Tis the season for consent agendas

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What happened in the closed-door meeting between Clarke and Quinones-Sanchez this morning? Only Santa knows. (AP Photo/MSG Entertainment, Paul Kolnik)

To plow through its pre-holiday deluge of bills, City Council in recent weeks has turned to using consent agendas.

That's a process in which members agree to vote on many bills at the same time and approve them all unanimously.

PhillyClout admires this efficiency ... so here's our omnibus blog post on today's doings on the fourth floor:

Land Bank Still Frozen

Caucus was delayed for more than an hour today as Council President Darrell Clarke and Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez met privately to hash out their disagreements over the land bank bill.

The result? Nada.

Quinones-Sanchez was expected to offer a compromise amendment regarding the Vacant Property Review Committee, but that didn't happen. 

So will Philadelphia get a land bank for Christmas this year, as was hoped? It's already too late for Quinones-Sanchez to unwrap it on her birthday. The councilwoman turned 45 today.

Demolition Regulations Out of Committee

The Committee of the Whole approved the fifth and final bill from Council's special panel to revamp demolitions standards following the deadly Market Street building collapse.

The most controversial provision of the bill, which Councilman Jim Kenney sponsored, requires workers to carry photo IDs proving they have gone through certain safety training courses. 

Quinones-Sanchez had opposed the requirement of a photo ID, saying it would be unfair for undocumented workers. She was not present for the final committee vote.

3-D Printing of Guns Banned

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson's bill to ban individuals from using 3-D printers to make guns passed unanimously.

It's unclear what the impact will be because gun manufacturers are not banned from using the technology - and people who are not licensed manufacturers are already prohibited from making guns in any way. 

But the bill at least gets Philly ahead of the curve on an emerging issue. A representative of the Philadelphia Police Department said in a hearing that this could be the first municipal bill of its kind in the country. 

Metha-Don't Even Think About It

One item that was not on the consent agenda was Councilmen Brian O'Neill and Bobby Henon's measure to require new medical and dental offices in the Northeast to get a zoning variance before opening.

Critics say it's a thinly veiled attempt to stop methadone clinics from popping up in their districts. Henon and O'Neill say it's a way to let the community have a voice in development.

The associations for Philly doctors and dentists testified against the bill in committee.

It was pulled off the consent agenda in caucus, presumably to give members the chance to dissent on a potentially controversial topic. But it passed unanimously anyway. 

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