the quality of our lives. Either focusing on the issue of politics, focusing on the issue of health, focusing on the issue of small business development, this radio station has challenged elected officials, it has challenged community leaders to always step to the plate and make sure that as we lead, as we advocate, and as we move forward on issues pertinent primarily to the City of Philadelphia, that they will always serve as the voice on all issues affecting not only the African American community but the City of Philadelphia as a whole. And I want to specifically thank the Lomax family for putting up their personal wealth, for taking the risk and investing in a radio station to make sure that the African American community will have a voice.

    And so at this time, along with my colleagues, the resolution reads: Honoring, recognizing and commending WURD Radio for its ten years of service as "The Voice of the African American Community."

    Whereas, WURD Radio is the only African American-owned and operated radio station in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Celebrating ten years as "The Voice of the African American Community," WURD serves as the heartbeat of the urban market, providing information and solutions that educate, uplift and inspire the heart and soul of Philadelphia;

  • Whereas, 900AM WURD offers a unique two-way talk format that is widely recognized as the pulse of the African American community locally, regionally, and nationally. WURD has helped shape every major event in the region, from mayoral races to presidential elections, from the street corner to the corner suite, WURD has tackled the hard issues as an influential, respected and powerful voice in the marketplace; and

  • Whereas, WURD has one of the most popular morning show programs, "Wake Up With WURD," hosted by Stephanie Renee and a team of co-hosts as the only show in the market that boasts the Mayor, School Superintendent, District Attorney and Executive Director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority as regular monthly guests. WURD also features regular issue-driven conversations with U.S. Congressman Robert Brady and U.S. Senator Robert Casey. In addition, WURD is the exclusive broadcaster of Philadelphia City Council's weekly proceedings;

  • Whereas, additionally, WURD relaunched its website with a heightened emphasis on dynamic content and social media and debuted a customized WURD application for mobile devices so listeners can take WURD anywhere; and

  • Whereas, beyond the airwaves, WURD has an award-winning symposium series WURD Speaks. This event gathers local, national and international experts to --

  • -- share insights on issues ranging from health care, education, entertainment and economic development to arts and culture and civic engagement; and

  • Whereas, by spreading its voice on air, online and in the community, WURD has attracted creative partnerships with blue chip clients such as Universal Companies, PECO, Keystone Mercy Health Plan, United Health, Peirce College, Wells Fargo, and PNC Bank. Leading organizations like the Philadelphia Theatre Company, Art Sanctuary, the Kimmel Center, the University of Pennsylvania and WHYY have also established strategic partnerships with WURD on several groundbreaking initiatives; and

  • Whereas, WURD has become a gathering point for the diverse voices that exist in the Delaware Valley; now therefore

    Resolved, by the Council of the City of Philadelphia, that we hereby honor, recognize, commend WURD Radio for its ten years of service as "The Voice of the African American Community."

    Further resolved, that an engrossed copy of this resolution be presented to WURD Radio as evidence of the sincere sentiments of this legislative body. And at this time, with my colleagues, I would like to present this citation to Ms. Stephanie Renee on behalf of the members of City Council.

  • (Applause.)

  • The Chair recognizes Ms. Renee for remarks.

    And let the record reflect that Councilman Greenlee also joined the podium.

  • Thank you, Councilman Johnson and all of our elected officials assembled. It is with great honor that I stand before you today as the Program Director of WURD to accept this proclamation and to echo the words of our President and General Manager Sara Lomax-Reese, who couldn't be here today, about the idea that talk radio is the original social media, the idea that we open up our airwaves to hear from the public, to offer subjects where we can engage with one another, hopefully educate one another about what's happening in our world, and inspire one another to action to help right the wrongs and to make sure that we are keeping everyone abreast of those things that are most important in our lives, and we all, the entire team at WURD, take that responsibility very seriously. And we hope that in our continued presence here in Council Chambers that broadcast to our listeners and let everyone know about the inner workings of what happens here in the City of Philadelphia, that we can continue to model for the rest of the world what civic engagement truly means and to keep those issues front and foremost in our minds and engage everyone in that process.

    So we thank you for this recognition today and look forward to another ten years and beyond in engaging in that process with the City of Philadelphia.

  • (Applause.)

  • Thank you.

    Council will be at ease.

  • (Council at ease.)

  • At this time, the Chair recognizes Councilman Bobby Henon, who will present a resolution recognizing the National Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 4th, 2013.

    Accompanying him, Councilwoman Sanchez, Councilman Oh, and someone needs to take my reading space.

  • Thank you, Majority Leader and members. We are joined here with several friends of our Chambers; more specifically, Bill Hunt from AgustaWestland; John Grady, PIDC; Henry Moore from Citizens Bank, along with others from other organizations that are trying to revitalize the manufacturing sector here in the City of Philadelphia.

    Today we recognize National Manufacturing Day, which is being celebrated nationally. It's a nationwide recognition of manufacturing. Over the next course -- over the course of the next two days, manufacturers like Tom Keogh from Yards, Evan Malone from NextFab, and our local roasters and coffee equipment manufacturers like Green Street and D&L, who are opening up their doors for tours and listening tours, who provided some of their coffee. So I encourage you take some samples with you when you leave these Chambers, stop by and say hello.

    Finally, as you know, this year we launched a task force that's putting together some recommendations on how we can make Philadelphia a better place for manufacturing. It is my goal and it is our goal up here and it should be our goal as the City of Philadelphia, which it is, that we present a resolution that we have already implemented, the report and recommendations, that we have established an Office of Policy Manufacturing and Innovation here in the City to bring local, state, federal resources to help support and promote our local manufacturing sector.

    So today we have a resolution that is honoring the National Manufacturing Day.

    Whereas, the City of Philadelphia region is home to more than 23,000 direct manufacturing jobs in fields which includes aerospace, baking, brewery, energy, food processing, health care, packing, printing, technology and many other areas;

  • Philadelphia's manufacturing companies add to the vitality and prosperity of our community by providing above average wages, creating family sustainability. Manufacturing makes a significant contribution to the local, state and national economy; and

    Whereas, Philadelphia and the region helps to support an estimated 17.2 million jobs in the United States - about one in six private-sector jobs. Nearly 12 million Americans (or 9 percent of the workforce) are employed directly in manufacturing; and

    Whereas, the Mayor's Manufacturing Matters Task Force works to develop a strategy to promote and grow this important sector of the economy. Manufacturers in the Philadelphia region and nation are the most productive in the world, far surpassing the worker productivity of any other major manufacturing economy, leading to higher wages and living standards; and

    Whereas, Friday, October 4th, 2013 marks the 2nd anniversary of National Manufacturing Day in the United States of America. Groups both locally and nationally will sponsor projects and programs designed to create greater awareness and consciousness of the manufacturing sector, including factory tours, networking events and educational presentations; and

  • Whereas, manufacturing events to highlight the sector in the City and our five county region will culminate with the National Manufacturing Day, with planned observances in hundreds of cities and towns around the nation; and

    Whereas, we in Philadelphia, a world class city and the historical heart of the United States, have a great opportunity to focus the minds of our citizens on this resurgence of the manufacturing sector with the recognition and the celebration of National Manufacturing Day; and

    Whereas, due to the ongoing work of the Mayor's Manufacturing Task Force, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortages they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the industry as a whole; now therefore

  • Resolved, by the City Council of Philadelphia, that we hereby recognize National Manufacturing Day, Friday, October 4th, 2013.

    Resolved further, that an engrossed copy of this resolution be presented to the representatives of the Mayor's Manufacturing Task Force in recognizing National Manufacturing Day.

    And I also want to end and encourage please take a look at some of the literature that is spread around through the Chambers today. We have a lot of very good innovating and encouraging and exciting events over the next two days. We'd love to see you all.

    Thank you all. Congratulations to the industry.

  • (Applause.)

  • The Chair recognizes Mr. Hunt for remarks.

  • Members of City Council, Councilman Bobby Henon, fellow Philadelphians, I want to thank you for inviting me here in recognition of National Manufacturing Day. My name is Bill Hunt and I am the CEO of AgustaWestland Philadelphia.

    While our helicopters don't fly under the radar, in the past years the presence of our company may have. You may be surprised to hear that we are a commercial helicopter manufacturer here in the City and have been in operation for over 30 years. We operate on a 275,000 foot campus at Northeast Airport, where we employ 560 people in production, engineering, customer support, and training roles. Last year, we delivered over 50 helicopters, and our customers in the region include Maryland State Police, New Jersey State Police, and numerous helicopter EMS operators, including one that services Hahnemann Hospital right here in the City.

    At AgustaWestland, we are so proud to be manufacturing here in the City that our technicians wear uniforms with pictures of our aircraft that say "Made with Pride in Philadelphia."

    In my role as CEO and as the Co-Chair of Mayor Nutter's Manufacturing Task Force, I have made it a priority to help to grow the manufacturing industry in the Philadelphia region by working hand in hand with fellow business leaders and policymakers to ensure that Philadelphia can enhance its position as being manufacturing friendly.

    Critical to a successful manufacturing operation are an available and trained workforce, established and reliable infrastructure, and partners in government that have an understanding of the value that manufacturing jobs bring to our people and to our city. All of you in this room are our partners and play a key role in allowing the residents of Philadelphia to thrive and our economy to advance.

    Industrial businesses as a whole account for one in every five jobs in the Philadelphia region and 1.3 billion in wages annually, but as discussed in recent Manufacturing Task Force meetings, advanced manufacturing, including the work of AgustaWestland in the design and assembly of next-generation helicopters, is where the City must catch up to ensure that jobs stay within the City.

    While our helicopters come from Philadelphia, all of our people do not. In order to fully staff our company with the best technicians, engineers, production managers, and support staff, we regularly expand our recruiting efforts outside the City. If the City of Philadelphia remains serious about growing its manufacturing base and becoming a region that industrial corporations and manufacturers see as a boon for their business, we, industry, must partner together with policymakers and educators to ensure that we are developing a workforce that is fully trained and prepared the meats of industry, and that bureaucracy does not get in the way of doing business here in the City.

    I urge my fellow business leaders and our elected officials to take the lead in manufacturing Philadelphia's future and prioritizing the needs to adequately educate our children, attract new business, and give our residents a quality of life that exceeds that of a decent wage. Manufacturing jobs do just that. We must partner in teaching the lesson that manufacturing is good for the City and good for the citizens of Philadelphia.

    I thank you all for your time. I look forward to your future support of the manufacturing industry here in the City of Philadelphia.

  • (Applause.)

  • Council will be at ease.

  • (Council at ease.)

  • Thank you so much.

    At this time, the Chair recognizes Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who will present a resolution honoring, recognizing, and commending Susan G. Komen Philadelphia for striving to make a world without breast cancer a reality throughout the Philadelphia tri-state area. Would Carlos Hernandez and those accompanying him please join the Councilman at the podium.

    And we also have Councilwoman Brown, Councilwoman Blackwell, and Councilwoman Tasco joining the Councilman, and Councilwoman Sanchez and Councilwoman Bass.

  • (Good morning.)

  • (Good morning.)

  • That's much better.

    During this past summer, my wife and I had an opportunity to participate in the Walk for the Cure event down on the Parkway, and during this walk, I had an opportunity to witness the advocacy, the passion of those who are survivors of breast cancer, those who advocate for family members who have gone and passed away from breast cancer. And so today real men wear pink in honoring and in memory of those who have passed away but, more importantly, the survivors and those who continue to go out and advocate and raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

    And so today I'm truly honored and privileged to support an organization whose sole focus is to find a cure so that all women -- and if they are in the position where they happen to develop the cancer gene, that there will be a cure.

    And on a personal note, just having family members that have gone through it kind of really brought the situation home to me, and so I definitely want to step up to the plate and be an advocate and support this cause.

    And the resolution reads: Recognizing and commending Susan G. Komen Philadelphia for striving to make a world without breast cancer a reality throughout the Philadelphia tri-state area.

    Whereas, Susan G. Komen Philadelphia is a local chapter of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer organization, which was founded in 1982 on the promise of Nancy G. Brinker to her dying sister Suzy and since 1982 has played a critical role in every major advance in the fight against breast cancer; and

  • Whereas, Susan G. Komen Philadelphia is part of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality for all, and energize science to find cures; and

    Whereas, Susan G. Komen Philadelphia services 15 counties in the tri-state area, which encompasses hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children in the Komen community; and

  • Whereas, for over 30 years, Komen has provided funding for basic clinical and transitional breast cancer research as well as innovative projects in the areas of breast health education, breast cancer screening, and treatment; and

    Whereas, the Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure has generated $51 million in grants for life-saving programs in the tri-state area and funded approximately 135,000 free mammograms for local women in need while contributing $21 million to breast cancer research; and

  • Whereas, the Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure keeps the funding in the tri-state area. The majority (75 percent) of the funds from the race are used to advance the Komen Philadelphia affiliate programs in Philadelphia and the 14 surrounding counties; and

  • Whereas, Komen for the Cure states that its aim is to "reduce the burden of breast cancer on a global level." Today, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is active in ending breast cancer throughout the world by investing $790 million in breast cancer research and 1.5 billion in community outreach programs over the last 30 years; now, therefore be it

  • Resolved, that the Council of the City of Philadelphia, hereby honors, recognizes, and commends Susan G. Komen Philadelphia for its contribution to the Greater Philadelphia breast cancer community and breast cancer fighting communities throughout the world.

  • I also want to mention that I'm also joined by the lovely ladies of City Council. Thanks for joining me.

    Further resolved, that an engrossed copy of this resolution be presented to the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia as evidence of the sincere sentiments of this legislative body. And at this particular time, I'd like to present this citation to Mr. Hernandez for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

  • (Applause.)

  • The Chair recognize Mr. Hernandez for remarks.

  • On behalf of Susan G. Komen Philadelphia and our CEO Elaine Grobman, we would like to thank Councilman Kenyatta and the City Council for this resolution.

    In about two weeks, it will mark the four-year anniversary from when my mom passed away at 65 from breast cancer, and I miss her every day, but on days like today and from your words and this resolution, I feel like she's here today with all of us.

    We work tirelessly in our office every day to bring services and increase awareness to all of our communities, those who are uninsured, medically underserved. So we want to thank you again for this recognition.

  • (Applause.)

  • My name is Fern White and I am the Outreach Education Coordinator for Susan G. Komen and get to travel the 15 counties that were spoken about earlier today, and I just would like to personally take a moment to thank Councilman Kenyatta. I got to meet with him at a health and wellness event at St. Aquinas Catholic Church last Saturday. He was there. He was there meeting the constituents and all of the vendors, and really showed his concern not only for Susan G. Komen, my organization that was there, but all of the non-profits that were there. So I'd like to thank him.

    This month, as we all know, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Most of the City is lit up pink. I'm sure you've noticed that. I'd like to encourage everyone here today when they leave here, throughout the month when they see those lights, to remind someone to have their clinical screening, breast screening or their mammogram.

    Thank you, and thank the Council.

  • (Applause.)

  • (Council at ease.)

  • Thank you so much.

    Before we proceed with the Calendar, I would like to recognize a good friend and colleague from Northeast Philadelphia. Glad to see you here today. State Representative Brendan Boyle. Thank you.

  • (Applause.)

  • Thank you for your very, very hard work in Harrisburg on behalf of the City of Philadelphia. I've been up there a couple of times. I have a new appreciation for how difficult it is, your job. Thank you.

    The next order of business is communications. The Chair requests that the Sergeant-of-Arms delivers the messages to the Chief Clerk.

    Mr. Decker, please read those messages.

  • To the President and members of the Council of the City of Philadelphia, I am transmitting for the consideration of your honorable body a resolution approving the redevelopment contract of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for the redevelopment and urban renewal of a portion of the New Kensington-Fishtown Urban Renewal Area, identified by house number and street address as 2201 East Norris Street; and

    An ordinance approving the forty-first amendment of the redevelopment proposal for the Model Cities Urban Renewal Area, being the area beginning at the northwest corner of Front Street and Spring Garden Street, including the thirty-third amendment to the urban renewal plan and the twenty-eighth amendment to the relocation plan, which provides for the additional land acquisition of approximately one property for residential, institutional and related uses, all under certain terms and conditions.

  • Mr. Decker, do you have any other messages?

  • I have none, Mr. President.

  • Thank you so much. Those messages will be printed in today's Journal.

    The next order of business is the introduction of bills and resolutions.

    I'd like to recognize Councilman Kenney.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I offer one bill and two privileged resolutions that I'd like to be considered today.

  • An ordinance amending Title 4 of The Philadelphia Building Construction and Occupancy Code by amending Subcode A, entitled "The Philadelphia Administrative Code," Subcode "F" (The Philadelphia Fire Code), and Subcode "PM," (The Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code) of The Philadelphia Code, by adding new enforcement and inspection powers for the Fire Department at construction and demolition sites, requiring sharing of information amongst the City's departments.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And a privileged resolution authorizing the Committee on Labor and Civil Service to hold public hearings to investigate the decisions made by the Philadelphia Fire Department and the Department of Licenses and Inspections before and during a fire on April 9, 2012 in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.

  • That resolution will be on today's Final Passage Calendar.

  • And a privileged resolution recognizing October 7 through 11, 2013 as National Customer Service Week.

  • That resolution will also be on today's Final Passage Calendar.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Blackwell.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. Today I introduce one bill co-sponsored by all members of the Public Safety Committee and one non-privileged resolution.

  • An ordinance amending Title 4 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "The Philadelphia Building Construction and Occupancy Code," amending Subcode A, entitled "The Philadelphia Administrative Code," by adding a new Chapter on site safety; amending Title 6 "Health Code," by increasing penalties and requiring notices for asbestos projects; and amending Title 9 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Regulation of Businesses, Trades and Professions," by adding conditions for site safety monitor licensing.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And a non-privileged resolution approving the redevelopment contract of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for the redevelopment and urban renewal of a portion of the Mantua Urban Renewal Area, identified by house number and street address as 530 North Thirty-Sixth Street.

  • That resolution will be on next week's Final Passage Calendar.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Greenlee.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I offer two bills, one on your behalf and the other co-sponsored by Councilwoman Reynolds Brown and Councilwoman Bass.

  • An ordinance creating the Headquarter Hotel Tax Increment Financing District, being the area generally bounded by South Penn Square on the north, Broad Street on the east, 15th Street on the west, and Chestnut Street on the south and approving the project plan of the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development for the redevelopment of the Headquarter Hotel Tax Increment Financing District and making certain findings and declarations, all in accordance with the Tax Increment Financing Act.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance amending Chapter 9-1100 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Fair Practices Ordinance: Protections Against Unlawful Discrimination," by requiring reasonable workplace accommodations for employees who have needs related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition and making technical changes.

  • That bill will also be referred to committee.

    And the Chair recognizes Councilman Henon.

  • Thank you, Council President. I have one bill co-introduced with the Construction and Demolition Special Committee and one privileged resolution.

  • An ordinance amending Title 9 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Regulation of Businesses, Trades and Professions," by adding new rules and obligations pertaining to construction licenses and renewals of those licenses; creating demolition licenses and increasing fines for expediters that falsify information.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And a privileged resolution honoring Philadelphia Police Officers John Callahan and John Pasquarello for their heroic acts in saving the life of 9 year old Tommy Ramos.

  • That resolution will be on today's Final Passage Calendar.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Johnson.

  • Mr. President, I have one non-privileged resolution.

  • A non-privileged resolution authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to execute and deliver to the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, without consideration, deeds conveying conditional fee simple title to certain City-owned lots or pieces of ground with the buildings and improvements thereon, situate in the Thirty-Sixth Ward of the City of Philadelphia.

  • That resolution will be on next week's Final Passage Calendar.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Sanchez.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I have two bills.

  • An ordinance amending Title 4 of The Philadelphia Building Construction and Occupancy Code by amending Subcode "A" (The Philadelphia Administrative Code) and Subcode "B" (The Philadelphia Building Code) and Title 20, entitled "Officers and Employees," of The Philadelphia Code, by adding certain provisions related to construction and demolition, special inspections, contractors, stop work orders, fees, fines, ethical violations and penalties.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance approving the forty-first amendment of the redevelopment proposal for the Models Cities Urban Renewal area being the area beginning at the northwest corner of Front Street and Spring Garden Street, including the thirty-third amendment to the urban renewal plan and the twenty-eighth amendment of the relocation plan, which provides for the additional land acquisition of approximately one property for residential, institutional and related uses.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Tasco.

  • Mr. President, I offer two bills.

  • An ordinance establishing a no truck parking regulation on Michener Avenue from East Mount Pleasant Avenue to Vernon Road, both sides.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance establishing a no truck parking regulation on East Mount Pleasant Avenue, from Michener Avenue to Cheltenham Avenue, both sides.

  • That bill will also be referred to committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Green.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I have no bills today.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman O'Brien.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I have one privileged resolution.

  • A privileged resolution recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments of Special Olympics Pennsylvania and the significant difference the organization has made in the lives of thousands of athletes with intellectual disabilities by giving them an opportunity to express joy and to experience success through athletic training and competition.

  • That resolution will be on today's Final Passage Calendar.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Goode.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I offer no bills or resolutions today.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Brown.

  • Good morning, Mr. President. I offer two bills, one co-sponsored by you, and I thank you very much for that, the second co-sponsored by Councilman Jones and resolution co-sponsored by Councilwoman Blackwell.

  • An ordinance amending Title 9 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Regulation of Businesses, Trades and Professions," by prohibiting the use of automated purchasing machines for the purchase of personal property; providing for seizures and forfeiture of the machines used in violation; establishing certain exceptions; and imposing fines and penalties.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance amending Title 14 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Zoning and Planning," by adding provisions permitting and regulating the erection of non-accessory advertising on School District of Philadelphia property.

  • That bill will also be referred to committee.

  • And a privileged resolution authorizing Council's Committee on Education to hold hearings on the issue of college access and preparatory programs in the City of Philadelphia to further investigate how we can ensure matriculating high school students within the School District of Philadelphia, who are faced with School Counselor to student ratios that far exceed expert recommendations.

  • That resolution will be on today's Final Passage Calendar.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Jones.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I have four bills, one on your behalf and one co-sponsored by Blackwell, Henon, Sanchez, and Kenney, and then I have five non-privileged resolutions also co-sponsored by Blackwell, Henon, Sanchez, and Kenney.

  • An ordinance to amend the Philadelphia Zoning Maps by changing the zoning designations of certain areas of land located within an area bounded by 54th Street, Lebanon Avenue, Georges Lane, and Arlington Street.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance amending Chapter 19-1500 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Wage and Net Profits Tax," by providing a credit against wage and net profits tax for contributions made to the School District of Philadelphia to support art and music programs.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance amending Section 9-203 of The Philadelphia Code, relating to Street Vendors, within the 52nd Ward in the Fourth District by permitting vending on both sides of 51st Street in the area bordered by and including Parkside Avenue and Columbia Avenue.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance amending Title 4 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "The Building Construction and Occupancy Code," of The Philadelphia Code by amending Subcode "A," entitled "The Philadelphia Administrative Code," by adding new definitions, a separate permit for demolitions, and training requirements for Licenses and Inspections code officials.

  • That bill will also be referred to committee.

  • And a non-privileged resolution calling on the School District of Philadelphia, the Community College of Philadelphia and all regional school districts to provide Occupational Safety and Health Administration training and certification to students enrolled in Career and Technical Education programs and to further offer such training to Philadelphia residents.

  • Councilman, could you ask for a suspension of the rules to allow reading for this day, if you so choose.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    That resolution will be on next week's Final Passage Calendar.

  • And a non-privileged resolution urging the Commonwealth Review and Advisory Committee, the State Legislature and the Governor to support, review and alter the codes adoption process to ensure the well-being, health and safety of all Pennsylvania residents.

  • That resolution will also be on next week's Final Passage Calendar.

  • And a non-privileged resolution authorizing the formation of a Hazardous Material Policy Group, to consider and make recommendations on the abatement of additional hazardous substances at demolition sites prior to demolition and to report its findings to the Special Investigating Committee on Demolition Practices.

  • And that resolution will be on next week's Final Passage Calendar also.

  • And a non-privileged resolution calling on the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections to strengthen oversight and enforcement of the construction and demolition industry through effective use of technology by reporting on technology improvement opportunities and further reporting annually on the status of 71 recommendations proposed by the Special Investigating Committee on Demolition Practices.

  • That resolution will be on next week's Final Passage Calendar.

  • And a non-privileged resolution calling on Mayor Michael A. Nutter to immediately issue an Executive Order to require enforcement functions at the Department of Licenses and Inspections to report to the Department of Public Safety, as recommended by the Special Investigating Committee on Demolition Practices.

  • And that will be on next week's Final Passage calendar also. Thank you.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman O'Neill.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I offer one bill.

  • Co-sponsored by Councilman Squilla.

  • An ordinance amending Title 14 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Zoning and Planning," by revising parking requirements for driveways located in residential front yards.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Squilla.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I offer one bill and one non-privileged resolution.

  • An ordinance amending Section 9-201 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Curb Markets," to provide for one or more master license agreements for curb markets on South 9th Street, and making other changes applicable to all curb markets.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And a non-privileged resolution approving the redevelopment contract of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for the redevelopment and urban renewal of a portion of the New Kensington-Fishtown Urban Renewal Area, identified by house number and street address as 2201 East Norris Street.

  • Mr. Decker, was that a resolution or an ordinance?

  • Non-privileged resolution, Mr. President.

  • That resolution will be on next week's Final Passage Calendar. Thank you.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Bass.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. No bills or resolutions this morning.

  • Thank you, Councilwoman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Oh.

  • Thank you very much, Mr. President. I offer one bill and a corresponding non-privileged resolution and ask to be heard on the bill.

  • An ordinance providing for the submission to the qualified electors of the City of Philadelphia of an amendment to The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter to permit City elected officials to become candidates for nomination or election to public office without first resigning from their City office, under certain terms and conditions.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And a non-privileged resolution proposing an amendment to the "resign to run" provision of the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter so that City elected officials may become candidates for nomination or election to public office without first resigning from their City office.

  • And that resolution will go to committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Oh.

  • Thank you very much, Mr. President. Sixty-one years is a long time, and in 1952, our city was in a different place in the state, in this region, and in the world. We were an entity unto ourselves with over two million residents and over 400,000 workers in the manufacturing field. As we address this issue today and National Manufacturing Week, we now have about 25,000 manufacturing employees.

    Things have changed. Yet our city is the most important city in Pennsylvania when it comes to economic development, growth through our airports, our ports, our universities. Our School District is larger than the next ten school districts combined in size. We have great things that we offer this Commonwealth, and we also bear a lot of the brunts of many of the problems that are unique to Philadelphia and unlike those of any other county.

    Our city is a county, just one of 67, and many people joke about how we're hated by the rest of the Commonwealth. I think that the "resign to run" law that was put in place in 1952 has had the unintended consequence of limiting the voice and the strength of Philadelphia in influencing the direction of our state.

    In today's economy where cities around the world are leading their nation's economic growth and relevance, our city is limited. We have great representation in the federal and state areas, but City officials are uniquely and solely responsible for municipal matters and representing the citizens and the businesses of Philadelphia.

    By introducing this bill, I hope that we will bring in front of the voters the opportunity to see that their City-elected officials can better represent them with greater strength on all the matters that we are intimately familiar with and that, yes, we need more political power and more political say in ensuring that Philadelphia's perspectives are shared with the Commonwealth, not only to be known for the bad things that we have in our city but all the great things that we have in our city that benefit our entire state and that we need to develop in further to ensure that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania moves forward in a global economy.

    With this, I submit this bill that has been worked carefully and has received the approval of both the Committee of Seventy and the Ethics Committee.

    Thank you very much.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    At this time, the Chair recognizes Councilman Kenney.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I ask for permission to leave the Chamber and would like to be recorded as voting aye on all bills and resolutions.

  • Thank you. Leave shall be granted.

  • At this time, we will have reports from committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Greenlee for a report from the Committee on Rules.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. The Committee on Rules reports two bills with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you, sir.

    Mr. Decker, would you please read the report.

  • To the President and members of the Council of the City of Philadelphia, the Committee on Rules, to which was referred Bill No. 130491, entitled "An ordinance to amend the Philadelphia Zoning Maps by changing the zoning designations of certain areas of land located within an area bounded by Passyunk Avenue, Bainbridge Street, Leithgow Street, and Monroe Street"; and

    Bill No. 130594, entitled "An ordinance approving a new plan, estimated costs and proposed method of assessment of the Germantown Special Services District of Philadelphia for and concerning business improvements and administrative services to the Germantown area of the City of Philadelphia and extending the boundaries of the Germantown Special Services District," respectfully reports it has considered the same and the returns the attached bills to Council with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you.

    The Chair again recognizes Councilman Greenlee.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move that the rules of Council be suspended so as to permit first reading this day of Bill Nos. 130491 and 130594.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded that the rules of Council be suspended so as to permit first reading this day of Bills No. 130491 and 130594.

    All those in favor say aye.

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and it will be placed on our First Reading Calendar for today.

    The Chair now recognizes Councilman Squilla for a report from the Committee on Streets and Services.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. The Committee on Streets and Services reports out of committee 11 bills with favorable recommendations.

  • Thank you, sir.

    Mr. Decker, please read that report.

  • The Committee on Streets and Services, to which was referred Bill No. 120099, entitled "An ordinance amending Chapter 10-700 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled 'Refuse and Littering,' by amending Section 10-726, entitled 'Disposal of Curbside Refuse, Rubbish, Garbage and Recyclable Materials,' by providing for allowable times during which certain persons may set out refuse for City collection"; and

    Bill No. 130490, entitled "An ordinance amending Chapter 9-400 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled 'Carriers,' by further providing with respect to Multi-Seat Pedalcycles"; and

    Bill No. 130561, entitled "An ordinance amending Chapter 12-2900 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled 'Contractor Parking,' by adjusting the fee for the issuance of contractor parking permits"; and

    Bill No. 130562, entitled "An ordinance amending Chapter 12-2800 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled 'Administrative Adjudication of Parking Violations,' by revising fees for failure to answer a notice of violation and setting forth additional fees for mailing expenses associated with notice attempting to collect unpaid parking violations"; and

    Bill No. 130563, entitled "An ordinance amending Chapter 12-3000 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled 'Use Of An Automated Red Light Enforcement System To Prevent Red Light Violations,' by authorizing the installation of a red light enforcement system at the intersection of Island Avenue and Bartram Avenue"; and

    Bill No. 130564, entitled "An ordinance amending Chapter 12-2700 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled 'Permit Parking Districts,' by changing district boundaries and adjusting the fee for the issuance of renewal of residential parking permits"; and

    Bill No. 130565, entitled "An ordinance amending Chapter 12-2400 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled 'Towing and Immobilizing of Parked or Abandoned Vehicles,' by requiring that the owner or any person on behalf of the owner seeking the release of a vehicle that has been immobilized or impounded pay, or post a bond for, all outstanding parking violations for all vehicles registered to such owner"; and

    Bill No. 130580, entitled "An ordinance establishing a no bus parking regulation on the 400 block of 66th Avenue, both sides"; and

    Bill No. 130581, entitled "An ordinance establishing a no truck parking regulation on Cheltenham Avenue between East Mount Pleasant Avenue and Vernon Road, south side"; and

    Bill No. 130582, entitled "An ordinance establishing a no bus parking regulation on the 6600 block of Lawrence Street, both sides"; and

    Bill No. 130588, entitled "An ordinance amending Section 9-204 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Sidewalk Vendors in Center City," in order to expand the previously designated vendor location on the east side of 5th Street between Commerce Street and Market Street by permitting vending on the east side of 5th Street between Arch Street and Market Street," respectfully reports it has considered the same and returns the attached bills to Council with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you.

    The Chair again recognizes Councilman Squilla.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move that the rules of Council be suspended as to permit the first reading this day of the 11 bills that were just read into the record.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded that the rules of Council be suspended so as to allow first reading this day of the 11 bills that were just reported from committee.

    All those in favor say aye.

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and those bills will be placed on our First Reading Calendar for today.

    That concludes our reports from committee. The next order of business is the consideration of the Calendar. I note that the bills just reported with suspension of the rules have been deemed to have had a first reading. These bills will be placed on our Second Reading and Final Passage Calendar for our next session of Council.

    As there are no additional bills on our First Reading Calendar, the Chair now recognizes Councilman Jones for the purpose of calling up bills and resolutions on the Final Passage Calendar.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. The following resolutions and bills are being called up for Second Reading and Final Passage Calendar today: Nos. 130643, 130664, 130666, 130669, 130674, and 130272. All other resolutions and bills are being held.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    Before considering the bills and resolutions on the Final Passage Calendar, we will have public comment. It will go as follows: If anyone is interested in speaking on a bill or resolution on the Final Passage Calendar today, I'd ask that you please sign up to the table to my left.

    At the time when your name is called and you go to the podium in the middle of the Council, on that podium is a device. When that light on that device turns green, it is your time to speak. When it turns yellow, you have 30 seconds to conclude your remarks. When it turns red, we ask that you please adhere to those guidelines and conclude your remarks. You will be given three minutes for your comments. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

    Mr. Decker, will you please read the name of the first individual.

  • Clarc King, commenting on 120118.

  • (Witness approached podium.)

  • Thank you, Mr. President of the City Council, and thank you, Councilmembers. I am here once again to disagree with the Resolution 120118. I feel that PGW is a great economy platform that the City cannot afford to discard for hyperinflationary dollars.

    The proposal to seek private management and/or sell Philadelphia Gas Works is an indication of the destabilization of the City and its priorities, the protection of the population, caused by the money cartels and the international energy cartels.

    The destabilization offensive taking place in our Congress and federal administration shows us the deeper crisis caused by the Wall Street and fed unrelenting unemployment, unlimited bailout system. The United States is in submission to globalization. The stabilization of the United States is the only imperative, the only power on earth that can save and elevate humanity. Political leadership at every level must work for this goal and restore the American system of political economy.

    The immediate implementation of the Glass-Steagall standard in U.S. banking is crucial to the national stabilization and the formation of the new economy. In Philadelphia, political leadership must create an economy policy that starts with disentangling the City from the too-big-to-fail banker speculator management and creating the Philadelphia public bank.

    Ellen Brown of Web of Debt instructs us, banking is public infrastructure, like roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals. It is not the system that bankrupts the City and the nation. This system of bankruptcy must be confronted and terminated.

    On October 12th, 8:30 a.m. at 50 North Broad Street at Methodist Church, the Philadelphia Bank Solution will be presented. Please come.

    Thank you for your time. I appreciate it.

  • Thank you for your testimony, sir.

  • Cye Shepperd, commenting on 120118.

  • (Witness approached podium.)

  • Good morning, Council President Darrell Clarke. Good morning, City Council. Good morning, citizens. Good morning, public participants. I'm commenting on this bill as far as the sale, potential sale, of Philadelphia Gas Works because of the danger in our water, the danger in our rates.

    I understand, over-stand, understand that the Marcellus Shale company is chomping at the bits to take over. Now, as a public employee, on my lunch break I might add, we found radioactive water from Fukushima in Japan at Queen Lane Reservoir, which is over 3,000 miles away.

    Upstate Pennsylvania, where the fracking is going on, we're right downstream. Our fish, our water, our marine life, our recreation will be severely damaged. I mean, it's no joke when people set a fire to their spigot and the depletion -- and the last time I talked to their representatives, they have not did an impact study for five, ten, 50, 100 or 500 years of extracting precious minerals and not knowing what chemicals they're using. I would suggest they get the frack out of here.

    I also want to suggest that there is a lot of money to be made and that a lot of this money can go to our school system. We have plenty of money. It's just how it's spent.

    Last year I want to say as a City employee without a contract in six years, we're hustling backwards as our dollar depreciates, that City Council needs to find a way to back up municipal workers in 47 and 33, and I promise you, we will not have a short memory come election time this time around. We need your support, as we support you when you come bidding for votes.

    I remain, Cye, the Nubian Warrior King. Thank you.

  • Thank you, sir, for your comments.

  • There are no other speakers on the public comment list, Mr. President.

  • Thank you, Mr. Decker.

    There being no other speakers, we will now move to our Calendar.

    Mr. Decker, can you please read the title of Resolution 130643.

  • A resolution authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to execute and deliver to the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, without consideration, deeds conveying conditional fee simple title to certain City-owned lots or pieces of ground with the buildings and improvements thereon, situate in the Seventh, Eighteenth, Nineteenth, Thirty-Seventh and Forty-Third Wards of the City of Philadelphia.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Sanchez.

  • Thank you, Council President. I move for the withdrawal of Bill 130643.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded that Resolution 130643 be withdrawn.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. 130643 is withdrawn.

    Mr. Decker, 130664.

  • A resolution authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to execute and deliver to the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, without consideration, deeds conveying conditional fee simple title to certain City-owned lots or pieces of ground with the buildings and improvements thereon, situate in the Sixth and Fifty-First Wards of the City of Philadelphia.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Blackwell.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move for the adoption.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and properly seconded that 130664 be adopted.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. 130664 is adopted.

    Mr. Decker, 130666.

  • A resolution authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to execute and deliver to the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, without consideration, deeds conveying conditional fee simple title to certain City-owned lots or pieces of ground with the buildings and improvements thereon, situate in the Thirty-Second Ward of the City of Philadelphia.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman Greenlee.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move the adoption of the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. 130666 is adopted.

    Mr. Decker, 130669.

  • A resolution approving the redevelopment contract of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for the redevelopment and urban renewal of a portion of the Point Breeze Urban Renewal Area, identified by house number and street address as 2348 Cross Street.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman Johnson.

  • Mr. President, I move for the adoption of the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. Resolution 130669 is adopted.

    Mr. Decker, 130674.

  • A resolution approving the redevelopment contract and disposition supplement of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for the redevelopment and urban renewal of a portion of the Market Street East Urban Renewal Area, identified by house number and street address as 810 Arch Street.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman Squilla.

  • Thank you. I move for the adoption of the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. Resolution 130674 is adopted.

    Mr. Decker, please read the title of 130272.

  • An ordinance to amend the Philadelphia Zoning Maps by changing the zoning designations of certain areas of land located within an area bounded by Master Street, Second Street, Thompson Street, and American Street.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman Greenlee.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I offer an amendment to Bill No. 130272. The amendment has been circulated to all members of Council and I move for its adoption.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor of the amendment.

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. Bill No. 130272 is amended and will be on next week's Final Passage Calendar.

    Mr. Decker, do you have any additional resolutions?

  • A resolution authorizing the Committee on Labor and Civil Service to hold public hearings to investigate the decisions made by the Philadelphia Fire Department and the Department of Licenses and Inspections before and during a fire on April 9, 2012 in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, introduced by Councilman Kenney.

  • Councilwoman, I think Councilman Kenney asked you for -- Councilwoman Blackwell.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move for the adoption of the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. That resolution is adopted.

  • And a resolution recognizing October 7 through 11, 2013 as National Customer Service Week, introduced by Councilman Kenney.

  • The Chair again recognizes Councilwoman Blackwell.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move for the adoption of the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • Moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and that resolution is also adopted.

  • And a resolution honoring Philadelphia Police Officers John Callahan and John Pasquarello for their heroic acts in saving the life of 9 year old Tommy Ramos, introduced by Councilman Henon.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman Henon.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move for the adoption of the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and that resolution is adopted.

  • And a resolution recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments of Special Olympics Pennsylvania and the significant difference the organization has made in the lives of thousands of athletes with intellectual disabilities by giving them an opportunity to express joy and to experience success through athletic training and competition, introduced by Councilman O'Brien.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman O'Brien.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move for the adoption of the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and that resolution is adopted.

  • And a resolution authorizing Council's Committee on Education to hold hearings on the issue of college access and preparatory programs in the City of Philadelphia to further investigate how we can ensure matriculating high school students within the School District of Philadelphia, who are faced with School Counselor to student ratios that far exceed recommendations, are paired with college access and preparatory programs, introduced by Councilwoman Reynolds Brown.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Brown.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move for the adoption.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it, and that resolution is adopted.

  • There are no other resolutions on the Final Passage Calendar, Mr. President.

  • Thank you very much, Mr. Decker.

    Are there any speeches on the part of the minority?

    The Chair recognizes Councilman O'Brien.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for affording me this opportunity to address Council about yesterday's unfair and unjust demotion of 14 of our firefighters. Fairness strips out bias. Fairness removes feelings and extracts personal interests. Fairness is sound, untainted judgment.

    Justice gives individuals their due. Justice respects process. Justice meets the highest ethical threshold.

    The City Civil Service system for hiring and promotion is built upon principles of fairness and justice that we can all accept as reasonable and unbiased standards for determining what people deserve. The City Charter requires the Civil Service system for hiring and promotion and spells out mandatory requirements. I draw your attention to some of the requirements to the City Charter and regulations related to the City's Civil Service system.

    Vacancies are to be filled by promotion. The Administration retains considerable managerial discretion. The Administration sets qualifications for supervisory positions. The Administration establishes the examinations, sets the passing scores. In other words, the Administration sets the bar. Nobody can tell the Administration how high or low to set that bar.

    The Administration determines whether vacancies exist in the first place. The Administration is not required to replace every supervisor who leaves City employment or is promoted. The Administration decides how many supervisors they need.

    And, finally, the Administration sets the bar for promotions, develops and administers the tests, and sets the passing score.

    In the firefighter demotion instance before us now, the Administration determined that vacancies existed and admitted that they intended to fill the Fire Lieutenant and Fire Captain vacancies. The problem in this case is that the Administration tried to do an end run around the Civil Service system. They attempted to fill promotional vacancies with people who weren't on the promotional list. That's the practical effect of letting a list expire with vacancies on the books.

    The exact same thing has happened with the demotions of the firefighters who were promoted per the court order in May. The Administration has ignored Civil Service rules on demotion and/or rejection during probation. This is yet another end run around the Civil Service system. These types of Civil Service end runs undermine the entire Civil Service process and take us back to the pre-Charter days of patronage and cronyism.

    Our firefighters play by the rules. I repeat, our firefighters play by the rules. The Administration should also play by the rules. The rules here are the City Charter and regulations. The rules here are the City Charter and regulations. Those rules require that undisputed vacancies be filled from a promotional list and that demotions take place according to the process required by the Civil Service regulations. The Civil Service method for filling vacancies is the legally required method. The Civil Service method for filling vacancies is also the fairest method.

    The violation committed by the City is precisely the sort of ill that Civil Service rules were intended to address. The model is simple and straightforward. The City establishes the qualifications and develops the test. The firefighter takes the test, and if they pass, they are ranked on a list. If a vacancy opens when the firefighter's number comes up, they will be considered for promotion on merit regardless of race, creed, gender, political party or any other improper factor. To break from this model is simply an end around, straight back to the future, and we are all worse off for it.

    The firefighters demoted yesterday deserve fairness. The firefighters demoted yesterday deserve justice.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • Thank you so much, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Blackwell.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. And certainly I agree with the comments made by Councilman O'Brien.

    Today I rise to note that as Chair of the City Council's Committee on Education and one who represents West and Southwest Philadelphia, I visited a dozen schools already this school year, two twice. I've also spoken to many principals, who come up to me and ask me where we are and how I feel about the whole school situation. I had a principal come over to me from the Northeast who said he can't serve as principal. He has to open the front door and monitor lunchrooms.

    So, you know, we're really concerned about where we are. I remember years ago as Chair of this Committee we introduced a resolution calling on schools to be stable before mid November, but here we're finding ourselves in the same boat again. We don't know when schools will be stable. Principals are coming to me saying they're going to lose a teacher or they may lose two teachers. So as bad as they are, they're in a position where it could get worse.

    So we're calling on all those concerned who help make these decisions, the School District, the Mayor, and the Governor, to help us resolve the issue of disposal of our schools. We're there. I'm tired of meeting with people who are asking me for the schools that are closed, and we hear, Well, we can't do anything because we can't get past this loggerjam where we are in this issue.

    Certainly we call on all concerned, again, to help us resolve this issue so that we can serve our most valuable commodity, our children.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • Thank you, Councilwoman.

    The Chair recognizes --

  • (Applause.)

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman Johnson.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. First and foremost, I want to echo the sentiments of my colleague Councilman Denny O'Brien as it relates to making sure that our firefighters receive justice as it relates to them being promoted and so forth. And so I definitely want to follow up on his comments as well as Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell as it relates to making sure that we find a solution to address the issue of public education here in the City of Philadelphia as we come to an end of our Council year. And so hopefully as we move forward down the line -- and, Council President, thank you for your efforts as well, but I think we're all under the gun, particularly in our districts, to find a solution to this issue, because I deal with it on a daily basis as it relates to either me walking around the neighborhood, going to the corner store or doing the work that I'm doing as it relates to visiting several schools during back-to-school evenings.

    So I definitely want to follow up, and I stand here supporting those efforts to see how we can come to a resolve in dealing with this issue. The same way we deal with other issues in this Chamber aggressively, hopefully we will continue to be as aggressive as it relates to the children in the City.

    On Monday, my colleague, my former employee I like to say sometimes, Councilman Curtis Jones, and myself will be thinking globally but acting locally, and we will be hosting a young lady by the name of Dalia Ziada, who is Executive Director of the Ibn Khaldoun Center for Development in Cairo. We will be partnering with the American Jewish community here in this Chamber Monday at 4 o'clock, and the title of the lecture series will be "Human Rights, Women's Rights, and Egypt's Struggle for Freedom," which will be a very interesting and eye-opening lecture as it relates to the Arab Spring that has taken place in Egypt, and also the focus is on women's rights in that part of the world.

    And so I'm looking forward to partnering with Councilman Jones on this presentation but, more importantly, the context and the dialogue regarding women's rights in Egypt. So I just wanted to make that announcement.

    Thank you, Council President.

  • Thank you, Councilman. Thank you for that announcement.

    There being no other speeches on the part of the minority or the majority, the Chair recognizes Councilwoman Brown for a motion to adjourn.

  • Mr. President, I move that City Council stand adjourned until Thursday, October 10th, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded that the Council stand adjourned until Thursday, October 10th, 2013.

    All those in favor say aye.

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. Council shall stand adjourned.

    Thank you very much.

  • (Stated Meeting adjourned at 12:00 p.m.)