Public complain comment is too restricted

    Philadelphia City Council has officially added public comment to its weekly sessions after a state Supreme Court ruling mandating they do so. Today was a test run for the new system.

    Anthony D’Angelo spoke at the Philadelphia City Council’s first public comment period. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY Reporter)

    Philadelphia City Council has officially added public comment to its weekly sessions after a state Supreme Court ruling mandating they do so.  Today was a test run for the new system.

    The first to speak was Anthony D’Angelo, who owns a tow truck business.  He is against a bill held by Councilman Jim Kenney to change towing regulations.  D’Angelo described them as “dysfunctional,” and said they take away the rights of property owners.

    Attorney Darrell Zaslow spoke next, complaining about the council restriction that comment be only about bills about to undergo a council vote.

    “You can look at cities from Pittsburgh, number two all the way down to any other municipality and they accept comments on agenda items and non-agenda items,” Zaslow said.  He says he’s not ready to head back to court to complain about council’s interpretation of the ruling, but is hoping to work out a compromise to give the public an opportunity to comment about anything, not just what’s on council’s agenda.

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