Bobby Henon, the Democratic candidate in the 6th Councilmanic District, is urging the city Zoning Board of Adjustment to reject the application of Healing Way to convert a vacant property at 7900 Frankford Ave. into a methadone clinic.
Henon contends that Healing Way was misleading by simply applying for a license for a medical office.
The property is zoned for commercial use, and the agency is permitted to dispense methadone — a powerful drug used to help addicts kick their habit — as long as there are no overnight stays.
Community members last month held a rally outside the site, and the Holmesburg and Mayfair civic associations hosted a meeting that brought more than 800 people to the Abraham Lincoln High School auditorium.
The zoning board will conduct a hearing on Aug. 31, and state and federal officials must approve the application before Healing Way can open.
Henon is calling on the state Department of Health to refuse to issue a license, citing the department’s policy of taking such action if an agency uses “fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or bribery in obtaining or attempting to obtain a license.”
“This company failed to honestly divulge the true nature and purpose of its proposed facility and, in accordance with the state Department of Health’s own regulations, should have its application automatically rejected,” he said.
“The Healing Way LLC has, from the outset, operated in a shroud of secrecy that has angered the good people of this tight-knit residential community. A narcotic treatment facility is absolutely not in the best interests of this community, nor is it the best use of this property, which is surrounded by a day-care center, a middle school and mom-and-pop shops.”
Henon faces Republican Sandra Stewart in the Nov. 8 general election. The winner will replace retiring Councilwoman Joan Krajewski.
Local Republicans gathered last week at SmokeEaters Pub, at Frankford and Sheffield avenues, for a couple of functions.
On Aug. 9, the Philadelphia Young Republicans elected a leadership team. The organization, for individuals age 40 and younger, had been largely inactive for two years.
The new executive board consists of chairman Steve Boc, vice chairman Phil Innamorato, secretary Owen O’Connell, treasurer Matt Gabor, events coordinator Jen Fail, political outreach coordinator Barry Scatton, public affairs coordinator Seth Bluestein and legal counsel Christopher Lins.
In addition to Council hopeful Stewart, among those addressing the group were GOP candidates Karen Brown (mayor) and Joe McColgan and David Oh (both Council at large).
Brown, of South Philadelphia, said it might be time to move to New Jersey if Mayor Michael Nutter is re-elected and cannot adequately address issues such as flash mobs, high taxes and failing public schools.
Stewart called on members of the group, some of whom have deep differences with the Republican City Committee, to join her in voting a straight Republican ticket in the general election.
McColgan blamed 60 years of Democratic rule for high taxes and a poor public education system. He reiterated his call for abolition of the School Reform Commission, creation of an elected school board and the firing of Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.
Meanwhile, a fund-raiser was held Aug. 11 for U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-8th dist.).
Fitzpatrick represents a district that includes all of Bucks County, the Far Northeast and a small portion of eastern Montgomery County.
The congressman said the House of Representatives, which changed from Democratic to Republican control after the 2010 election, has been working to decrease spending and taxes.
Brown, a former Democrat, attended the event, along with Al Taubenberger and Al Schmidt, candidates for Council at large and city elections commissioner, respectively, and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 president John McNesby.
Pennsylvania Republicans continue to look for a candidate to challenge U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. next year.
Perry County attorney Marc Scaringi has announced his candidacy, while Lackawanna County Tea Party leader Laureen Cummings has expressed interest.
Other possible candidates include businessman Tim Burns, who lost a congressional bid last year to Democrat Mark Critz; Malvern businessman Steve Welch; western Pennsylvania businessman Keith Loiselle; and David Christian, a decorated Vietnam War veteran who twice challenged Democratic U.S. Rep. Peter Kostmayer in the 1980s and who is an executive at DacVal Corporation, a Holmesburg manufacturer that serves the Department of Defense and commercial industries. ••
Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org