Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Shame of City Council: Part 2

A few Philly posts today, with some music reviews dropping tonight or tomorrow. What better place to start than the embarrassment that is Philadelphia City Council. Oh, Philly City Council, so corrupt, so content, so cute. You are such easy targets, filled with idiots who attempt to gain as much personal benefits from their jobs, while doing nothing to improve the city, the actual job part of the job. Ethics? Tax reform? Developing the waterfront? Not their problem. Preventing companies with ties to slavery from doing business with the city? Now that is an issue they can act on. Surreal, really, but it is fitting that this Council would deal with issues from more than 150 years ago while the city loses residents and job in the present and struggles to define itself for the future. While Rome burned....

Following up on City Council's busy week of inaction and the status quo, the Inquirer put together a nice piece on City Council's staffs and perks. It's not hard to imagine why the status quo is so desirable when you can spend $600K on staff, technology and cars. Of course, the money for these luxuries come out of our pockets, but that is no concern to them.

What is most embarrassing, and should be most upsetting to my readers, the city has just completed a round of layoffs to city workers, in an attempt to close the budget deficit that the Street administration and this City Council have created. I mention shame alot, but it is worthless with this bunch. They have none.

Read the article, as it should enfuriate anyone living in this city and concerned with its future. I want to take special note of two members of this esteemed body: David Cohen and Jannie Blackwell. These two spent the most money (besides City Council President Anna Verna, whose budget is larger), with both shilling out huge raises for staff members. Raises!?! Note that Ms. Blackwell has hired two new hires this year, while pink slips are being handed to city employees, the police force is being reduced and library hours are being cut. Best of all, she says that she would spend more if she could. I would laugh, if I wasn't afraid of choking on my own tears.

Of course, we elect these people, and so ultimately this embarrassment falls at our doorsteps. Until we demand more from these people, and choose ones that represent the city's interests and not their own, we get what we deserve. Go here if you wish to express your disgust.

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