Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Melissa Murray Bailey Announces Plan to EliminateLitter and Further Beautify All Philadelphia Neighborhoods

For Immediate ReleaseMonday, June 29, 2015

 

Melissa Murray Bailey for Mayor
For further policy inquires please contact:
(484) 451-8146

@MelissaForMayor / Facebook.com/melissaformayorPhilly2015

www.MMB2015.com

 

Melissa Murray Bailey Announces Plan to EliminateLitter and Further Beautify All Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Philadelphia Mayoral candidate Melissa Murray Bailey’s plan to combat litter and ensure that all Philadelphians, regardless of neighborhood, will live in a beautiful city free of litter. “Before I began running for Mayor I always felt that the city needed to do more to clean the streets of Philadelphia, and ever since I joined the race I have realized from talking to voters that I am not the only one that feels this way.”

Melissa’s 4 pillars for a Cleaner Philadelphia:

1. Make it easy!

Deploy trash cans on all bus routes and commercial areas throughout the city.

 

2. Clean the Streets.

Set up a bi-weekly street-cleaning program for the entire city. The Water Department currently spends money and resources to catch trash before it enters our storm water system. If we solve the root cause of the problem — trash in the streets — we spend less in the long run and get the benefit of a cleaner city.

 

3. Eliminate the Sources.

Restaurants and businesses will be prohibited from dropping paper menus and advertising anywhere outside

 

4. Community accountability.

We will enforce littering laws. Additionally, residents will be encouraged to play a role in helping to keep the city clean by contacting 311 or making an online complaint to hold trash men accountable for reoccurring collection problems and to let the streets department know when corner trash cans are full and need to be emptied.

 

“Philadelphia residents deserve better. My plan will allow you to be proud of your streets, instead of having to listen to insults from the National media. I promise you that if I am elected mayor, we will be praised for our beautiful parks and clean streets.”

 

Melissa Murray Bailey is a different kind of candidate for Mayor.  She's not a career politician, not a government insider, and has never run for office before.  Instead, she is a concerned citizen with the real world experience and personal commitment to do what's right – because her only goal is to make Philadelphia stronger than it has ever been for the people who call it "home."

Paid for by Citizens for Melissa Murray Bailey

Monday, June 29, 2015

Taylor Calls Budget ‘First Step’ to a Fair Spending Plan

Representative John Taylor
177th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster
267.207.0207
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2015

Taylor Calls Budget ‘First Step’ to a Fair Spending Plan

HARRISBURG – Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia) joined a majority of House members in passing a $30.18 billion state budget that’s balanced without any new or increased taxes.

“This budget vote is merely the first step in an on-going process to develop a fair spending plan,” Taylor said.

Taylor noted that he expects Gov. Tom Wolf will veto this bill, but believes it establishes a baseline from which to negotiate a budget that does the following:

  • Eliminates the $1.2 billion structural deficit  the administration and general Assembly agree exists so Pennsylvania’s credit rating is not further damaged and the state won't face additional budgetary problems in the future.

  • Advances educational dollars based on the New Basic Education Formula which will be more equitable and advantageous to Philadelphia. 

  • Distributes any new money in a way that corrects losses Philadelphia and other districts have experienced over the last five years, particularly due to the loss of the former Charter School Reimbursement line item that existed prior to 2011.

  • Limits any tax increases to those that are absolutely necessary to close the deficit, adequately fund education, and not implement the massive tax increases advocated by the governor.

“Again, I think that the passage of House Bill 1192 by the House and Senate will set the stage for meaningful negotiations with the governor.”

In its present form, the budget proposal also increases spending for basic education by $100 million, Pre-K Counts by $25 million, special education by $20 million, and increases spending on higher education by $41 million.   The $5 million additional funding for Headstart will help more than 3,500 children.

It also adds $5 million for the Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, which encourages businesses to provide funding for innovative educational programs in public schools. 

The budget also dedicate $96 million more for home- and community-based services, which will allow an expansion of services to more than 3,700 seniors.

This budget includes an 11.9 percent increase in funding for the Community Waiver Program that allows those with intellectual disabilities to live more independently in their homes and communities, and gives a 10 percent funding increase to domestic and rape crisis centers, and a 6.5 percent increase in funding to drug and alcohol centers.

“Again, while this proposal does some positive things without raising taxes, we will eventually get to a negotiated budget,” Taylor said.
House Bill 1192 now goes to the Senate for consideration.



Newsworks: Philly GOP committee to press: Enough 'free advertising' for Kenney

In a weekend post on the Philadelphia Republican City Committee's temporary website, executive director Joe DeFelice claimed a recent Inquirer story about the "Summer Organizing Fellowship for Jim Kenney" amounted to free advertising.
Calling on the paper "to give the same free advertising to [Republican mayoral candidate] Melissa Murray Bailey and her internship program that they gave to Jim Kenney," DeFelice wrote:
We are not asking the local media to do anything outside the norm, rather all we ask is that Melissa be given an equal opportunity to tell her story and share her vision for a better Philadelphia for all neighborhoods and communities.
Many in the media like to say that they want a more competitive Republican Party and yearn for a two-party system, however their actions and lack of coverage for our candidates coupled with fluff ad pieces for the opposition, help tilt the playing field even more.
In a Monday morning phone interview with NinetyNine, DeFelice said the story about the Kenney campaign's community activism-training program was the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back."
"I'm not naive. I get it, the 'presumptive mayor' label. I get it," he said of the fact that the city's party registration disparities set Kenney up nicely for the general election.
"I've never been one to whine about the media, and I wasn't whining about media [in the post], but c'mon man," he continued. "I really believe Melissa has bold ideas, but will they even get coverage? I don't know."
DeFelice acknowledged that it's long been difficult for Republican candidates to garner attention in the city, and conceded that Bailey has gotten some attention after attenting numerous forums during her uncontested party primary. That, along with attention paid to the recent Republican Council at-large primary, is part of a gradual effort to ingrain GOP candidates in the regular political-coverage fold.
He also said the 2013 district-attorney race between Seth Williams and Republican challenger Danny Alvarez marked a strategic turning point that could help Bailey get more attention in the coming months.
On the campaign trail, Alvarez continually chided the incumbent for the scarcity of public-corruption cases brought by the DA's office.
"I'm not saying Danny Alvarez is responsible for the [cases brought against former state Reps.] J.P. MirandaVanessa Brown [and] the election board workers, but I dobelieve it played a part in it," said DeFelice. "The candidates are in it to win, but if we're not going to win a race, at least we can change the conversation. From a party perspective, that's what we can get out of these races as well."
For her part, Bailey didn't comment on the post itself, but said, "whether I am the candidate or not, voters really do deserve to have the whole picture."
Asked for comment on DeFelice's post, Kenney communications director Lauren Hitttold NinetyNine, "If our plan to literally get voters to the polls isn't relevant coverage of the mayoral race, I'm not sure what is. These petty, insider complaints do nothing to advance a serious dialogue about our city's future."

Philly finally figures out how to sell properties by Matt Wolfe

Philly finally figures out how to sell properties

 

By Matt Wolfe

 

The city recently auctioned 89 vacant properties, expecting to bring in $1 million but took in $1.78 million. Could this be The Answer?

 

Maybe, but it also raises a few questions.

 

Why does the city own this property in the first place?

 

The city should not own a single property that it does not have a short-term plan to use. Period.

 

However, the city owns about 10,000 vacant properties. None are on the tax rolls. The city has maintenance responsibilities for them. Unfortunately, many times it doesn’t clean vacant lots or keep vacant buildings up to code. It doesn’t even shovel the walks when it snows.

 

These properties hurt their neighborhoods. Vacant buildings are fire hazards and magnets for illegal activity. Vacant lots attract trash and other waste. They drag down property values, and therefore tax revenues.

 

Some of the money from the sales could be used to enforce the maintenance of vacant lots and keep vacant buildings are up to code. Enforcement encourages development.

 

What has taken the city so long to auction off properties?

 

This is not rocket science. If you have property you don’t use and don’t need, you hold an auction. Advertise the sale and sell the properties to the highest bidders. Simple.

 

This is particularly important in Philadelphia, with its heritage of corruption. An open, transparent auction can maximize the value received and minimize the concern of a shady deal.

 

Why did Councilman Mark Squilla have a role in this process?

 

 The plan to conduct the auction was announced by Squilla, not the mayor’s office or any city agency. Why did Squilla make the announcement?

 

The news said Squilla selected 157 properties for auction that were owned by the Redevelopment Authority, the Philadelphia Housing Development Corp., and the city. Squilla said that up until the day before the auction his office was pulling properties off the list because neighbors or community groups had expressed interest but weren’t ready to buy.

 

Where in the City Charter does any councilman have the right to select city-owned properties for sale or determine how they are to be sold or to whom? Is there any ordinance that vests this authority in the hands of an individual councilman?

 

We all know there is no such authority. Squillaexercised something known as “councilmanicprerogative.” No law permits this. It is a practice of Council members, in concert with the mayor and other city agencies, to use the authority of the government to give them an advantage in their reelection and their exercise of political influence.

Will those neighbors and members of community associations that had properties taken off the market be more likely to support Squilla for reelection? You bet. And we all pay for that since the property is not sold, the money that would have gone into the city’s coffers does not, and property taxes are not being paid going forward. Consider it your personal contribution to the councilman’s reelection campaign.

 

Land Bank? Isn’t there a Land Bank?

 

 Yes, Virginia, there is a Land Bank. It was created by Council in 2013. It is supposed to streamline the sale of those 10,000 city-owned properties. Shouldn’t it handle such sales? How many properties has it sold so far?

 

None.

 

Of course, the success of this auction makes you wonder why we even need a Land Bank.

 

Here’s the bottom line: Auctioning off unused and unneeded city property will benefit the city, but it is up to you to hold our elected officials responsible to make it happen and ultimately to elect a mayor and City Council that will act in our interests rather than their own.

No need for prison with a view by Matt Wolfe

No need for prison with a view

 

By Matt Wolfe

Let's say you owned some prime riverfront property. What would you do with it?

 

Perhaps you could attract some port-related businesses. Such enterprises have no choice but to be on the river, obviously, so they might pay a premium. They normally create family-sustaining jobs.

 

There are other possibilities. There are recreational uses that might include boating. Also, people will pay a premium to live near the river, to have an office near the river, or perhaps dine with a river view.

 

There is a limited amount of riverfront property, so you would want to maximize the value.

 

Philadelphia's elected officials are going through a similar process right now. They are considering what to do with a prime piece of riverfront property. The leading choice:

 

A prison.

 

Seriously. A prison. How stupid is that?

 

Shouldn't any analysis done by the city be similar to that of any private developer? Can you think of any reason why a prison needs a riverfront location?

 

There is a bill in City Council right now, introduced at the behest of Mayor Nutter, to spend $7.2 million to purchase 58 acres of property along the Delaware River that is adjacent to the dilapidated House of Corrections. The idea is to replace that prison with a new one on the newly purchased land.

 

If successful, such a plan would ensure that this scarce, valuable property is off the tax rolls - and producing fewer jobs and income for the city - for at least a generation.

 

The city's Planning Commission voted 5-0 to recommend against this ridiculous plan. There was extensive testimony against it from neighbors. Peter McDermott of Mayfair pointed out that "this property is valuable - it's located along the Delaware River, 450 feet from a shipping channel."

 

Not to take away from his testimony, but someone had to point this out to City Council?

 

One of Philadelphia's great natural assets is its location on the Delaware River. In many ways it is the most valuable land in the city.

 

Some years ago I took a cruise on the Delaware River and along the way they pointed out the prison that Camden had on the river. The tour guide made fun of Camden for that. What was obvious to a tour guide seems to be lost on our mayor and City Council.

 

Camden officials some years ago finally came to their senses. They moved their prison and redeveloped the land. Still, it was a waste of resources to build a substantial facility like a prison and then tear it down after only 20 years due to a mistake in placement.

 

I have visited the House of Corrections (fortunately in a professional capacity). Given that it was built in 1874, it does not surprise me that it needs to be replaced. Great! But instead of putting another prison there, let's sell that land and get it back on the tax rolls and more productive.

 

We have an opportunity to correct the mistake that some past mayor and Council made in putting a prison along the river. Instead, the current mayor is pushing Council to make the mistake bigger.

 

Finally, count on Nutter to say something that points out another problem. He said of acquiring the property, "If you have that size piece of property adjacent to all of our other facilities up there, it's smart on our part to at least acquire it and then another administration will decide what they actually end up doing with it."

 

Sorry, Mr. Mayor. The city should not own any property that it does not have a concrete short-term plan for, let alone prime riverfront property. Such purchases tie up city assets that could be used for other needs and keep property off the tax rolls.


Matt Wolfe is a Republican ward Leader in West Philadelphia and writes on behalf of Philadelphia's Republican City Committee. matthew@wolfe.org

 


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Listen to our staff on the radio

Listen to our Staff on WWDB's Tone and Tenor Program - Here is the link

Inquirer Writes Free Ads for Jim Kenney

Philadelphia Republican City Committee
Hon. John J. Taylor, Chairman
www.phillygop.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:          Joe DeFelice, Executive Director
Phone:             215-756-4158 (mobile)
Email:              josephjdefelice@phillygop.com


Philadelphia Inquirer Writes Free Advertisements for Jim Kenney
Philadelphia, PA, June 27, 2015:  Today, the Philadelphia Republican City Committee called on the Philadelphia Inquirer to give the same free advertising to Melissa Murray Bailey and her internship program that they gave to Jim Kenney this morning.

In an article in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, written by Chris Hepp, a "news article"[1] was printed that read more like a help wanted ad from the classifieds; where the Kenney campaign asked for campaign fellows to go into communities and explain why Jim Kenney isn't responsible for the bad schools and poverty that has become the status quo in too many of our neighborhoods.
"Melissa Murray Bailey has worked tirelessly to go into all corners of the city to challenge the Kenney-Nutter status quo that has left too many Philadelphians behind" said Philadelphia Republican Party Executive Director Joe DeFelice.  "We expect more from the local media who has routinely called Kenney: “Likely Mayor”, “Mayor-Elect” and “Presumptive Mayor”.  We are not asking the local media to do anything outside the norm, rather all we ask is that Melissa be given an equal opportunity to tell her story and share her vision for a better Philadelphia for all neighborhoods and communities.  Many in the media like to say that they want a more competitive Republican Party and yearn for a two party system, however their actions and lack of coverage for our candidates coupled with fluff ad pieces for the opposition, help tilt the playing field even more. “
If anyone is interested in helping Melissa Murray Bailey's campaign they are encouraged to contact our office at 215-561-0650 or reach us via Facebook or Twitter @PhillyGOP to get involved.     
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[1] http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/mayor/310210871.html

Thursday, June 25, 2015

District Attorney Charges Three More with Election Fraud

Philadelphia Republican City Committee
Hon. John J. Taylor, Chairman

www.phillygop.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:          Joe DeFelice, Executive Director
Phone:             215-756-4158 (mobile)
Email:              josephjdefelice@phillygop.com


District Attorney Charges Three More with Election Fraud
Philadelphia, PA, June 25, 2015:  This week the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office charged three Democrat election officials with committing fraud in the 2014 and 2015 elections.
Executive Director of Republican City Committee Joe DeFelice stated, “We’ve been repeatedly pointing out there are election officials gaming the system. It’s about time someone else has finally been starting to take this seriously.”
This is the third set of charges in two years that the District Attorney’s office has leveled, for a total of 8 people.
“There is still much more to do in the fight for clean elections in Philadelphia; couple this with the guilty pleas of several Democrat Judges, State Representatives and a State Senator in the last year shows that widespread corruption continues and the people of Philadelphia deserve better.”
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Philadelphia Republican City Committee · 3525-27 Cottman Avenue · Phila., PA 19149
                      215-561-0650 · www.phillygop.com · Facebook.com/PhillyGOP · Twitter.com/PhillyGOP