City fund previously accused of loose spending practices gets a new board

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney speaks at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney speaks at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has appointed a new board for the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia, which has been rocked by accusations of misspending in recent years.

The Fund is a city-run nonprofit that manages revenue from the Philadelphia Marathon, the Indigo bike share program and foundation grants to support city programs and agencies.

Two chairs of the foundation under the administration of Mayor Michael Nutter were accused by the City Controller of spending thousands of dollars on Uber rides, restaurant tabs, and other expenses.

Acting executive director Ashley Del Bianco said in a phone interview the foundation has already tightened some procedures.

“We had a number of different credit card accounts, which frankly had come to the point where it was difficult to provide the thorough oversight for those that we needed,” she said, “and so we made the decision that we would simply eliminate credit cards.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Five of the nine members of the new board come from outside the government.

DelBianco said while in the past most of the board members were city officials, the new board includes “folks coming from philanthropy, non-profit management, from business, from the legal community.”

While the city controller’s office has completed its review of the Fund, the state attorney general’s office confirmed in September it was conducting an investigation of the Fund’s spending practices.

The members of the Fund’s new board are:

  • Vaughn Ross (mayor’s designee)
  • Tumar Alexander (city managing director’s designee)
  • Ashley Del Bianco (city finance director’s designee)
  • Councilman Bobby Henon (council president’s designee)
  • Laura Solomon, Esq. (Laura Solomon & Associates)
  • Sidney Hargro (Philanthropy Network)
  • Garrett Snider (Childhood Resilience Foundation)
  • Marlene Olshan (Vetri Community Partnership)
  • Richard Levins (Independence Blue Cross)

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal