Thursday, July 2, 2015

No taxpayers $ for Jones' second district office, Bass hoping for one

This Friday City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. will celebrate the opening of his new digs –a second office in the Fourth Councilmanic district.

No taxpayers $ for Jones' second district office, Bass hoping for one

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This Friday City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. will celebrate the opening of his new digs –a second office in the Fourth Councilmanic district.

Rent at his first district office located in Wynnefield was paid for with campaign funds, and taxpayers paid $2,450 in furniture made by inmates in city prisons’ PHILACOR shops. Jones said the $600-a-month rent at his latest office located at 5462 Ridge Ave., in Roxborough will also be paid for through campaign dollars.

The city, Jones said will donate a “beat-up” 2003 Dell Computer and a phone.

Some Council members have said that district offices are essential for constituent services and traveling downtown for many residents can be a hassle.

“State representatives have district offices, congress members have district offices, people can go into the neighborhood and be serviced by those entities,” Jones said. “Yes I am a legislator, but I am an ombudsman for city services.”

Following through on his campaign promise, Jones, whose district includes Roxborough, Manayunk, Andorra and part of West Philadelphia, said he needed another district office because some residents like those in Andorra may have difficulty traveling to Wynnefield.

Council members Marian Tasco, Brian O’Neill and Bobby Henon each have a district office.

O’Neill’s district office is located in Bustleton and Tasco shares state Rep. Mark Cohen’s district office. An aide from Tasco’s office said the Councilwoman does not pay for the space which is used one day a week.

Henon, who is also set to open his new district office this week located at 6730 Torresdale Ave., will pay the $500-a-month rent through campaign funds. He too is waiting to receive a city computer for the office.

Councilwoman Cindy Bass said she tried in vain to acquire city-owned vacant property to turn into a district office, but she was shot down by the Vacant Property Review Committee. She had hoped to fund the office through Council’s capital budget, adding that she was short on campaign dollars.

“We’re still working on getting a district office,” she said. “We’re not going to let bureaucracy stand in the way.”

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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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