Politicians to dog doo, Burholme has busy meeting

The Burholme Com­munity Town Watch and Civic As­so­ci­ation last week wel­comed a 2nd Po­lice Dis­trict of­fi­cial and the two can­did­ates vy­ing in the 10th Coun­cil­man­ic Dis­trict.

Lt. Frank Schneider over­sees Po­lice Ser­vice Area 3, which is the area from Tyson Av­en­ue to Rhawn Street in the 2nd dis­trict.

Schneider, who was well re­ceived by the crowd be­cause of his thor­ough­ness in doc­u­ment­ing neigh­bor­hood com­plaints, ex­plained at the Oct. 13 meet­ing that there have been thefts of alu­min­um bleach­ers at North­east High School, Burholme Park and Fox Chase Re­cre­ation Cen­ter.

Res­id­ents had vari­ous con­cerns, in­clud­ing mo­tor­ists fly­ing through stop signs, dog own­ers not pick­ing up their pets’ messes and par­ents double- and triple-park­ing dur­ing the morn­ing and af­ter­noon at J. Hamp­ton Moore Ele­ment­ary School.

City Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill, a Re­pub­lic­an, spoke about the Zon­ing Code Com­mis­sion’s on­go­ing work in re­vamp­ing Phil­adelphia’s zon­ing code, which has re­mained largely un­changed in the last 50 years.

O’Neill has long made zon­ing his pri­or­ity, and he wants no weak­en­ing of ex­ist­ing lan­guage. The way he views it, any prop­erty that needs a vari­ance today should need a vari­ance after the code is changed.

City Coun­cil will vote on wheth­er to ac­cept the com­mis­sion’s re­com­mend­a­tions. O’Neill en­cour­aged res­id­ents to con­tact the sev­en at-large Coun­cil mem­bers to of­fer their thoughts on the is­sue.

One res­id­ent asked O’Neill about a pro­posed meth­adone clin­ic at 7900 Frank­ford Ave. While the site is a few blocks out­side the 10th dis­trict, O’Neill in­dic­ated that he doesn’t be­lieve a meth­adone clin­ic is a tra­di­tion­al med­ic­al cen­ter. The city’s ex­ist­ing defin­i­tion of a med­ic­al cen­ter is too broad, in O’Neill’s opin­ion, and he’ll wait to see if the mat­ter is ad­dressed by the Zon­ing Code Com­mis­sion.

O’Neill was also asked about the Oc­cupy Wall Street protest out­side City Hall. While there have been re­ports that home­less people and drug ad­dicts are join­ing the pro­test­ers, the coun­cil­man re­por­ted that the gath­er­ing has been peace­ful.

Bill Ru­bin, O’Neill’s Demo­crat­ic op­pon­ent, worked for the city com­mis­sion­ers’ of­fice for about 25 years. He was the su­per­visor of elec­tions and also was vice chair­man of the Phil­adelphia Board of Pen­sions and Re­tire­ment.

Ru­bin faul­ted Coun­cil for tak­ing pay raises at a time when the city is threat­en­ing to close lib­rar­ies, re­cre­ation cen­ters and swim­ming pools. He noted that, had private donors not in­ter­vened, pools would have been closed last sum­mer.

The chal­lenger’s re­form agenda in­clude a ban on out­side em­ploy­ment by Coun­cil mem­bers and a lim­it of three-four year terms. O’Neill is seek­ing his ninth term. Ru­bin cited the late Coun­cil­men Thach­er Long­streth and Dav­id Co­hen as two mem­bers who stayed in of­fice too long.

Ru­bin said he is im­pressed with the tal­ents of some in­com­ing Coun­cil mem­bers. There will be at least six fresh­men mem­bers of Coun­cil next year.

“I want to be one of them,” he said.

Morn­ing Star Chris­ti­an Church, at 7114 Ox­ford Ave., would like to sub­divide its grounds. The civic as­so­ci­ation op­poses the move and has a gen­er­al rule about op­pos­ing any ef­fort to turn a single-fam­ily prop­erty in­to a multi-fam­ily dwell­ing.

However, the group in­dic­ated there could be room to com­prom­ise if the church re­mains the land­lord of any planned du­plex, es­pe­cially if the ten­ant is a church mem­ber.

The Burholme Com­munity Town Watch and Civic As­so­ci­ation will meet again on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m., at United Meth­od­ist Church of the Re­deem­er, at Cottman and Lawndale av­en­ues. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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