Council bristles at term 'summer vacation'

Posted: June 23, 2013

CITY COUNCIL wrapped up its final session Thursday and now begins its three-month break. Just don't call it a summer vacation.

A recent Inquirer editorial called on Council to abandon its summer recess and continue to work to find additional ways to help the troubled school district.

That prompted a speech on the Council floor Thursday by Councilman Jim Kenney, who speaks out annually about the flak Council gets on the issue.

"I read this morning that I was going to be at the Shore, at the beach all summer long," Kenney said. "Only thing that proves to me is, we're in the building all summer and they're not, because if they were here . . . they would see us."

Kenney and Council President Darrell Clarke noted that a committee created to investigate the deadly Center City building collapse will meet four times over the summer, although Council is not officially back in session until September.

The Pew Charitable Trusts found that compared to councils in other large cities, Philly's has the most weeks in which no hearings or sessions appear on its official calendar.

"This notion that we have to extend our session beyond June 30 is not within the charter's authorized procedures," Clarke said. "Why they think we're on this 'paid vacation' perplexes me. Frankly speaking, it is somewhat ridiculous."

On Twitter: @Jan_Ransom


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