Council kicks off 2012, getting to know Darrell Clarke, PA redistricting rejected, Marshalls on Market East, investing in McPherson Square Park

City Council will hold its first 2012 meeting today, but what’s on the agenda is anyone’s guess. As PlanPhilly’s Jared Bray reported yesterday, no agenda is online and calls to Council President Darrell Clarke’s office went unreturned. But we know that Clarke has two important bills, relating to development districts and public property ads, coming down the pike. Stay tuned to PlanPhilly today for more.

The Daily News sat down with Darrell Clarke to get to know our new City Council President a little better. Some tidbits: Clarke was the type of kid who would “sit on the steps and read a book” rather than get tangled in turf wars in Strawberry Mansion; he largely raised his daughter as a single parent; he studied mechanical and architectural drafting.

Some called Pennsylvania’s legislative redistricting the most gerrymandered of the decade, and it turns out the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had problems with the redistricting map too. For the first time, the high court rejected the state’s redistricting map, after challenges from Democrats, reports the Inquirer. Further instructions should come from the court next week, and if the instructions require sweeping changes, the process could take months. This news comes as candidates had begun to campaign in what they thought were their districts, which is a whole lot more complicated when you don’t know the boundaries.

Marshalls will open up shop at 10th and Market streets, adding to the area’s discount mix, reports the Business Journal. And Philebrity wonders, maybe Market East is okay just as it is, in all its grit and ‘80s vibe. Marshalls will replace a Staples.

McPherson Square Park, at F Street and East Indiana Avenue, stands to get new lighting, game tables, trash cans, and a surveillance camera, reports the Daily News. Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez has pledged $100,000 from her capital budget toward the park, as neighbors try to reclaim the park as a safe place.


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