Showdown: Alan Butkovitz Vs. L&I

Alan Butkovitz

Alan Butkovitz. Photo: Cbrblessing

Last Saturday, city controller Alan Butkovitz continued something of a public siege against the beleaguered Department of Licenses and Inspections when he called 911 to complain about a hazardous building on 24th and Thompson Streets. The next day, L&I demolished the building, and by Tuesday, the incident had been reported in the Inquirer.

“The neighbors said they had been calling for weeks about this problem,” he told the paper. Maybe they had, and maybe they hadn’t. Maybe the vacant rowhome was in such a derelict condition that it would have continued a long spate of building collapses. And maybe it wasn’t.

What’s certain is that, correctly or not, L&I came out of the incident looking indolent and unresponsive, an image it has been trying to fight since the 2140 Market Street disaster on June 5. Read more »

5 Takeaways from Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club’s Candidate Night

liberty city democrat irene

Former ward leader Irene Benedetti talking about the LGBT community’s benefits of engaging with ward leaders.

Last week, the Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club, an all-volunteer political org that works to educate LGBT voters and elect gay-friendly candidates for public office, a “Candidate Night” meeting to endorse City Controller Alan Butkovitz’s bid for re-election, and host a PowerPoint presentation that painted a clearer picture of the state’s Democratic Party machine. Four Liberty City members who have or are currently serving as committee people also shared their experiences, explaining how working with ward leaders could help further our city’s LGBT rights.

Here, five things all LGBTers should know about Philadelphia’s ward system:  Read more »

Alan Butkovitz Wins Primary, It’s Now Time for Him to Act Like a Grownup

Butkovitz-MandellThe choices, realistically, were current City Controller Alan Butkovitz and challenger Brett Mandel. They had significant differences of opinion about many things, but they both drew especially stark lines in the sand regarding the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), the city’s property reassessment program meant to correct years of preposterously incorrect property values.

Butkovitz was extremely critical of the plan, and recently paid an outside consultant almost $30,000 to assess the assessments. That consultant found that the process was carried out with good intentions but ultimately ineffective. Butkovitz made great hay out of this result prior to the election, which made some in the media suspicious of his motivations. After all, that almost $30,000 was paid for by the taxpayers.

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