Thursday, October 8, 2015

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.

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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
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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
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