Sunday, May 24, 2015

Odd Timeline For Verizon Hearing, With Secret Meeting

A City Council committee considering a cable television franchise for Verizon has faced an odd time-line today. The public hearing, due to start at 9 a.m., didn't being until almost 11 a.m. Reporters wandering City Hall learned that a meeting of committee members were gathered in Councilman Bill Greenlee's office. Staffers there denied that such a meeting was going on. But then, after nearly an hour, most of the Council members on the committee emerged.

Odd Timeline For Verizon Hearing, With Secret Meeting

A City Council committee considering a cable television franchise for Verizon has faced an odd time-line today.  The public hearing, due to start at 9 a.m., didn't being until almost 11 a.m.  Reporters wandering City Hall learned committee members were gathered in Councilman Bill Greenlee's office.  Staffers there denied that such a meeting was going on.  But then, after nearly an hour, most of the Council members on the committee emerged.

What gives?  Why did a public hearing start with a secret meeting?  Councilman Darrell Clarke, chairman of the committee and the sponsor of the legislation for the Verizon franchise, said he and his colleagues needed to speak with staff attorneys about the issue. "We were discussing some procedural issues as to what the committee will do," said Clarke, adding that he didn't think the meeting violated the state's Sunshine Act, which sets out which municipal meetings must be conducted in public.

The Committee started its hearing but then adjourned to allow Council's regular Thursday session to start, with the invocation and the reading of resolutions honoring some guests.  Council then adjourned to let the committee continue with Verizon.  Council will resume its regular session when the committee is finished with Verizon.

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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