The Lawncrest Community Association last week welcomed the three candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for city controller in the May 21 primary.
Incumbent Alan Butkovitz and challengers Mark Zecca and Brett Mandel made appearances. Republican Terry Tracy, who is unopposed in the GOP primary, will attend a meeting in the fall.
Butkovitz, who was elected in 2005, described himself as “independent” and said he loves his job. He spoke of his opposition to the city’s Actual Value Initiative to calculate property taxes and his investigations into money woes at the School District of Philadelphia and dangerous conditions at recreation centers.
“We have revolutionized that office,” he said.
Zecca, an attorney, wore a large button that read, “Vote Mark Zecca for a new Democratic city controller.” He spent 20 years working for the city law department.
To change things in the city, he said, voters will need to change their elected officials.
“I’m there to give you an alternative,” he said.
Mandel had a busy campaign schedule that night and arrived after the meeting officially ended, although people remained. He called for a more transparent budget so citizens can see how the city spends money.
In other news from the April 16 meeting:
• Kieran “Hitman” Hooks was applauded for winning the Philadelphia 152-pound Golden Gloves boxing championship.
Hooks, 18, fights out of the Attack Mode Boxing Club, based at Lawncrest Recreation Center.
• The theme for the 98th annual Lawncrest 4th of July celebration will be Riding Into the Future.
The day will begin at 9 a.m. with a parade that starts at Rising Sun Avenue and Martin’s Mill Road.
Activities will take place at the Lawncrest Recreation Center, at Rising Sun Avenue and Comly Street. They will include a flag-raising ceremony, a food court, children’s rides, bingo, a car show, a flea market, a magic show, drill teams, live musical entertainment, a paintball tent and a dunk tank.
In addition, there will be raffles, games, prizes and T-shirts for sale.
A fireworks celebration will take place at dusk.
Checks can be made payable to Lawncrest 4th of July Committee, P.O. Box 24656, Philadelphia, PA 19111.
Volunteers are needed. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 20, at 7 p.m. at the Philadelphia Protestant Home.
• The Lawncrest Library, at 6098 Rising Sun Ave. (at Benner Street), will host a PhillyRising meeting on Tuesday, April 30, at 6 p.m. Among the topics to be discussed is the availability of free trees.
The library also has several activities next month.
On May 1, the Friends of Lawncrest Library will sponsor a box lunch bingo competition at 11 a.m. The cost is $10. Call Evelyn Flaherty at 215-742-3662.
The Friends also will sponsor a visit with Mother Goose on May 6 at 11 a.m. There will be stories and rhymes.
On May 7 at 6 p.m., Women Organized Against Rape will offer options and services for people caring for elderly relatives.
On May 18 at 2 p.m., the Friends will sponsor a workshop on the benefits of horticultural therapy.
• The Philadelphia Protestant Home, 6500 Tabor Ave., will hold a pancake and sausage breakfast on Saturday, May 4, from 8 to 11 a.m. at its social hall. The cost is $5 for kids, $6 for residents and $7 for adults. Proceeds benefit the Phil-Mont Kiwanis Club.
There will be an American Red Cross blood drive at PPH’s social hall on Wednesday, May 15, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. To make an appointment, email Bill Conaway at email@example.com
• State Sen. Shirley Kitchen will hold her eighth annual Senior Healthy Living Expo on Friday, May 3, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The day will include free eye screenings, seminars, exhibitors, fitness demonstrations, beauty services, lunch, giveaways and a performance by a Michael Jackson impersonator.
• The 2nd Police District, the 2nd Police District Advisory Council and state Sen. Tina Tartaglione will present the ninth annual community day on Saturday, May 18, at Target, at 7400 Bustleton Ave.
The day will begin at 9 a.m. with the Ken Hyers Memorial Bike Ride, held in tribute to the late Lawncrest Town Watch president.
Activities will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will include child fingerprinting, bicycle registration, document shredding and information tables featuring elected officials, the Philadelphia police and fire departments and local and state agencies.
• Civic group members observed a moment of silence in memory of fire department Capt. Michael Goodwin and the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
• Lawncrest Community Association usually meets on the third Tuesday of the month. To avoid a conflict with the upcoming primary election, the group will next meet on Tuesday, May 14, at 7 p.m. at St. William parish hall, at Argyle and Robbins streets. ••
Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org