Friday, August 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Why won't Nutter administration hold AVI meetings in Blackwell's district?

City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell has a serious bone to pick with the Nutter administration over AVI.

Why won't Nutter administration hold AVI meetings in Blackwell's district?

For the first two days of budget hearings City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell had a serious bone to pick with the Nutter administration.

"They don't want to send [administration officials] to my district," Blackwell said on Monday during a hearing on the proposed five-year plan.

Blackwell was referring to a series of community meetings the administration was holding throughout the city to inform residents about the Actual Value Initiative, a new property-tax system based on market values and relief measures.

Those meetings came to an abrupt end in Blackwell's 3rd district which includes parts of West Philadelphia, University City, Mantua and Southwest Philadelphia after a community meeting two weeks ago got a bit "ugly" as city finance director Rob Dubow described it.

Chief Assessment Officer Richie McKeithen of OPA, who attended that meeting said residents there were aggressive, adding it "makes you uncomfortable." McKeithen said he was not physically assaulted, but that the meeting was intense. 

Council president Darrell Clarke said he too has attended AVI meetings that could be described as "ugly," but he does not have the "luxury of not going to the next one."

"How can you just simply say because it was a contentious meeting that we're not going there, in the entire Council district," he asked.

Administration officials said they would follow-up with Blackwell.

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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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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