Friday, October 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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