Attorney Frank Bennett has promised to keep the battle going to prevent a proposed methadone clinic from opening at 7520 State Road.
NorthEast Treatment Centers is looking to open at that site. Attorney Steve Pollock won a variance in front of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Local business people opposed to the clinic can no longer afford to pay a lawyer, and Bennett agreed to handle an appeal to Common Please Court pro bono. He doesn’t want to let NET lay one brick.
“We’re going to fight till the very end,” he said at last week’s Holmesburg Civic Association meeting. “When the will of the people isn’t listened to, then there’s a problem. My job is to stop them at all costs.”
Bennett expects to be pushed by Pollock, of the high-powered Montgomery McCracken law firm.
“I will push back to the very end,” he said.
Bennett, an activist from Northwood, said he has received a lot of support from individuals, businesses and public officials, all of whom are taking a “not in my neighborhood” approach. Methadone is used to help drug addicts kick the habit.
The crowd applauded after Rich Frizell, president of the civic association, read his letter of opposition.
“We have to continue this fight,” he said.
Bennett said he is willing to take the fight to state Superior and Supreme courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. He’s hoping for a favorable judge in Common Pleas Court and is asking residents to show up for oral arguments en masse.
Dan McCaffery, one of the original lawyers in the case, has agreed to assist Bennett.
In other news from the May 14 meeting:
• Terry Tracy, a Republican candidate for city controller, described himself as independent, competent and thoughtful. He was unopposed in Tuesday’s primary and will face the Democratic nominee in the general election.
Tracy, who lives in Fitler Square, said the School District of Philadelphia fiscal woes keep him up at night, and he wants to manage the city’s money in a way that will give the schools more resources.
Economic growth is also high on his agenda. He believes his education in the public policy field and professional business background make him more qualified than the typical establishment candidate.
“I’m not a subsidiary of that establishment,” he said.
Other candidates in attendance were Brett Mandel, a Democrat for city controller, and Anne Marie Coyle and Giovanni Campbell, who sought seats on Common Pleas Court. Dawn Tancredi, another Common Pleas hopeful, dropped off campaign literature before the meeting before heading to other commitments. Frizell, the civic group president, noted Tancredi’s work representing opponents of a proposed methadone clinic at Frankford Avenue and Decatur Street.
• New Foundations Charter School is building a community garden near Rhawn and Tulip streets. There will be 15 garden plots open to the community.
The school will supply the land, water and tools, and will offer a workshop. The application deadline is Friday, May 24. Email Ryan Greene at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tony Coleman at email@example.com
Plans include a reading garden and a greenhouse.
• Frizell said the group participated in successful neighborhood cleanups on two recent Saturdays. Seventy-five volunteers filled 230 bags with trash in a cleanup of the Pennypack Park area near Frankford and Solly avenues. Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse rewarded them for their efforts with free lunches. Also, residents cleaned up a portion of Frankford Avenue.
• The Tacony/Holmesburg Town Watch is looking for new members. The group patrols the area from Robbins Avenue north to Father Judge High School. Interested residents can visit www.tactw.org or the Tacony Town Watch page on Facebook.
• Holmesburg Civic Association will meet on Tuesday, June 11, at 7:15 p.m. at Holmesburg Recreation Center, at Rhawn and Ditman streets. ••