Saturday, March 28, 2015

Council Starts Hearing Public Comments, Attorney Complains Not Public Enough

Today was City Council’s first weekly meeting since the state Supreme Court has ruled that they must provide a public comment period during the sessions. But the attorney who fought for the change stood up to argue that Council still isn’t doing enough.

Council Starts Hearing Public Comments, Attorney Complains Not Public Enough

Today was City Council’s first weekly meeting since the state Supreme Court has ruled that they must provide a public comment period during the sessions. But the attorney who fought for the change stood up to argue that Council still isn’t doing enough.

The state Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling made public last month, said Council has been violating the state's Sunshine Act by refusing to allow people to comment on legislation during Thursday's weekly sessions. Council President Anna Verna today announced that members of the public could testify, but only on items on Council’s legislative ca lander for the day.

Darrell M. Zaslow, the attorney for the Homeowners Association of Philadelphia, which challenged the previous practice in 2007, today said that members of the public should be allowed to speak on a broader range of topics.

“The proposed temporary regulation will not allow public comment on items of concern to the public generally,” Zaslow said. He said he hoped Council would work to improve the rules.
 

 

Verna said she had received an opinion from the City Solicitor that the current set-up was in compliance.

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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