June 30, 2010 |
City Howl (thecityhowl.com ) is a Web site that allows citizens to post their raves or rants about city services. Every Wednesday, we publish highlights of our investigations into some of these problems. The problem: Clifford Hritz wants another trash can for his block. Hritz moved to a new home in Point Breeze a few months ago. Shocked by the amount of trash on the street, he's taken it on himself to sweep it every other day. Though the block already has a garbage can, he'd like one on the other end of the block to cut down on how far he has to walk to throw trash away.
April 10, 2009
OUR city has drug dealers on just about every corner. Police are being killed on a regular basis. City services are just about null and void, and we have no budget to speak of. So what's our City Council (all paid more than $100,000) doing? Making sure our menus are labeled. Now that I know how many calories are in a Big Mac, I really feel safe and secure. George Madden, Philadelphia
March 20, 2012 |
MAYOR NUTTER wants residents and businesses to fork over an additional $90 million in property taxes in the fiscal year that begins July 1. But many well-known institutions on valuable land have nothing to worry about - like the University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Drexel. They're nonprofits, so they don't pay property taxes. There was a time when they would have chipped in anyway. In the 1990s, then-Mayor Ed Rendell coaxed many nonprofits into "payments in lieu of taxes," or PILOTs.
February 3, 2012 |
WHEN HE WAS 13, Rich Negrin saw his Cuban-activist father gunned down by anti-Castro terrorists. He held him as he died, kneeling in the street covered with his father's blood. After he became a father himself, Negrin watched his 5-year-old daughter die in 2006 after a lifelong battle with an incurable neuromuscular disease that devastated her ability to breathe. Every day, the memory of his father and his daughter inspires the city's powerful managing director to reach out to its least powerful residents, and try to help.
January 14, 2012 |
Louis Applebaum, 75, of Langhorne, a business owner who was procurement commissioner for the City of Philadelphia for 10 years, died of lymphoma Friday, Jan. 13, at home. In 1991, newly elected Mayor Ed Rendell asked Mr. Applebaum for a one-year commitment to public service as procurement commissioner. Mr. Applebaum, who had recently retired as head of a furniture and office-supply company, agreed to take the job. The one-year commitment turned into 10 years, covering Rendell's eight years in office and two years of John F. Street's administration.
August 26, 2007 |
Dear Aaron and Laura, This is a great issue that you've raised. We need to change the relationship between public officials and the people they serve. Philadelphians make an investment in their city through tax dollars, and they expect a return on that investment in the form of high-quality city services. City government must be in the business of providing superior customer service to the people of Philadelphia. If I am elected mayor, we will develop a customer-service training program for all public employees, making public satisfaction with city services a priority.
June 2, 2010
WHY IS IT that every time the mayors or Council members write a letter or talk to the media, they all talk about cutting city services, having to raise taxes, having taxpayers tighten our belts, but no one mentions cutting their huge budgets? I hope voters remember when they come up for re-election. Here's a ballot question: "Shall the City of Philadelphia abolish half the Council seats and all their perks in order to save the taxpayer's money to help reduce our property-tax increase and keep police and fire on the streets?"
February 17, 2009
I READ where Mayor Nutter had a 71 percent approval job rating. Is that true? Could it have been just 71 people total? With all the cutbacks in the fire department, libraries and other city services, and doubling the parking-meter rates, how many people would give him a positive approval rating? All he has done is give employers of ex-cons city tax credits and get ex-cons jobs at Goodwill. Could the ex-cons make up 71 percent of the people? Mayer Krain, Philadelphia
February 16, 1987
The city is decaying, make no mistake about it. All we have to do is look around. Consider the loud-mouth and defensive-looking members of City Council whose names immediately come to mind. Think about the corrupt judges and the farce called a Gas Commission. Think about the city services we're not getting. Call City Hall and you're exceptionally lucky if you get satisfaction. It's pretty bad when these civil servants think we work for them, rather than the other way around.
March 9, 2013
Saying he wanted to provide better service to Philadelphia's growing immigrant population, Mayor Nutter signed an executive order Thursday establishing the Mayor's Office of Immigrant and Multi-Cultural Affairs. The office will seek to improve access to city services for people whose English is limited. It also will help develop economic opportunities and educational resources. Nutter named Jennifer Rodriguez executive director of the office. She will be paid $100,000. Fernando Treviño-Martínez will serve as deputy director and will be paid $90,000.