Report: L&I Allowed Uncertified Inspectors to Conduct 600 Inspections in One Week

Image via Google Street View

L&I main office on 11th floor of Municipal Services Building | Image via Google Street View

Questionable goings-on in L&I land again? It depends on whom you ask. According to the Inquirer’s Alfred Lubrano, the Department of Licenses and Inspections allowed nine “inexperienced and uncertified inspectors” to conduct “around 600 inspections of unsafe buildings in a single week last month.” Adding to the murky affair, each of the nine newbies “then recorded their work in L&I’s database under the name of another man, an experienced inspector with the agency.”

Could this be a symptom of the department’s desperate attempt to stay on top in an ocean of bureaucraticfinancial and/or managerial issues? Maybe. But the department already has a less than stellar reputation (even City Controller Alan Butkovitz has critiqued L&I as being neglectful when it comes to inspecting unsafe buildings in a timely manner), so why this now? “This story is built on a host of unnamed speakers, who raise a host of safety and legal issues that are completely without merit,” said Commission Carlton Williams in an email to Property. He went on to explain the process:

Read more »

Alan Butkovitz on L&I: “No Excuse for Putting Lives at Risk”

Photo Credit: Curtis Blessing

Photo Credit: Curtis Blessing

City Controller Alan Butkovitz has released another report critical of Philadelphia’s Licenses & Inspections department.

The review, “Vacant Properties Creating Neighborhood Nuisances,” (below) says L&I is failing to hold the owners of vacant, dangerous buildings accountable and keeping inaccurate, outdated records.

“There is no excuse for putting lives at risk due to deteriorating and collapsing buildings,” said Butkovitz today at a press conference announcing his findings. “The city cannot wait until another tragic incident happens to stimulate action.” Read more »

Alan Butkovitz Isn’t Running For Mayor (Again)

Photo: Curtis Blessing

Photo: Curtis Blessing

This will shock absolutely no one, but we feel the need to share it with you anyway: Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz tells us he has decided not to run for mayor.

This is, um, the second time in recent months he’s decided not to run in the Democratic primary on May 19th.

Read more »

Q&A: Darrell Clarke Talks About His Decision to Not Run for Mayor

Photo courtesy of City Council.

Photo courtesy of City Council.

Council President Darrell Clarke finally made official today what many political insiders have predicted all along: He will not be running for mayor. Instead, he’ll seek reelection in City Council. Clarke did not hold a press conference about the news, so we caught up with him over the phone Monday afternoon. He was his usual pithy self. Read more »

Labor Leader Asks Butkovitz to Reconsider Running for Mayor

Photo: Curtis Blessing

Photo: Curtis Blessing

The head of Philadelphia’s correctional officers union is urging City Controller Alan Butkovitz to reconsider his decision to not run for mayor this year.

Lorenzo North, president of Local 159, sent a letter to Butkovitz Wednesday, saying he should jump in the race because he has shown respect for Philadelphia’s unions and saved the city’s taxpayers “millions of dollars.” Local 159 is the biggest local in AFSCME District Council 33, the city’s blue-collar union.

Read more »

Mayoral Halfsies: Butkovitz Out (Sort of), Oliver In (Sort of)

Doug Oliver, left. Alan Butkovitz, right.

Doug Oliver, left. Alan Butkovitz, right.

The first real surprise of the mayoral race arrived this week, in the form of the sudden non-withdrawal/withdrawal of candidate/non-candidate Alan Butkovitz. The city controller had never formally declared his intentions, but he’d been assembling a staff and was widely considered one of the more potent candidates in the (admittedly meager) mayoral mix. Now he’s gone, at least for now, and the terrain of the race is considerably changed.

If Butkovitz had entered the race, he likely would have been a well-funded candidate, with a real base in the Northeast and the support of major city political figures. That might not have been enough to secure a win, of course. He certainly would have started the race an underdog to State Senator Anthony Williams, who is emerging as the consensus front-runner. But Butkovitz had a puncher’s chance.

That wasn’t good enough for him, apparently. He told the Inquirer yesterday, “Based on the conditions on the ground right now and the confusion and chaos of the current field right now, I don’t see a path to winning.”

What confusion and chaos is he referring to? Principally the agonizing indecision of Darrell L. Clarke. Butkovitz seems to think Clarke will run. But there’s been no clear signal on that score from Clarke whatsoever.

As one Democratic consultant put it, “Clarke’s sole campaign staffer is representing Philly Jesus right now.”

Read more »

Alan Butkovitz Won’t Run for Mayor

Alan Butkovitz

Alan Butkovitz. Photo: Cbrblessing


The Daily News reports that Alan Butkovitz, the city controller, will not be running for mayor. Butkovitz hadn’t announced a campaign, but he’d long been thought a likely candidate. Indeed, he’d been considered a leading candidate. Butkovitz had started to assemble a campaign staff, even hiring a former consultant to Joe Biden in April in anticipation of the expected run.
Read more »

« Older Posts