Philadelphia’s city controller claims there is a VIP hotline in City Hall for those with connections.
City officials are adamant that is not the case.
Controller Alan Butkovitz says Philadelphia’s 311 system for non-emergency calls is not open 24 hours a day, but his review found a special number has been established for around-the-clock service.
“Well, we found there’s a secret VIP unit in the 311 system for select VIPs who have the phone number,” Butkovitz said Wednesday. “And this runs counter to what the mayor said was going to be an equally accessible system for all the citizens of Philadelphia.”
Philadelphia Managing Director Rich Negrin said Butkovitz’s allegations are off base.
“The number that he is talking about connects to muni-radio, municipal radio,” Negrin explained. “It’s been around for 30 or 40 years. It’s a tool for city employees to reach each other after hours and often on their cell phone.”
Callers who need 311 services after hours can fill out an online form, Negrin said, and the questions will be handled as quickly as possible.