Flashback: GOP Councilman Al Taubenberger Dismissed PPA Harassment Scandal as "High School Puppy Love"

(Republican At-Large Councilmember Al Taubenberger | Image: Tom MacDonald, WHYY) The Auditor General's report on the Philadelphia Parking Authority looks terrible for the PPA Board, as it makes clear that board members knew about former Executive Director Vince Fenerty's 2015 sexual harassment settlement, and they chose to let him stay on the job instead of terminating him. Continue reading

Parking Authority Audit Shows Unpaid Tickets Hurt School Funding the Most. City Council Wants to Make That Worse.

(3rd District Councilmember Jannie Blackwell) Auditor Eugene DePasquale released the results of two audits his office conducted of the Philadelphia Parking Authority this morning, in the wake of the sexual harassment scandal that brought down former Executive Director Vince Fenerty.  Continue reading

Exciting Elections Are the Cure for Philly's Lackluster Voter Turnout

If, like us, you're still hankering for more post-game analysis of Philly's unusually interesting 2017 municipal elections, former Econsulter Jonathan Tannen's new blog, Sixty-Six Wards, is going to be your new favorite site.  Continue reading

Wait for the Housing Plan to Debate Inclusionary Zoning

(The Granary) One of the more under-discussed moments at Monday's inclusionary zoning hearing was when Anne Fadullon, the Director of Planning and Development, testified that the Kenney administration has been doing pre-preparation work for a comprehensive Housing Plan for Philadelphia. Continue reading

Fiscal Impact Statements for All!

(Photo: Allan Domb) For anyone who's been closely following the recent debates in Congress over Obamacare or the Republican tax cut plan, you've been hearing a lot about the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation. These bodies were created to analyze pieces of legislation before they're voted on, and help ground policy debates in some shared set of facts.  Continue reading

Density Bonuses Are Still the Best Way to Pay for Inclusionary Zoning

(A dreaded mid-rise building in Seattle | Photo: Jon Geeting) The Mixed-Income Housing Bill in City Council is being touted by its supporters as a way to preserve racial and socioeconomic diversity as Philly neighborhoods continue to appreciate. But it's gotten so watered down and off-track at this point that it would be a mistake to continue on with the amended bill as the baseline. In fact, the original bill wasn't that far off the mark.  Continue reading

If the Sheriff's Office Falls, Who Should Pick Up the Pieces?

The Philadelphia Sheriff's office has always been an Island of Misfit Toys for political hacks for reasons we discussed in the previous blog post, but if City Council did decide to eliminate the Sheriff's office as an elected position, what should happen to its job functions? Continue reading

The Sheriff's Office Is Terrible. Let's Close It Down.

(Sheriff Jewell Williams (right) with Darrell Clarke and Anthony Williams | Photo: Philly Public Record) Sheriff Jewell Williams needs to take an unpaid leave of absence until he's fully cleared of the sexual harassment allegations against him, and this is also a good occasion for a reminder that the Sheriff's office has always been bad, and should've been dissolved as an elected position long ago. Continue reading

Five Takeaways from the 2017 Election Results

Philly's oddly exciting municipal elections finally came to a close this Tuesday, with the election of Larry Krasner as District Attorney and Rebecca Rhynhart as Controller—two non-traditional candidates with few ties to the city's Democratic machine. Just as fascinating as the election outcome is the geography of political support for these two reform candidates, and what it says about the path for future reform candidates for City Council.  Continue reading

Rebecca Rhynhart was the Top Vote-Getter in Philly's 2017 Elections

(Photo: Rebecca Rhynhart) After the 2017 primary election, there was a weird, and frankly pretty sexist, line of commentary out there that said Rebecca Rhynhart's blowout primary win over four-term incumbent Controller Alan Butkovitz was really due to Larry Krasner's coattails despite Rhynhart winning more votes than Krasner. Continue reading