Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

  • Good morning, everyone.

  • (Good morning.)

  • We're going to start now. We have established a quorum. I'd ask all guests and visitors to please retire behind the rail. If the members could please take their seat now, we can get started. Thank you very much.

    To give our invocation this morning, the Chair recognizes Father Renee Barczak, Director of Alumni Relations at Archbishop Ryan High School. He is here today as the guest of Councilman Dennis O'Brien.

    Would all guests and visitors and members please rise.

  • (Members and guests rise.)

  • Good morning, Councilmembers, staffs, and guests. Let us place ourselves in the presence of our great God.

    Oh, Lord our God, we give you thanks for all the blessings that you have bestowed upon us. We acknowledge your sovereignty and all powerfulness.

    Gathering in this public assembly, we ask for the guidance of your spirit that these public servants make right and just decisions to the benefit of your people in this great City of Philadelphia.

    Your graciousness in empowering us to do what is right makes us humble, but ever willing servants to do good. As we strive to do your will, oh Lord our God, we are constantly confronted by our human condition and its accompanying weaknesses. Even so, we continue to strive to provide our society with an environment that is just and peaceful within the boundaries of your power and love.

    We ask for the gift of your spirit as we share all these blessings through you, our great and gracious God.

    Amen.

  • Thank you so much, Father, for those inspiring words.

  • (Council at ease.)

  • Thank you so much.

    The next order of business is the approval of the Journal of the meeting of Thursday, October 24th, 2013.

    Excuse me, folks. Can I have your attention, please. We are conducting Council session. Can you please lower your voices. Thank you.

    The next order of business is the approval of the Journal of the meeting of Thursday, October 24th, 2013.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Greenlee.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move that the Journal of the meeting of Thursday, October 24th, 2013 be approved.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded that the Journal of the meeting of Thursday, October 24th, 2013 stand approved.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

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

    The next order of business is requests for leaves of absence.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Jones.

  • Good morning, Mr. President. On behalf of the democrats, there are no requests for leaves of absence today.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair now recognizes Councilman O'Neill.

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

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    At this time, I would like to dispense with the regular order of business to welcome all of our guests and visitors here today. We hope that your stay here is a pleasurable one, so much that you come back again. We really enjoy you taking time out of your day to come down and witness your government in action.

    Before we move on, I do want to say one thing. I would ask that if you have any electronic devices, be it phones or other types of devices that make noise, would you please turn them off or turn them on silent. Thank you so much for your cooperation.

    At this time, the Chair recognizes Councilwoman Marian Tasco, who will present a resolution honoring Carol Goertzel. Would Ms. Goertzel and those accompanying her please join the Councilwoman at the podium.

    And joining Councilwoman Tasco, we have Councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez and also Councilwoman Reynolds Brown and Councilwoman Blackwell.

  • Good morning. I'm excited this morning to present this citation to a wonderful lady who has done outstanding work in the City of Philadelphia, Carol Goertzel, as she directed the programs at Pathways, but I'm saddened too that she's leaving, but I'm happy because she's found a good replacement. So I'm happy and sad and happy and sad, but I think we're going to be in a good place with Pathways.

    So I am pleased to present this resolution honoring Carol Goertzel for her achievements in service to the citizens of Philadelphia as the President and CEO of Pathways Pennsylvania.

    Whereas, since 1994, Carol Goertzel has served as the President and CEO of Pathways PA and has overseen and directed the agency's growth and operations that has enabled this organization to become one of the region's foremost providers of residential and community-based services to women, children, and families; and

  • Whereas, founded in 1978 as the Women's Association for Women's Alternatives, Pathways PA served as Pennsylvania's first residential program to keep low-income, vulnerable women together with their children and, today, with offices throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, Pathways PA advocates on behalf of low-wage workers and provides programming committed to the development of client self-sufficiency; and

    Whereas, as President, Carol, who we love, has worked to develop Pathways' capacity to serve both long and short term needs of mothers and families in crisis as well as oversaw policy and advocacy research and publications and, through her leadership, she has spearheaded the partnership with Women in Transition, now a subsidiary of Pathways PA, so that the organization could offer counseling services to domestically abused clients; and

  • Whereas, under Carol's leadership, Pathways Pennsylvania has grown more than tenfold in the last 19 years, has seen a $7 million increase in revenue and now annually serves over 4,500 homeless and low-income women, children, and teens, and has received numerous awards including the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce's Non-Profit of the Year award, Child Welfare League of America's Private Agency Advocate of the Year award, Opportunity Knocks' Best Non-Profit to Work for; and

    Whereas, for over 30 years, Carol has been an advocate for homeless and low-income women and families and she has been recognized for this exemplary service and dedication through various awards including the Philadelphia Business Journal's Woman of Distinction, Delaware County Chamber of Commerce's Athena award, and the Interboro Business and Professional Women's Foundation Women of the Year award; and

  • Whereas, Carol is an active member of the community and is a member of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, past President of the Friends of Delaware County Women's Commission, and trustee for the Center Foundation and she earned her Bachelor of Arts in sociology and anthropology from Washington University, her MS degree in non-profit management from Eastern University, and completed graduate work in Chinese history at the University of Pennsylvania; and

    Whereas, on November 1st, 2013, Carol will retire from Pathways PA as President and CEO and will pass the torch of leadership to Brenda Dawson, the organization's current Senior Vice President; now, therefore, be it

  • Be it further resolved, that an engrossed copy -- that we hereby honor Carol Goertzel for her achievements in service to the citizens of Philadelphia as President and CEO of Pathways PA.

    Further resolved, that an engrossed copy of this resolution be presented to Ms. Carol Goertzel as evidence of the sincere sentiments of this legislative body.

    Certification, that this is a true and correct copy of the original resolution, adopted by the Council of the City of Philadelphia on the 24th of October 2013. Signed by the President of City Council, introduced by Tasco, and supported by all members of City Council.

    We thank you so much for your work, Carol. We're going to miss you, but I'm sure we'll see you around, and we wish you well. And I don't want you trekking off to China. Thank you so much for your leadership.

  • (Applause.)

  • The Chair recognizes Ms. Goertzel for remarks.

  • Well, I won't take much of your time. I just want to thank City Council and say that we all depend on your leadership which is there to work on behalf of low-wage workers and vulnerable families, children, and teens in Philadelphia who often don't speak for themselves, and they don't speak as real lobbyists, and they depend on all of us and all of you here to enact things that will help their lives and help the City.

    So it's really been almost 40 years that I've been honored to facilitate programs that really have changed the lives of thousands and thousands of families, and there couldn't be more pleasure that I have than watching so many of those families and getting -- I got a phone call from somebody that we worked with ten years ago saying, anonymously, I'm calling you, but thank you, I'm still with my children, they're doing fine and I'm okay. And as we work to both help people live without violence and be able to support themselves, that the two things of well-being and income-earning and self-sufficiency are so tied together, and you all understand that and you all work for that, and that's what our focus really is.

    We work with young women, with mature women, and we want everybody to feel their dignity and to vision for themselves and their families more than they ever thought was possible, and that's really our goal. And as we brought on Women in Transition, that was really important because, to me especially, because I was part of what was called the Working Group on Battered Women before there was any legislation supporting battered women, and as we're working with teens, like 25 percent of them deal with their own violence in their lives. And we just want the City to be strong, families to be strong, and women and men and their children to all grow up feeling good about themselves, be contributors, and live with peace, non-violence, and a good education.

    So we thank you, and we thank -- I thank City Council, because you've all individually been there for me, for our organization, and for all the organizations that work on behalf of people in Philadelphia.

    Thank you.

  • (Applause.)

  • This is bittersweet, but Brenda Dawson is wonderful, so you'll all enjoy working with her.

  • Thank you.

    Council will be at ease.

  • (Council at ease.)

  • Thank you.

    At this time, the Chair recognizes Councilwoman Brown, who will present a resolution recognizing October 21st through 25th, 2013 as Juvenile Detention Centers Week in Pennsylvania. Would Ms. Timene Farlow, Deputy Commissioner for Juvenile Justices, and those accompanying her please join the Councilwoman at the podium.

    And joining Councilwoman Brown, we have Councilwoman Blackwell and Councilman O'Brien and we also have Councilman Jones.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. It's a real pleasure always to salute those professionals who are working with young people who may have fallen off the track but still deserve an opportunity and what I call a "do over" to get back on track so that they can grow to be contributing citizens. In that spirit, we are pleased to recognize October 21st through the 25th, 2013 as Juvenile Detention Centers Week in Pennsylvania.

  • Whereas, Pennsylvania's secured detention centers serve all sixty-seven counties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and

    Whereas, the facilities provide more than seven hundred sixty-three beds statewide for more than ten thousand admissions to juvenile detention centers each year; and

  • Whereas, Pennsylvania's juvenile detention centers adhere to the balance and restorative justice model, contribute to public safety by providing a stable environment for at-risk youths, both pre-adjudicated and adjudicated, providing education and programming and ensuring sufficient opportunities for growth and development; and

    Whereas, through continuing efforts of the juvenile courts, juvenile detention is utilized only when lesser restrictive environments are not in the best interest of a youth or community; and

  • And I'm a firm believer of this statement: Whereas, youth who have made poor choices in the past can make positive changes in their lives when the right interventions are in place; and

    Whereas, positive relationships and mentoring from caring, responsible adults are key to transforming the lives of young people who need positive reinforcement; and

  • Whereas, through public awareness, the Department of Human Services in the City of Philadelphia is seeking to change the public perception of delinquent youth from that of problems in the community, to resources for the community, while providing safety for the community and the youth; now, therefore, be it

    Resolved, by the Council of the City of Philadelphia, that we hereby recognize October 21st through 25th, 2013 as Juvenile Detention Center Week.

  • Further resolved, that an engrossed copy of this resolution be presented to the Department of Human Services' Juvenile Justice Services Center and all the professionals there as evidence of the sincere sentiments of this legislative body.

    Introduced by Blondell Reynolds Brown and supported by all members of the Philadelphia City Council.

    We salute you, the professionals in this business every single day. Thank you.

  • (Applause.)

  • The Chair recognizes Ms. Farlow for remarks.

  • Good afternoon, and thank you so much. We are delighted to be recognized in this way for the work that we do in juvenile justice and certainly as it relates to juvenile detention. Someone mentioned earlier how important it is that we make sure that we're using juvenile secured detention only for those young people who pose threats to public safety, and we are doing that by way of our participation in the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, along with our partners at Family Court under the administration of the Honorable Kevin Dougherty.

    So we're grateful and delighted to be here today to be recognized in this way for the very important work that we do in beginning the work to transform the lives of young people who have in fact made poor choices but who can, as someone said earlier, be set on a right path when they're given appropriate guidance and leadership.

    So I'm proud to have with me today Rena Creamer, who is our Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Coordinator; Mark Temple, the Executive Director at our Philadelphia Juvenile Justices Services Center; and Vanessa Williams Cain, who is our Director of Court and Community Services.

    Thank you again. We appreciate the honor.

  • (Applause.)

  • (Council at ease.)

  • Thank you very much.

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

    Mr. Decker, would you please read those messages.

  • To the President and members of the Council of the City of Philadelphia, I am pleased to advise you that on October 30, 2013, I signed all of the bills that were passed by Council at its session on October 17, 2013, except Bill Nos. 130591 and 130592, which I am returning without my signature; and

    I am transmitting herewith for the introduction and consideration of your honorable body the following three resolutions for appointees to the Germantown Special Services District of Philadelphia; namely, Cornelia Swinson, Dr. Francine Fulton, and Ingrid Shephard; and

    I am transmitting a resolution approving the redevelopment contract of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for the redevelopment and urban renewal of a portion of the Kingsessing Urban Renewal Area, identified by house number and street address as 2018 South Salford Street; and

    Also 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 1154 South Fifteenth Street; and

    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 2412 through 14 Amber Street; and

    An ordinance authorizing transfers in appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014 from the General Fund, the Civil Service Commission and the Aviation Fund, the Director of Finance - Fringe Benefits to the General Fund, the Fire Department and the Aviation Fund, the Fire Department; and

    An ordinance authorizing transfers in appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014 from the Community Development Fund, the Director of Finance, Community Development Block Grant to the Community Development Fund, the Mayor, Office of Housing and Community Development; and

    An ordinance authorizing transfers in appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014 from the Grants Revenue Fund, the Director of Finance - Provision for Other Grants to the General Fund, certain or all City offices, departments, boards and commissions; and

    An ordinance amending an ordinance approved June 25, 2013 (Bill No. 130180), adopting the Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2014, by making certain additional appropriations needed to meet the costs of the formerly appealed 2009 arbitration award for Local 22 of the International Association of Firefighters for health and legal services that were not included in the adopted Fiscal Year 2014 operating budget, in accordance with Section 2-301(a) of The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter; and

    An ordinance amending Title 14 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Zoning and Planning," by revising certain provisions, including provisions relating to definitions, civic design review, the Center City Overlay District, the East Falls Neighborhood Commercial Overlay District, use categories and regulations; and

    An ordinance amending Section 10-1001 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Fees of Commissioner of Records," to raise the fee for recording documents; and

    An ordinance authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to enter into an amendment to the sublease agreement with the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development, for use by the City, of an additional portion of the premises located at 111 North 49th Street; and

    An ordinance authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to enter into ground lease and sublease agreements with the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development for certain land and improvements located on a parcel of land bounded by South Broad Street to the east, Castle Avenue to the south, 15th Street to the west, and Morris Street to the north, all under certain terms and conditions.

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

    Do you have any additional messages, Mr. Decker?

  • I have none, Mr. President.

  • Thank you very much.

    The next order of business is the introduction of bills and resolutions, and the Chair recognizes Councilman Kenney.

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

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Blackwell.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. Today I have one bill.

  • An ordinance authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to enter into an amendment to the sublease agreement with the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development, for use by the City, of an additional portion of the premises located at 111 North 49th Street.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Greenlee.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I offer four bills, two on behalf of the Administration and two on your behalf.

  • An ordinance amending Title 14 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Zoning and Planning," by revising certain provisions, including provisions relating to definitions, civic design review, the Center City Overlay District, the East Falls Neighborhood Commercial Overlay District, use categories and regulations.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance amending Section 10-1001 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Fees of Commissioner of Records," to raise the fee for recording documents.

  • That bill will also be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance authorizing TELA Partners doing business as Fairmount Coffee Company to construct, own and maintain an open-air sidewalk cafe at 888 North 26th Street.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance authorizing Lloyd's Whiskey Bar to construct, own and maintain an open-air sidewalk cafe at 529 East Girard Avenue.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Henon.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I have one bill today.

  • An ordinance amending Subcode "PM" (The Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code) of The Philadelphia Code, by revising provisions relating to graffiti removal, penalties and enforcement.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Tasco.

  • Mr. President, I offer one bill.

  • An ordinance regulating the direction of traffic on Baldwin Street, from Phil-Ellena Street to Sharpnack Street.

  • That bill will be referred to the appropriate committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Johnson.

  • Mr. President, I have four resolutions, one is privileged, and four bills.

  • An ordinance amending Chapter 19-2600 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Business Income and Receipts Taxes," by providing a "Video Surveillance Camera Tax Credit" for costs incurred to purchase and install a video surveillance camera.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance authorizing the Commissioner of Public Property to enter into ground lease and sublease agreements with the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development for certain land and improvements located on a parcel of land bounded by South Broad Street on the east, Castle Avenue on the south, 15th Street to the west, and Morris Street to the north.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance to amend the Institutional (Special Purpose) District Master Plan of the Philadelphia Presbytery Homes and Services for the Aging for the construction of addition to house the Witherspoon Senior Apartments.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance to amend the Philadelphia Zoning Maps by changing the zoning designations of certain areas of land located within an area bounded by Lindbergh Boulevard, 84th Street, Cobbs Creek, Springfield Avenue, and 54th Street.

  • That bill will be referred to the appropriate committee.

  • And a privileged resolution honoring, recognizing and commending Avenue of the Arts on its 20th Anniversary, for its contributions to the region's economy through its efforts to attract people and investment to the City of Philadelphia.

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

  • 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 Point Breeze Urban Renewal Area, identified by house number and street address as 1154 South Fifteenth Street.

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

  • 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 Kingsessing Urban Renewal Area, identified by house number and street address as 2018 South Salford Street.

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

  • And 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 one non-privileged resolution and one privileged.

  • A privileged resolution recognizing and honoring The Life of Roberto Clemente and his Family on the occasion of the publishing of Clemente: The True Legacy of an Undying Hero.

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

    The Chair recognizes --

  • And a non-privileged resolution confirming the re-appointment of Sanjuanita Gonzalez as a member of the Board of Ethics, to serve in the term ending November 16, 2018.

  • And that resolution will be referred to committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Green.

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

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman O'Brien.

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

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Goode.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I offer two bills on behalf of the Administration.

  • An ordinance amending an ordinance approved June 25, 2013 (Bill No. 130180), adopting the Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2014, by making certain additional appropriations needed to meet the costs of the formerly appealed 2009 arbitration award for Local 22 of the International Association of Firefighters for health and legal services that were not included in the adopted Fiscal Year 2014 operating budget.

  • That bill will be referred to committee.

  • And an ordinance authorizing transfers in appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014 from the General Fund, the Civil Service Commission and the Aviation Fund, the Director of Finance - Fringe Benefits to the General Fund, the Fire Department and the Aviation Fund, the Fire Department.

  • That bill will also be referred to committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Reynolds Brown.

  • Good morning, Mr. President. I offer one resolution.

  • A non-privileged resolution urging the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to increase funding allotted for the Weatherization Assistance Program to the City of Philadelphia in order to increase the quality of life for low income residents by improving the energy efficiency of their homes.

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

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Jones.

  • No bills or resolutions today, Mr. President.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman O'Neill.

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

  • An ordinance authorizing the installation of all-way stop signs at the intersection of Bleigh Avenue and Claridge Street.

  • That bill will be referred to the appropriate committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Squilla.

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

  • An ordinance amending Title 14 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Zoning and Planning," by providing for and regulating advertising signs on North Broad Street in support of the Avenue North Renaissance District.

  • That bill will be referred to the appropriate 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 2412 through 14 Amber Street.

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

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Bass.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I have one bill and three non-privileged resolutions.

  • An ordinance amending Title 14 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Zoning and Planning," by amending Chapter 14-300, entitled "Administration and Procedures," by providing additional requirements regarding notice.

  • That bill will be referred to the appropriate committee.

  • And a resolution appointing Dr. Francine Fulton to the Board of Directors of the Germantown Services District of Philadelphia.

  • That will be referred to committee.

  • And a resolution appointing Ingrid Shephard to the Board of Directors of the Germantown Special Services District of Philadelphia.

  • That resolution will be referred to committee.

  • And a resolution appointing Cornelia Swinson to the Board of Directors of the Germantown Special Services District of Philadelphia.

  • That resolution will also be referred to committee.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Oh.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I offer one privileged resolution co-sponsored by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson.

  • A privileged resolution authorizing Council's Committee on Global Opportunities and the Creative/Innovative Economy and Council's Committee on Transportation and Public Utilities to hold hearings to investigate the current status of taxi cabs in the City and the impact of modernizing and increasing the number of taxi cabs as it relates to the continued efforts of making Philadelphia a globally competitive, world-class destination city.

  • That resolution will be referred to the appropriate committees. Thank you.

    That concludes our introduction of bills and resolutions, and the next order of business is reports from committees.

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

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

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    Mr. Decker, would you please read that report.

  • To the President and members of the Council of the City of Philadelphia, the Committee on Rules, to which was referred Bill No. 130629, 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 Aramingo Avenue, Wheatsheaf Lane, Belgrade Street and Butler Street"; and

    Bill No. 130632, 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 Hermitage Street, Henry Avenue, Dupont Street, Ridge Avenue, Monastery Avenue, Dexter Street, Lyceum Avenue, Manayunk Avenue, Leverington Avenue, and Ridge Avenue"; and

    Bill No. 130633, 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 Station Road, Edison Avenue, Trevose Road, and Maple Avenue and including the south side of Maple Avenue"; and

    Bill No. 130634, entitled "An ordinance amending Title 14 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Zoning and Planning," by revising use regulations, pertaining to vehicle and vehicular equipment sales and services in certain areas of the City"; and

    Bill No. 130655, entitled "An ordinance amending Chapter 14 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Zoning and Planning," by adding special provisions regulating temporary real estate and wall signs in certain districts"; and

    Bill No. 130695, 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 54th Street, Lebanon Avenue, Georges Lane, and Arlington Street," respectfully reports it has considered and amended the same and 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 today of the six bills that Mr. Decker just read.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • Thank you. 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. 130629, 130632, 130633, 130634, 130655, and 130695.

    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.

    The Chair now recognizes Councilman Goode for a report from the Committee on Appropriations.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. The Committee on Appropriations reports one bill with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    Mr. Decker, would you please read that report.

  • The Committee on Appropriations, to which was referred Bill No. 130745, entitled "An ordinance amending an ordinance approved June 25, 2013 (Bill No. 130180), adopting the Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2014, by making certain additional appropriations needed to meet the unanticipated emergency created by the availability of a state grant to help with the fiscal crisis of the School District of Philadelphia, in accordance with Section 2-301(a) of The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter," respectfully reports it has considered the same and returns the attached bill to Council with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you.

    The Chair again recognizes Councilman Goode.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move the rules of Council be suspended so as to permit first reading this day of Bill No. 130745.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • Thank you.

    It has been moved and properly seconded that the rules of Council be suspended so as to permit first reading this day of Bill No. 130745.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

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

    The Chair now recognizes Councilman Henon for a report from the Committee on Public Property and Public Works.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. The Committee on Public Property and Public Works reports one bill with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you, sir.

    Mr. Decker, please read that report.

  • The Committee on Public Property and Public Works, to which was referred Bill No. 130156, entitled "An ordinance repealing Chapter 16-500 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled 'Councilmanic District Development Program,' and replacing it with a new Chapter 16-500, entitled 'Philadelphia Land Bank,' that authorizes the creation of a land bank and provides for its appointment, powers, and duties, all under certain terms and conditions," respectfully reports it has considered and amended the same and returns the attached bill to Council with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you, Mr. Decker. Bill No. 130156 will be placed on the First Reading Calendar for our next session of Council.

    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 seven bills with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    Mr. Decker, please read that report.

  • The Committee on Streets and Services, to which was referred Bill No. 130384, entitled "An ordinance authorizing the termination of parking regulations on Buist Avenue, from 69th Street to 68th Street, south side"; and

    Bill No. 130579, entitled "An ordinance authorizing Pradeep Kuthiala, owner and operator of the newsstand located at 6000 North Broad Street, to construct, use, and maintain conduits in, under, and across 6000 North Broad Street"; and

    Bill No. 130697, entitled "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"; and

    Bill No. 130700, entitled "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"; and

    Bill No. 130719, entitled "An ordinance establishing a no truck parking regulation on Champlost Avenue, from Front Street to Hammond Avenue, both sides"; and

    Bill No. 130720, entitled "An ordinance authorizing and directing the changing of the name of Shelborne Street, from Lardner Street to Cottman Avenue, to Shelbourne Street"; and

    Bill No. 130726, entitled "An ordinance authorizing the revision of lines and grades on a portion of City Plan Nos. 71 and 238 by striking from the City Plan and vacating Swanson Street from Catharine Street to its terminus northwardly therefrom and striking from the City Plan and vacating Fitzwater Street from Christopher Columbus Boulevard to its terminus westwardly therefrom," 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 so as to permit the first reading this day of the seven bills that were just read into the record.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded that the rules of Council be suspended this day so as to permit first reading of Bills No. 130384, 130579, 130697, 130700, 130719, 130720, and 130726.

    All those in favor say aye.

  • (No response.)

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

    The Chair now recognizes Councilman Jones for a report from the Committee on Public Safety.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. The Committee on Public Safety reports one bill with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you, sir.

    Mr. Decker, please read that report.

  • The Committee on Public Safety, to which was referred Bill No. 130693, entitled "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 the seizure and forfeiture of the machines used in violation; establishing certain exceptions; and imposing fines and penalties; all under certain terms and conditions," respectfully reports it has considered the same and returns the attached bill to Council with a favorable recommendation.

  • Thank you, Mr. Decker. Bill No. 130693 will be placed on our First Reading Calendar at our next session of Council.

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

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

  • Thank you, Mr. President. The following resolutions and bills are being called up for Second

    Reading and Final Passage Calendar today:

    Nos. 130736, 130777, 130779, 130783,

    130788, 130789, and all other resolutions

    and bills are being held.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    Before considering these bills

    and resolutions on the Final Passage

    Calendar, we will consider public

    comment. Public comment will go as

    follows:

    If you are interested in having

    comment on a bill or a resolution that is

    on the Final Passage Calendar today, we

    ask that you please sign up at the table

    to my left. If you've already signed up,

    you will see a podium in the middle of

    the floor of Council. That podium has a

    device on it. When it is your time to

    speak, the light will turn green. When

    the light turns yellow, you have 30

    seconds to conclude your remarks, and

    when it turns red, we ask that you please

    conclude your remarks. You will be given three minutes for your public comment. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

    Mr. Decker, would you please call the name of the first individual who is interested in testifying today.

  • Sean Clancy, commenting on 130736.

  • (Witness approached podium.)

  • Good morning, Council President Clarke and distinguished Councilmembers. My name is Sean Clancy. I'm the General Manager at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, and I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the concerned hotel owners of Philadelphia.

    Our coalition members are deeply concerned over the City's plan to create a Headquarters Hotel Tax Increment Financing District for the construction of a 700-room hotel at 1441 Chestnut Street. As we've expressed in a letter we sent to each of you on October 28th, we appreciate that you've been true partners in the success of the hospitality industry here in Philadelphia. We recognize that these proposed efforts to subsidize the development of a W in an element hotel are intended to build business at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. We too are supportive of that goal, but respectfully, at this time, it's the wrong time and the wrong project.

    Philadelphia's downtown hotel market is not strong enough to support and absorb another 700 rooms on top of what's already planned without cannibalizing business from existing properties. Occupancy is projected to drop from 73.4 percent in 2012 to 67.6 percent by 2017. That's a 6 percent decline in our industry. Philadelphia's occupancy numbers already sit below those of other major East Coast markets.

    The current climate just doesn't warrant the additional rooms. In fact, after adjusting for reductions at other hotel properties, the proposed project will not generate nearly the amount of tax increments or jobs that the developers claim, and the City may very well end up giving away more money in subsidies than it receives in additional taxes.

    Headquarter hotels in Baltimore, Sacramento, and St. Louis received varying amounts of public subsidies. They vastly underperformed their projections, lost money, and became a financial drain on the city and had an adverse impact on room rates at other downtown hotels. Each case was different, but the result was the same. Providing major subsidies for large headquarter hotels that don't pencil on their own has not worked out well in several other hotel markets. Let's not make the same mistake here in Philadelphia.

    Thank you, members of Council, for your time this morning.

  • Thank you, sir, for your testimony.

  • Vincent Gienne, commenting on 130736.

  • (Witness approached podium.)

  • Good morning. Members of City Council, good morning. My name is Vincent Gienne. I'm the General Manager of the Sofitel Philadelphia and I'm pleased to have the opportunity to address you on behalf of the concerned hotel owners of Philadelphia.

    I would like to counter some of the misinformation that has circulated about this market and this development. It has been raised by proponents that there are not enough hotel rooms to accommodate two conventions at the same time. The truth is, the City can accommodate two medium-sized events. The only situation in which they are constrained is if two major shows occur simultaneously. There are only a few of those a year, and they seldom happen on top of each other. That's not the rational argument for building this hotel. You don't build a 700-room hotel for a situation that might occur only a few days a year.

    Some have argued that there is a higher occupancy rate today than there was before the Convention Center was built and that this expansion of rooms will extend that growth into the future. The fact, we know convention and group demand is actually lower than it was in 2002, and that picture is not expected to improve.

    Keep in mind that Convention Center space nationwide has increased by 36 percent since 2000. Convention attendance has only increased by 1 percent over this time.

    The real key to attracting more convention demand is overcoming the Convention Center's well-publicized cost issues, and we are hopeful that SMG will be successful in resolving those. Given the occupancy numbers projected, it makes sense to take a wait-and-see approach. If SMG is successful in turning around the Convention Center, then there may eventually be a need for another hotel of this size.

    In seeking public investment for this project, the developer has misrepresented its site adjacent to the Ritz Carlton and across from City Hall as blighted to qualify for a TIF. Truthfully, public subsidies are needed because there is insufficient demand to support a hotel development of this scale. If a hotel development at that location were economically viable, a developer could build it without 27 percent subsidy.

    Members of Council, we ask that you reevaluate any consideration to granting public monies to a project that is likely to imperil our downtown hotels and negatively impact the City finances.

    Thank you for your time.

  • Thank you, sir, for your testimony.

  • Vanessa Sanders, commenting on 130736.

  • (Witness approached podium.)

  • Thank you for allowing me to comment. My name is Vanessa Sanders and I live in Philadelphia at 524 East Luray Street. For nine years, I have worked at the Hampton Inn at 13th and Race, which is owned by Hersha Hospitality. Thirteen years ago, my hotel received a TIF subsidy. My hotel also signed a labor peace agreement with my union, Unite Here Local 274. The hotel was built, I was hired, and I now have a good job with benefits.

    Everyone in Philadelphia deserves a good job with benefits. I believe that given the opportunity, people in Philadelphia will fight and struggle for a good job with benefits.

    I have been on the picket lines. I have marched down Market Street to demand justice. I've chanted. I've marched and sang with Fast for Safe Schools that helped persuade Harrisburg to provide school funding you vote on for today.

    We will do everything to make sure that our workers in the hotels are treated fairly. If we have to march and protest, we will do so. But I also understand that we need to bring more visitors to the City. We need to have heads for beds. I want to be a part of our city's success. That's why I urge you to support the labor peace requirement at this hotel. We should be able to work in partnership with the hotel industry. Please make sure we secure our labor peace at the hotels.

  • Thank you for your testimony, ma'am.

  • (Applause.)

  • Clarc King, commenting on 120118.

  • (Witness approached podium.)

  • Good morning, Mr. President. Thank you. Thank you, Councilmembers. I am here to address the Resolution 120118 regarding the feasibility of transferring ownership for the operation of Philadelphia Gas Works to a public entity. I'd like to thank President of the City Council, Darrell Clarke, for his remarks defending Philadelphia Gas Works in the Inquirer, adding that its expansion, not its sale, be investigated, protecting the population from free market controls that are driving up utility bills.

    Cheap, low-cost energy and expansion -- Philadelphia Gas Works is necessary to the immediate redevelopment and future of Philadelphia as the increase in energy flux density per capita per square kilometer is the basis for all economic platforms to follow, supporting our rise in the standard of living.

    This morning I heard testimony regarding privatization of public schools, resulting in the unfortunate results for students and the City. The movement for privatization ought to be halt. The City and State struggle to fulfill funding requirements, its operations and facilities through the bailed-out private sector. Why? How much is it going to cost if we know that bond issues cannot be paid unless taxes are raised again?

    I refer to the Pennsylvania Board -- pardon me; Pennsylvania bond issue and offer and bid that was awarded to Morgan Stanley and Company. The sale is to close November 7th.

    Philadelphia and Pennsylvania must investigate the power of a public bank, creative and innovative revenue and funding platforms. I ask the rhetorical questions, Why do felons or yet to be convicted felons have access to financial opportunities through government entities? We must discover the scene between private-sector finance and war conducted against the population and the nation. A necessary change in perspective is needed. Education is not the waste we all fear. The formation of the citizen begins in elementary school and continues into high school.

    Supporting the bailed-out financial system at the expense of the population certainly is a waste. Education and energy facilities and modern economic platforms can be successfully funded through the public bank.

    Thank you.

  • Thank you, sir, for your testimony.

  • (Witness approached podium.)

  • Good morning. Mr. President and members of City Council, I'd like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to provide comment in response to Resolution No. 130736. My name is Rosslyn Wuchinich and I'm the President of Unite Here Local 274. You just heard from one of the leaders of our union, Vanessa Sanders, who works at the Hampton Inn. We represent 3,000 hotel, airport, and stadium workers in Philadelphia.

    I want to let you know that there is currently no labor peace agreement in effect at the hotel proposed at 1441 Chestnut Street. The developer for this project is Brooks Lenfest and Chestlen, and the operator is Starwood. We urge the City not to proceed with the proposed TIF financing instrument until labor peace is secure.

    A labor peace agreement is one in which a union and an employer agree in advance to terms that, among other things, assure that there will be no labor disputes at the property. It does not require that the facility be union nor that the employees be union members. It does prevent strikes or picket lines so that the hotel can focus on serving guests and paying back the City rather than fighting its workers.

    We have done such agreements many times in Philadelphia and across the country. In Philadelphia, we have secured labor peace agreements with Starwood at the W Hotel project originally planned for 12th and Arch and also with at least six other hotel development proposals. In addition, such agreements have been secured by Starwood prior to development at proposed hotels in Hartford; Albany; Detroit; New Orleans; Osceola County, Florida; Denver; Phoenix; Tucson; Hollywood; San Diego; Anaheim; and SeaTac and for all new Starwood-operated hotels in Boston; New York; Washington, DC; Chicago; San Francisco; Los Angeles; and Honolulu.

    This labor peace guarantee would provide the City with confidence that labor disputes would not interfere with the proposed revenue stream from the hotel dedicated to refunding the TIF loan. In addition, many labor and other progressive groups prioritize labor peace at their meetings and conventions. A requirement such as this would enhance the marketability of Philadelphia as a destination for meetings and conventions.

    We believe that Philadelphia is a dynamic and exciting destination and look forward to doing all we can to enhance the number of visitors who come to our city. Securing labor peace at this hotel is a critical way to achieve the growth in tourism that our city needs.

    Thank you.

  • Thank you for your testimony.

  • (Applause.)

  • Marvin Robinson, commenting on 120232.

  • (Witness approached podium.)

  • Good morning, President Darrell Clarke, the rest of the City Council. I just want to -- I testified on this bill before about two weeks ago, and I just want to say I hope it pass, for people like myself don't have to go through unnecessary breaking constitutional rights of people that lives in Housing Authority or any public assistance. But I just really wanted to say and I just want to honor a man that worked with President Kennedy. He's Martin Luther King best friend. He came all the way down just to support me and support the people in Philadelphia. His name is Jessie Epps. He worked with President Kennedy advisory.

  • (Applause.)

  • He's a Hall of Fame civil right leader, and I'm just glad to have him here to support me for this bill.

    And thank you, Jessie Epps, for coming. I really appreciate it.

    He's here on the behalf of all the people in Philadelphia as well as myself.

    Thank you.

  • Thank you for your testimony.

  • Carol Green, commenting on 120232.

  • (Witness approached podium.)

  • Good morning. God loves you all. Thank you. Please pray for me.

    I thank the people that God allowed to stop the people from riding the bikes on the sidewalk, because I was hit by a bike once and thrown into the street, and it makes me stressful and I guess a lot of other people stressful when the people ride the bikes on the sidewalk. So I thank God for whoever he caused to do that, and also for whoever he caused pornography to start going out of the City. It's hard for a married man or any man to look at a woman when she's unclothed and he's trying to be a good father and a good husband and he's trying not to commit adultery, but he has to see, you know, a woman unclothed. And I just thank God for the people who are taking that out of the City.

    And also now what I would like is for people not to play the bad music in the cars as they go by. This will help it to be safer in the City, because when we hear certain words, grievous words stir up anger, and when those cars are going by with the loud music, it makes a lot of people angry, and I know it makes me angry. And the things that are said on some of those records, if they're records, are really bad, bad things, and it doesn't need to be in the City and people don't need to hear that, because it makes people angry and causes people to want to fight, you know. So I would like that not to be in the City, you know.

    And I just thank God for everyone who has helped to make the City a better city, and I thank God for City Council. I thank God also -- well, I just thank God for everything. And just don't give up.

  • Harold Sheppard, commenting on 120118.

  • (Witness approached podium.)

  • Good morning, Councilman Clarke.

  • Good morning, City Council. Good morning, residents and citizens. I'm commenting on Bill No. 120118 and it's about the transfer or the consideration of our public Gas Works to private industry, and it's about the third time I'm going to remind us that -- you heard lately about Fukushima in Japan and they can't contain the radioactive water. And last year at Queen Lane Reservoir Station of the Philadelphia Water Works in Germantown, they found radioactive water. Now, this is from Fukushima, Japan. So it's not a stretch since we're downhill from the fracking of Marcellus Shale industry in upstate Pennsylvania where spigots catch fire when you light a match to them.

    Our environment, our waterways, our drinking water, our estuaries, our fish life, our fishing ability will be compromised severely. This is an epidemic, pandemic situation of mega proportions waiting to happen if we go through with this.

    This private industry thing, some of our elected officials, Corbett, Anthony Williams, sells out to charter school and private school industries and also to big utility concerns for profit. We got to get more bang for the buck, and we have to be smart and have to be safe. So I would ask that we discourage and look at other ways and keep Philadelphia Gas Works. It's a funding stream and it can be corrected, but don't do this.

    We also -- there's a lot of concerns that are not even being addressed, and for citizens to try to navigate the system to bring it to bear to Council to get it to even be heard, like our school situation is still very bad. We have to find other ways than taxing the same poor people over and over again to fund situations that's already been funded by the federal government. Corbett did us no favor releasing $50 million of our own money. And I have a question for City Council. How is it that you can just sell buildings that we've been paying to maintain and purchase for years like the School Board that was on the Parkway, like West Philadelphia High School for $6 million? It's $6 million worth of marble, copper, scrap metal, and the land, not alone the building.

    So I would ask that you come to your people that you're supposed to represent, get their input before you start selling off our precious resources and continue to facilitate the miseducation of the Negro.

    I also am going to ask that we consider an elected School Board so that our Governor and our Mayor don't have the only say so when people have no interest in our school children.

    Thanks for your time.

  • Thank you for your comments, sir.

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

  • Thank you very much, Mr. Decker.

    With no other speakers, we will now consider the resolutions and bills on the Second Reading and Final Passage Calendar.

    Mr. Decker, please read the title of Resolution 130736.

  • A resolution agreeing to participate in the "Headquarter Hotel Tax Increment Financing District," if it should be created by the Council of the City of Philadelphia in accordance with the Tax Increment Financing Act of July 11, 1990, as amended, in the Center City Redevelopment Area, in an 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.

  • Thank you.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Jones for a motion.

  • I'm sorry. Hold on. Councilman Jones, hold on one second, please.

  • I have comments after the motion.

  • You want to be recognized, Councilman?

  • After the motion, okay.

    Councilman, please proceed with the motion.

  • I make a motion that we approve the resolution.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and seconded.

    Before we take the vote, the Chair recognizes Councilman Goode.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. Today we've heard from hotel owners and union members against this TIF project, and I'm thankful for the extra week so that we could hear some other perspectives, and if this resolution moves forward, we will have a hearing in the Finance Committee next week on this matter where we will hear additional people against this.

    Let me explain my potential opposition to this TIF project in simple terms. What this TIF project means is simple: They don't have to pay their taxes so they can pay their mortgage. Everyone else has to pay both, but they get to just pay their mortgage and not all their taxes. Here's a $33 million tax break based on assumptions in your project plan, and the plan states that even those assumptions may change, could change, will change. But here's a $33 million tax break anyway.

    I'll be voting no today and maybe next week as well.

    Thank you.

  • (Applause.)

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman Green.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. This resolution today does not create a TIF. This resolution today is required so that we can have the hearing in the Finance Committee that Councilman Goode just mentioned. And so in order for us to go ahead with that hearing, we have to agree that we would participate in a TIF and we have to appoint the people who would make it happen, and that would be the Mayor's Office and PAID, and this resolution will have to be delivered to the Committee so that we can have the hearing on the substance of whether or not a TIF can be created.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Tasco.

  • Yes. Thank you, Mr. President. I will concur that my vote today for this resolution is only to allow us to have the hearing to discuss all the details and parameters of the possibility of doing a TIF. It does not mean that I'm voting for the TIF.

  • Yes. Yes, Councilwoman. That may be my vote also.

    Councilman Goode.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. Although we are not necessarily discussing the substance of the matter today, it is a state process which I find curious, particularly for those of us who have already reviewed the project plan. The project plan reads, The project design has not been finalized and figures presented here are based on estimates. The total amount of line items may vary as the project designs are refined and are not intended as limitations. The initial project costs and/or size of the project may decrease as long as increases are privately funded. If the initial project cost and the size of the project decreases by more than 15 percent prior to the settlement of the financing, such decreases shall result in a pro rata reduction of the developer's TIF notes.

    What's clear about this, which is the substance of the plan that will be discussed, is that we actually have a project presented to us that says that it's based upon assumptions, that says that those assumptions may change, says that the project has to be off by as much as 15 percent before we get any money back. That's just wrong, and that's why I'm voting no starting today.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman Kenney.

  • I apologize, Mr. President. I have to leave the Chamber, but I would like to be recorded aye on -- voting aye on this resolution and all other bills and resolutions.

  • Council President, coincidentally, I too must be leaving the Chambers on Council business and want to be recorded as voting aye on all bills and resolutions.

  • Thank you, Councilman. As Council President, I don't get to leave. Thank you, Councilman.

    There is a motion, and it has been seconded.

    All in favor of Resolution 130736?

  • All right. Do that again, because I wasn't quite clear. All in favor say aye.

  • It sounds like the ayes have it. The ayes have it. 130736 is approved.

    Mr. Decker, please read the title of 130777.

  • 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 Twenty-Seventh Ward 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.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. 130777 has been approved.

    Mr. Decker, please read the title of 130779.

  • 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 Twenty-Ninth 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's been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. Resolution 130779 is approved.

    Mr. Decker, 130783.

  • 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, and Thirty-Seventh Wards of the City of Philadelphia.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez.

  • 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. 130783 is adopted.

    Mr. Decker, 130788.

  • 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-Fourth Ward of the City of Philadelphia.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman Jones.

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

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It's been moved and properly seconded.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. 130788 is adopted.

    And, Mr. Decker, 130789.

  • A 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 2553 South Fairhill Street.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman Squilla.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I move 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 Resolution 130789 is adopted.

    There are no bills scheduled for final passage today. Mr. Decker, do you have any additional resolutions.

  • A resolution honoring, recognizing and commending Avenue of the Arts on its 20th Anniversary, for its contributions to the region's economy through its efforts to attract people and investment to the City of Philadelphia, introduced by Councilman Johnson.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman Johnson.

  • Also for the record, that bill is also co-sponsored by Councilman Mark Squilla. 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 honoring The Life of Roberto Clemente and his Family on the occasion of the publishing of Clemente: The True Legacy of an Undying Hero, introduced by Councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez.

  • 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.

  • And a resolution authorizing Council's Committee on Global Opportunities and the Creative/Innovative Economy and Council's Committee on Transportation and Public Utilities to hold hearings to investigate the current status of taxi cabs in the City and the impact of modernizing and increasing the number of taxi cabs as it relates to the continued efforts of making Philadelphia a globally competitive, world-class destination city, introduced by Councilman Oh.

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman Oh.

  • 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.

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

  • Thank you very much.

    That concludes our Calendar, and at this time, are there any speeches on the part of the minority?

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Oh.

  • Thank you very much, Mr. President. Before I begin my comment, I'd just like to recognize that Jun Wong Hu has just walked in. I'd like to recognize him, because he's bringing with him today a trade delegation from China. They just happened to stop by our Council Chambers.

  • Please stand up so you can be recognized.

  • (Applause.)

  • Thank you very much, Council President.

    I'd like to just recognize our City Council for all the hard work that we did over the summer and especially Council President working with the Mayor, ultimately in the culmination of what was a very good thing for our city, and there is a little bit of confusion about it, but what it is is that we have had buildings in our school system that were unoccupied and vacant which were costly to the School District and a burden upon it as it tried to deal with less than enough funds to educate children. And the School District, which we do not control, wanted to sell those buildings, but was unable. But thankfully through the coordinated work of mostly the District Councilmembers here and your office and ultimately the Mayor, as of yesterday those buildings are up for sale with very promising results.

    That big problem being addressed, there's still the issue, as Councilwoman Blackwell has articulated before, with not only funding our education system but also ensuring that everyone gets a high-quality education. In that light, I'd like to just announce that our committees, the Committee on Education chaired by Councilwoman Blackwell and my Committee on Global Opportunities and Creative/Innovative Economy, will have a second hearing on November the 19th at 1 o'clock here in the Chambers, our second hearing on creating a world-class education featuring Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, who is a Professor from Stanford, who is respected by both democrats and republicans, but she was the head of President Obama's Education Policy group as well as leading that team and being on this transition team as well.

    So I certainly would invite anyone interested in further examination of best practices in the U.S. for public education to come and hear that testimony.

    Thank you very much.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Reynolds Brown.

  • We're noticing the majority now?

  • This is for speeches from majority, yes.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I want to take a moment to salute you, your leadership in securing the $50 million for the School District of Philadelphia. It is also appropriate that we salute the Mayor for signing the bill yesterday and transferring those needed dollars to the School District. And I salute my Council colleagues, who played a critical role in advancing a plan that is what I call a win-win-win, taking action to repurpose vacant school buildings, fulfilling Dr. Hite's request from Council for $50 million, and doing so in a way that did not raise taxes.

    A special shout-out to Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Chair of the Education Committee, whose district is home to the most vacant school buildings. She demonstrated considerable leadership working overtime with you, President Clarke, and others to help make that plan a reality.

    The bad news is that yesterday was a short-term fix. We need to put a comma and not a period at yesterday's action. Let the record reflect that while we may sometimes differ on how to get there, the Mayor, Dr. Hite, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and City Council are on the same team when it comes to the end game, a long-term, responsible, sustainable funding formula for the School District of Philadelphia.

    I believe parents, students, teachers, and faculties of the School District would agree that the last few summers have been a nightmare, with question marks hanging over every aspect of our system of public education. I would like to offer a friendly reminder that one year from today, we will be on the eve of finding out is our public school system funding nightmare over or should we prepare for another four years of a Governor and an administration determined to strangle the School District of Philadelphia and other school systems across the Commonwealth.

    This Tuesday, November 5th is Election Day. We all fully remember that famous statement, It doesn't matter who you vote for, but that we vote. Philadelphians are famous for turning out huge numbers for presidential elections. In 2008, 715,000 Philadelphians turned out to vote in the presidential election. Six hundred thousand of those votes were for President Barack Obama. In 2012, 685,000 Philadelphians turned out for the presidential election. Of that number, 588,000 were for President Barack Obama. But when it came time to vote for Governor in 2010, only 423,000 folks showed up at the polls. Three hundred and fifty thousand of those went to Governor Corbett. In 2008, ultimately 200-plus thousand Philadelphians did not vote. Over a quarter of a million people stayed home. Forty thousand of those who voted in 2008 thought their vote would not make a difference.

    And so the moral of the story is, we get what we vote for, and we get what -- and we get -- when we don't vote, we get nothing. That is the metaphor for the financial support we have seen for our students coming from Tom Corbett, nothing.

    So viewers and listeners, put Tuesday, November 5th on your calendar. Show up to vote. Take neighbors who need a ride. Speak to members of your congregation this Sunday and remind them that every election matters, and then let's get ready and prepared to change the occupant of the Governor's Office come May 2014. Let's prepare to elect a governor who will honor the duty to adequately fund Philadelphia's public schools.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • Thank you, Councilwoman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Greenlee.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. Yesterday I attended, at least for a while, the Labor and Civil Service Committee hearing dealing with another conflict between the Administration and firefighters, and I want to recognize and commend Councilman Kenney for his work and passion on that issue. And it got me to thinking -- and I've been around here, like a lot of us have been, for a long time, either as a staff member or as a Councilmember, and I think unfortunately on this issue, I can safely say I never remember such a continuing conflict for such a long period of time between management and labor. And I'm not going to comment either on the issue yesterday or the various other issues. That can be a discussion for another day. And I understand in any of these kind of things, people have a difference of opinion, and that's the way these things work. But when I see such discord as seems to be here, not just in City government but anywhere, I think management -- and I guess this is showing my pro labor leanings. I do think management has a responsibility to calm the waters, to lower the tone, to try to do everything they can do to try to --

  • (Applause.)

  • -- to try to resolve this situation. It doesn't mean anybody is to blame or anybody is blameless, but I think management does carry that responsibility. And in this case, I just don't mean the Fire Commissioner. I mean everyone involved in the chain of command, including the Mayor.

    It's clear in talking to firefighters I know and in hearings both yesterday and before, the morale in the Fire Department is not where it should be. And, again, without laying blame, I will say to the Administration, I have seen instances where it's true that because you can say something, you don't have to say it or because you can do something, you don't have to do it. Sometimes thinking about something, taking a breath, considering the implications, the long-range implications, can make a significant impact.

    So, again, without getting into specifics on that, I just respectfully urge all parties, all parties to just take that breath, to think about things, sit down, lower the rhetoric, and try to do what you can do to improve this situation. It's not only good for the firefighters and their families, it's not only good for City government, but ultimately it's good for all the citizens of Philadelphia, which I think in the end is really what this all should be about.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • Thank you, Councilman.

    The Chair recognizes --

  • (Applause.)

  • The Chair recognizes Councilman Jones.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I too, like my colleagues, rise to salute your leadership, along with working with the Mayor, on taking a commonsense approach to dealing with what is a temporary solution but a real needed solution for the school crisis in the City of Philadelphia. Those properties that will be put out for bid will provide needed services. And people testify we don't know yet what the line items will be appropriated to, but a nurse in a school is better than not having any at all. Libraries opening back up is better than them being closed. And indeed providing NTAs in schools and other needed counseling in schools is better than none at all.

    I want to also say to you that the 30-plus schools that are now going on on the other side of the ledgers could have been nightmares in our community. During the process when talking and communicating with you, one of the schools in my district caught fire. Beeber Annex caught fire, and it could have been a catastrophe in the City. And for me, for my constituents, schools like Beeber Annex and schools like Whittier in North Philly have a better purpose. When Brooks was redone in my district, there were 40-plus units that were developed for senior citizens. Now, no, they're not the high end triple A-rated schools that have higher value, but to the people, the seniors that live in those facilities, they're triple A enough.

    So I'm glad we are not Washington, DC where we can't find compromise, and I applaud you for finding it, seeking it, and gaining it for the kids and the seniors in the City of Philadelphia. So I salute you, Mr. President.

  • (Applause.)

  • As said before -- many before me, I couldn't have done it without you. It's very simple.

    Councilwoman Blackwell.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I would like to commend you and all the members of Council on our School District decisions, as has been said today. I concur with all the statements today about that 50 million, and also agree with Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown about the 45 million. So this has been an important week for education.

    Also, today I'm reminding everyone that at 1 o'clock, we have a briefing in the Caucus Room with regard to Philadelphia Graduate, Campus Philly, and Dr. Shorr will be in attendance and certainly Ms. Mattleman. We want to talk about PhillyGoes2College and what we can do for our youngsters.

    Let me also note that this is Halloween. We'll have some Halloween treats, a little lunch, pizza, for folks who come, and we hope that you and your staff will be present to get some information for your neighborhoods about PhillyGoes2College. That's 1 o'clock, Caucus Room.

    Thank you.

  • Thank you, Councilwoman.

    The Chair recognizes Councilman Johnson.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I too concur with the statements that were already mentioned today on your leadership, also in working in partnership with Councilmembers, to provide the funding necessary to support our public schools, and even beyond the 50 million, the additional 11 million. So it's a total of 61 million potentially that could be going to the School District. So I just want to thank you for your resolve and your patience on the issue.

    On another note, today I introduced a camera bill which provides a thousand-dollar tax credit against the business income and receipts tax bill for a business owner who installs and operates a video surveillance camera. The camera must be pointed toward the public right-of-way and registered with the Philadelphia Police Department SafeCam program. This will serve as a critical tool in addressing the issue of crime and violence, specifically homicides, armed robberies, burglaries, and most recently the spike in children's kidnappings.

    And so as we focus on the issue of public safety, I know part of your platform is addressing the issue of public safety through using surveillance cameras, as well as my colleague Councilman Curtis Jones and also Councilwoman Cindy Bass. And so hopefully this can go toward -- the numbers were coming down as relates to the issue of crime and violence, but I know every time I, for some reason, turn on the television, I see some nonsense revolving around homicides taking place specifically in my 2nd Councilmanic District and all throughout the City of Philadelphia, and for some reason, I'm also seeing the level rising of children abductions or attempted abductions. And hopefully the cameras will go to that, similarly how they did up at Bryant School, the information could be used to addressing the issue of crime and violence as a good tool for our law enforcement agencies.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • Thank you, Councilman. Timely introduction of the bill.

    The Chair recognizes Councilwoman Sanchez.

  • Thank you, Mr. President. I too want to weigh in on what Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown and Councilwoman Blackwell and others have mentioned around education, and Councilwoman Brown's point that it's a comma is very important. And while this Council continues to do everything it can and will continue to do so, I am reminded of the work that is going on every single day.

    With the Pennsylvania Law Center, there have been over 800 complaints filed at 70 to 90 different schools in the City of Philadelphia because children's rights are being violated every single day. It is very important as we move this 45 million and the 61 million that we not forget that we have to have a discussion, a public discussion, about how the money gets allocated.

    There's clearly some things that we all agree on. Nurses, absolute necessity. And I think that we all agree that the counseling situation at the schools is dire.

    My son took his PSATs. He is at Central where additional private money has been allocated so that Masterman and Central libraries could be open. This is creating a further divide. He cannot be in a school and be a lucky one. There are schools all throughout the City who do not have counselors and adequate counselors. And this teaching situation with split grades is also unacceptable.

    So we have to continue the discussion. We got to continue about the priorities. I hope that the state follows its constitutional obligation and it reviews these 800 complaints. We have frustrated families in the City of Philadelphia. The state needs to review those complaints. It needs to act swiftly, and it needs to do more.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • Thank you, Councilwoman.

    That concludes our speeches. The Chair now recognizes Councilwoman Brown for a motion to adjourn.

  • Mr. President, I move that Council stand adjourned until Thursday, November 14th, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.

  • (Duly seconded.)

  • It has been moved and properly seconded that the Council stand adjourned until Thursday, November 14th, 2013, 10:00 a.m.

    All those in favor?

  • (No response.)

  • The ayes have it. Council is adjourned.

    Thank you all very much.

  • (Stated Meeting adjourned at 12:15 p.m.)