Wednesday, November 25, 2015

PPA's Cornell: You read it here first

A PPA funtionary who's accessible by phone and sends thank-you notes? Can she be cloned?

PPA's Cornell: You read it here first


In case anyone's wondering, it appears - according to at least one happy citizen I've chatted with - that Susan Cornell does real work over at the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

Cornell is the former Montgomery County state rep who asked newly indicted State Rep. John Perzel to help her find employment after she lost her re-election bid in 2006. On page 143 of the grand-jury presentment,  note my colleagues Chris Brennan and Catherine Lucey, Cornell stated that Perzel found her a ghost job in former state rep George Kenney's office, a no-work-for-a-paycheck gig that made her feel icky.

So she asked Perzel to help her score a different position, and that's how she landed at the PPA, where she's paid $67,894 per year to do government relations and customer-management work.

Followers of this blog may recall an item I posted in October about a reader's pleasant interaction with Cornell at the PPA. Cornell didn't see the post until last week. That's when she took the time to send me this  e-mail, which I received on Thursday:

I wanted to take a minute to write and thank you for your story on 10/12/09, "News Alert! A happy PPA story!"  It was so great to read a good story about the PPA!  If you happen to talk to the reader who sent the e-mail to you, please let them know I appreciate them taking the time to write to you with a positive experience with the PPA.
And, of course, thanks to you for putting it online!
Best regards,
Sue Cornell
Philadelphia Parking Authority

Wow - a PPA funtionary who's accessible by phone and sends thank-you notes? Can Cornell be cloned?


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When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

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Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.

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