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.