DN Editorial: Our Council endorsements: The 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th districts

Posted: May 09, 2011

The 6th District

In the Northeast, the 6th District is losing longtime Councilwoman Joan Krajewski after three-plus decades in office. The best choice to replace her is MARTIN BEDNAREK.

CEO of a community bank for the last 10 years, and active in coaching youth sports, Bednarek is a former school board and School Reform Commission member known for his independence. His professional background gives him an advantage in working on the district's much-needed economic development. His rival, Bobby Henon, is political director of the Interenational Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 98.

The 7th District

In the 7th District, a broken jigsaw puzzle of geography, Maria Quinones-Sanchez is fighting to keep her seat from going to Daniel Savage, who won the seat for a very short time in a special election in 2006. A committeeman and ward leader, he has worked for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

Given the makeup of this heavily Hispanic district, and the work Quinones-Sanchez has done in her first term, our endorsement of MARIA

QUINONES-SANCHEZ is a no-brainer. (Though tell that to the majority of ward leaders who have thrown their support to Savage.)

She is smart and has a very good grasp of the issues facing the city and the district. Her proposal, with Bill Green, for overhauling the business-privilege tax is still a work in progress, but she shows an ambition and drive that was evident early, when she, Green and Curtis Jones pushed their freshman status to provide new thinking to Council.

The 8th District

The 8th District has been under the rule of Donna Reed Miller for 15 years. She has rarely lacked for challengers to her seat. Many have found her ability to prevail over these challengers mysterious; her participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan is what finally led to her retirement.

Seven candidates are running, providing a fair representation of the boisterous and often chaotic district in which the Germantown arm wrestles with West Mount Airy, and Chestnut Hill and Nicetown remain odd district bedfellows.

Notable among a strong lineup of candidates are Howard Treatman, founder of a real-estate-

development and -investment firm with strong community involvement; Verna Tyner, a former Council aide; and electrician Robin Tasco.

But our pick for this seat is CINDY BASS.

This savvy Temple grad has worked in housing counseling at Mt. Airy USA, and as a special assistant to Allyson Schwartz and as senior policy adviser to U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah. These should be useful connections for finding new solutions for improving this district.

The 9th District

Marian Tasco has served as an able Council leader and 9th District councilwoman for six terms, but her participation in DROP, which would require her to retire for a day to collect $478,000 and then return to office, is a problem.

Because of this, her retirement should be permanent.

We endorse her challenger, LAMONT THOMAS, a mental-health advocate. His priorities are crime and abandoned properties. Although we disagree with his pledge to eliminate the 10-year tax abatement, his call for a three-term limit for Council members has appeal.