Controller: Combine Tourism Agencies Into One Department

Philadelphia has two agencies that entice outsiders to come spend money here: Visit Philadelphia appeals to tourists; the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau tries to bring in big groups and trade associaitions for their annual meetings.

Now, City Controller Alan Butkovitz says the two agencies should become one. Philadelphia Business Journal reports the move could save $1 million annually.

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Butkovitz: Philly Schools Should Open Up Long-Hidden Works of Art

City Controller Alan Butkovitz just issued a press release calling on the Philadelphia School District to stop bogarting all its great art.

He said more than 200 pieces of art, with a total value of $4 million, have been concealed in a storage facility for the last decade. The schools should partner with the city’s art institutions to display those works to the public, Butkovitz said.

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Philly Owed $2.5M for Policing, Including $276K From the Phillies

Alan Butkovitz

Alan Butkovitz. Photo: Cbrblessing

City Controller Alan Butkovitz said today the City of Philadelphia is owed around $2.5 million in past due balances for police services. A majority of it, $1.8 million, comes from businesses that are more than 90 days late on their bill.

Among the money the city is owed, according to Butkovitz?

  • The State, oldest age of debt 2007: $341,328.73
  • The Phillies, 2008: $275,874.76
  • Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corp, 2010: $256,094.63
  • Mann Center Performing Arts, 2013: $108,453.81
  • Tiki Bob’s Cantina, 2007: $68,847.11
  • Chuck E. Cheese, 2006: $21,308.82
  • Lincoln Financial Field, 2009: $19,057.47
  • MMM Model Management, 2008: $643.33
  • AMC Franklin Mills, 2008: $46.70
  • St. Joseph’s University, 2013: 12 cents
  • Wal‐Mart, 2013: 1 cent

Yes, that’s right: Tiki Bob’s, which closed ages ago, still owes the city almost $70 grand. And Chuck E. Cheese better not try to pay the city back with proprietary tokens!

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Clarke, Butkovitz Lead Mayoral Field

A poll featuring likely Philly mayoral candidates puts City Council President Darrell Clarke at the head of the field with 14 percent, followed closely by City Controller Alan Butkovitz at 12 percent. But many, many Philadelphians still haven’t found a candidate to back — the election isn’t until next year after all — 41 percent are undecided.

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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 »

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