Saturday, April 25, 2015

City Controller Again Criticizes His Critics

City Controller Alan Butkovitz sure seems to be smarting from the criticism he's taken in the last week about a report he issued, calling on the Philadelphia School District to drop its student TransPass program and switch back to have them use tokens for SEPTA rides to and from school. Butkovitz said truant students can use a TransPass to roam SEPTA's transit system for hours, adding up to more crime on subways and such.

City Controller Again Criticizes His Critics

Alan Butkovitz
Alan Butkovitz

City Controller Alan Butkovitz sure seems to be smarting from the criticism he's taken in the last week about a report he issued, calling on the Philadelphia School District to drop its student TransPass program and switch back to tokens for student SEPTA rides to and from school.  Butkovitz said truant students can use a TransPass to roam SEPTA's transit system for hours, adding up to more crime on subways.

A Daily News editorial dismissed the report, complaining that Butkovitz offered little evidence to support his claim and suggesting his "sloppy research" could cause panic among SEPTA riders.  Butkovitz fired back with an unusual defense, citing many of the anonymous comments posted by Philly.com readers about his report.

Now Butkovitz is going after the School District, releasing to reporters a "letter to Philadelphia School District Superintendent Arlene Ackerman refuting the School District’s contention that crime on the SEPTA Subway System is not linked to the new SEPTA TransPass program."  In the letter -- you can read it here -- Butkovitz said he was "baffled" by the School District's claim that he didn't back up his claims with hard evidence.  He then cites a 62 percent uptick in disorderly conduct incidents involving youths on SEPTA during the first seven months of the student TransPass program.

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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