Sister Cities rave | Council’s AVI splits | SEPTA’s tough budget | L&I dresses up | front door, trap door

The transformation of Logan Square’s Sister Cities Park is “a small miracle” to architecture critic Inga Saffron, who gave the park a rave review in today’s Inquirer. She writes, “Cities Park captures the refined whimsy of Paris’ Luxembourg Gardens and packs it into a space a quarter the size of Rittenhouse Square. Yet the new park manages to feel cozy and open all at once.”

City Council remains very split on property tax reform, reports the Inquirer. Councilman Wilson Goode, Jr. is pro-AVI because he believes that some 250,000 houses owned by households making less than $120,000 per year whose taxes will be lower after AVI happens. Councilman Bill Green wants to wait on AVI for one year because the impact of the reform won’t be known until the assessments and rates are settled. Of course all of this will have consequences for the city’s budget and school funding, so Council President Darrell Clarke has put forward four bills to cover the scenarios with or without AVI.

SEPTA’s board approved a budget that took $1.28 billion from its rainy day fund, which will leave the agency without adequate funds to cover next year’s budget shortfall. The Inquirer reports, that barring more state aid (which is the hope), the last resort would be service cuts and additional fare hikes.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections now has a dress code. PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports that L&I inspectors now will wear clothes with an L&I logo in order to be more visible to the public. So, presumably you’ll be able to tell a squatter from an inspector.

An Inquirer editorial today toasts the administration’s “front door” interface for selling city-owned vacant land, but finds a “trap door” in councilmanic prerogative. “Instead of confronting Council about this tradition that has no basis in law, the Nutter administration has asked would-be purchasers to get district Council members’ blessings in the early stages of a deal.”


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