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.

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    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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