Philadelphia Mayor’s Fund getting reforms and overhaul

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An overhaul of the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia has been announced, but the city controller says the changes are not enough.

 

 

The plan is to take the Mayor’s Fund and make it more independent after reports by the media and the city controller showed more than $250,000  in questionable expenses.  

The fund gets its dollars mostly from fees paid from the Philadelphia Marathon, not taxpayers.

Current executive director Ashley Del Bianco says she will be replaced with someone hired from nationwide search. A new board of people mostly from outside government will oversee the office.

“We are hoping to be able to have a better representation of the philanthropic dollars and non-profits and community that we are meant to support,” Del Bianco said.

Controller Alan Butkovitz says the changes aren’t enough.

“There was supposed to be the engagement of us as the independent auditor, there was supposed to be a first-quarter report by now.  So it appears the fund has been waving wand and saying oh those problems are a thing of the past but there are serious ongoing problems,” he said.

Mayor’s spokesman Mike Dunn says the controller is referring to the Rebuild initiative and only $4.8 million of the total $500 million for Rebuild is being managed through the Mayor’s Fund. Dunn adds the City has designed a comprehensive oversight structure from the Controller, the Inspector General and the Chief Integrity Officer, for the Rebuild initiative, which will include regular, public monitoring and reporting on the use of all public and private funds.

 

The fund also will stop using credit cards.  That’s significant because The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News reported that the fund’s previous chairwoman and former City Representative Desiree Peterkin Bell incurred $52,000 in charges on fund credit cards in 2015.

 

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