— Incumbent Alan Butkovitz faces Brett Mandel, Michael Williams and Mark Zecca in the May 21 Democratic primary. Republican Terry Tracy is unopposed for the Republican nomination. All but Zecca were at a recent Mayfair civic meeting.
Four of the five candidates in the hotly contested election for city controller appeared at last week’s Mayfair Civic Association meeting and talked about their priorities for running the office.
Incumbent Alan Butkovitz faces Brett Mandel, Michael Williams and Mark Zecca in the May 21 Democratic primary. Republican Terry Tracy is unopposed for the Republican nomination. All but Zecca were at the civic meeting.
In all, 22 candidates for all offices in the upcoming primary were at the meeting.
Butkovitz, of Castor Gardens, was the only one to criticize an opponent directly. He faulted Mandel for favoring the city’s new Actual Value Initiative for property value assessments. He contends AVI will have a “destructive” impact on neighborhoods where real estate taxes will increase significantly.
The controller, elected in 2005, said he deserves another four years because of his office’s investigations of the sheriff’s office, the school district and certain charter schools and recommendations to the city for reduced expenditures, cost savings and improved tax and fee collections.
Mandel, a Rhawnhurst native and Northeast High School graduate, promised to audit every city agency every year to “stop shenanigans before they start.” He vowed to be a “budget bulldog.”
Williams spoke of once being homeless, then on welfare, then getting a job scrubbing toilets. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, he joined Mandel in vowing to audit every city agency every year.
Tracy said he would use the office to promote jobs and economic development, improve public schools and bring accountability to government.
Danny Alvarez, a Somerton resident and Republican candidate for district attorney, told the crowd he’d work to stop crime from creeping into the Northeast. He’ll challenge Democratic incumbent Seth Williams in the general election.
Four Traffic Court candidates addressed residents. They were Holly Harris-Seidle, Marnie Aument-Loughrey, Donna DeRose of Fox Chase and Ella Butcher of Burholme.
Appointed Judges Ken Powell of Common Pleas Court and Fran Shields of Municipal Court were on hand. They must be elected to serve full terms. Shields, a Lawndale resident and proud Cardinal Dougherty High School graduate, promised to be fair to everyone in his courtroom, even Father Judge graduates, he joked.
Other judicial candidates at the meeting were Martin Coleman, Dawn Tancredi, Daine Grey, Anne Marie Coyle, Abbe Fletman, Chris Mallios, Mike Fanning, Joe Fernandes, Christine Hope, Derrick Coker and Sierra Thomas Street.
In other news from the March 18 meeting:
• Laura Wagner, of First Home Care, asked people to consider becoming foster parents for youths age 5-17. First Home Care is located on the grounds of Friends Hospital.
Prospective foster parents undergo a background check and home inspection. They are given free training, round-the-clock support and a monthly stipend.
• Headquarters owner Bill Becker invited people to take part in Mommy and Me art classes at his shop at 7213 Frankford Ave. The classes, which began on March 23, are held every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The cost is $60 per month, along with a $10 fee for supplies. All parents and children 3 years old and older are welcome.
• The group voted 14-3 to not oppose legalization of a second-floor addition to the rear of a home at 2706 Elbridge St.
• The civic group announced that Lisa Deeley won its 2012 Legislative Staffer of the Year award. Deeley works for City Councilman Bobby Henon. Colleague Chris Creelman accepted Deeley’s miniature Liberty Bell award, as she was on a baseball spring training vacation in Florida.
• Twenty Mayfair Civic Association and Mayfair Town Watch volunteers served as hospitality aides at the recent Shamrock Shuttle, a pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebration at bars on or near Frankford Avenue. Neighborhood leaders credited Capt. John McCloskey, commander of the 15th Police District, with deploying enough personnel to keep revelers from urinating in private driveways.
The civic association was also happy with the recent Easter egg hunt that attracted about 1,000 kids to Mayfair Memorial Playground. Proceeds will go to new fencing and equipment at the playground.
• The Mayfair Business Association will meet on Wednesday, April 17, at 6 p.m. at Mayfair Community Center, 2990 St. Vincent St. Guest speakers from St. Matthew and Blessed Trinity elementary schools and Father Judge and St. Hubert high schools will explain how businesses can receive tax credits for donations to scholarship organizations that provide tuition assistance to non-public schools.
• The Mayfair Farmers Market will open next month on the 3500 block of Ryan Ave., outside Republic Bank. The market will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following Sundays: April 21; May 5 and 19; June 2 and 23; July 14 and 28; Aug. 11 and 25; Sept. 8 and 22; and Oct. 6 and 20.
• Mayfair Civic Association will meet on Monday, May 20, at 7 p.m. at Mayfair Community Center. ••
Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org