Letters to the Editor

Councilman David Oh favors scrapping the requirement that officials resign before seeking higher office.
Councilman David Oh favors scrapping the requirement that officials resign before seeking higher office. (AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer)
Posted: December 02, 2013

Council chores first

In a city with so many problems, I find it outrageous that Councilman David Oh and most of his peers are considering a charter change that would let them run for higher office while on Council ("Resign-to-run change gains in City Council," Nov. 23). Before they figuratively line up again at the trough, Council members should devote themselves to efforts that promote growth and prosperity in Philadelphia.

They should rethink the business-killing tax structure that has robbed us of so many employers, buy down the staggering pension-fund deficit and rethink pensions for new hires, design a public education system that works, and streamline a government that has nearly as many employees as when 2 million people lived here. Council should stop politicizing the land bank proposal, and hold off on selling the Philadelphia Gas Works until the utility's net worth actually makes that a good decision. If Council members try their hand at urgent matters like these, then maybe we can talk about them conducting their next job search at taxpayer expense.

Lou Lanni, Philadelphia, snapcount999@gmail.com

Risky travel

As a pedestrian in Center City, you have to be constantly aware of bike riders and motorists. Some cyclists ignore the rules of the road - that is, when they are not riding their bikes on the sidewalk. I have been nearly clipped many times. In addition, I have seen bike riders riding against traffic, bobbing and weaving in between cars. Then we have the drivers who, while talking on the phone or texting, turn a corner and practically hit you. Or they fail to notice that the traffic lights have changed (among the biggest culprits: those in SUVs, BMWs, and taxi cabs).

There needs to be tighter enforcement, more cyclists should use bike lanes, and maybe even require them to get a cycling license. (Licensing cyclists could generate needed revenue for the city and hammer home that bikers have a responsibility to public safety.) The same goes for drivers whose distracted behavior could be recorded with CCTV cameras at major intersections.

J. Schroeder, Philadelphia

Imbalance on bench

The Senate's recent filibuster rule change paves the way for President Obama to pack the Washington-based federal appeals court with like-minded, big-government jurists. That court reviews most actions taken by cabinet departments and the legion of regulatory agencies. Look forward to an avalanche of new regulations, a frightening prospect that will only supplement Obama's predilection for policy by fiat.

Randy Sommovilla, Philadelphia

Functioning again

Because of the necessary reform of the filibuster, the Senate's next session should mean confirmation of three, highly qualified nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ("Senate just got worse," Nov. 25). After that, we should see an end to the judicial vacancy crisis here in Pennsylvania, with the confirmation of nominees to the federal district courts in the state that both Sens. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) and Bob Casey (D., Pa.) have championed in a rare, bipartisan spirit.

Courts matter: Their decisions impact our religious freedom, our voting rights, our air and water, the safety of the products we buy, and more. Limits on the filibuster make our Philadelphia cluster of the National Council of Jewish Women thankful that our government can now better serve the American people.

Eleanor Levie, National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Philadelphia section

Nominate a citizen hero

Who should be The Inquirer's 2013 Citizen of the Year? Nominate someone who helped the city, state, or nation in an effective, creative way. Briefly describe his or her achievements in an email to kboyer@phillynews.com, with the subject "Citizen." Or mail it to: Citizen of the Year, The Inquirer, 801 Market Street, Suite 300, Philadelphia 19107. The deadline is Dec. 6.

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