Rep. Kevin Boyle meets future Burholme constituents

The tim­ing was per­fect for state Rep. Kev­in Boyle.

Last June, the Le­gis­lat­ive Re­ap­por­tion­ment Com­mis­sion ap­proved a plan that would move most of Burholme in­to his 172nd dis­trict. At present, the neigh­bor­hood is rep­res­en­ted by Brendan Boyle, Kev­in’s older broth­er.

But the plan was in limbo for al­most a year as op­pon­ents of the re­drawn state House and Sen­ate dis­trict maps ap­pealed the com­mis­sion’s de­cision. On May 8, the Pennsylvania Su­preme Court fi­nally is­sued a rul­ing, de­term­in­ing that the maps are con­sti­tu­tion­al.

On May 9, Kev­in Boyle met some of his fu­ture con­stitu­ents as the guest speak­er at the Burholme Com­munity Town Watch and Civic As­so­ci­ation.

“I make qual­ity-of-life is­sues para­mount,” he told the crowd.

Boyle was in­tro­duced by Al Tauben­ber­ger, the civic as­so­ci­ation/Town Watch pres­id­ent and his op­pon­ent in last year’s elec­tion.

Brendan Boyle’s dis­trict will now con­sist ex­clus­ively of the Far North­east, al­though he is run­ning for Con­gress next year.

Kev­in Boyle, who lives on the 8000 block of Burholme Ave. in Fox Chase, said a key is­sue in front of the le­gis­lature is how to pay for re­pairs to aging roads and bridges.

In ad­di­tion, the de­bate con­tin­ues over li­quor privat­iz­a­tion. The House passed a privat­iz­a­tion bill, but enough Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans ap­pear to be skep­tic­al of the idea to kill it.

Boyle, who was joined at the meet­ing by aides to City Coun­cil­men Bri­an O’Neill and Dav­id Oh and state Rep. Brendan Boyle, voted against the meas­ure. He wor­ries that the avail­ab­il­ity of li­quor at places such as 7-El­ev­en and Wawa will lead to more drink­ing. In ad­di­tion, he be­lieves the ex­ist­ing state store sys­tem works “pretty darn good.”

There was a spir­ited dis­cus­sion about the School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia, which faces a de­fi­cit of more than $300 mil­lion. Boyle’s wife is a pub­lic school teach­er.

The le­gis­lat­or said new su­per­in­tend­ent Wil­li­am Hite in­her­ited a “mess” from Paul Val­las and Ar­lene Ack­er­man. Boyle said the so-called “dooms­day” budget will be dev­ast­at­ing to school op­er­a­tions.

“We have to help the Phil­adelphia school dis­trict with more fund­ing,” he said.

Boyle noted that Pennsylvania has been de­scribed as “the Saudi Ar­a­bia of nat­ur­al gas.” He be­lieves a high­er tax rate on drilling — from 1 per­cent to the 3.5 per­cent that neigh­bor West Vir­gin­ia im­poses — will raise enough money to elim­in­ate the de­fi­cit.

However, some in at­tend­ance said that the school dis­trict has a his­tory of mis­man­aging money.

“The more money we throw at it, it doesn’t get bet­ter. I’m sick and tired of my taxes go­ing up,” one wo­man said.

Oth­ers said the dis­trict wastes money in its pur­chas­ing policies and that kinder­garten teach­ers shouldn’t be mak­ing $80,000 a year.

Boyle op­poses cut­ting teach­er salar­ies.

“You get what you pay for,” he said.

In oth­er news from the meet­ing:

Burholme Com­munity Town Watch and Civic As­so­ci­ation will meet again on Thursday, June 13, at 7 p.m. at United Meth­od­ist Church of the Re­deem­er, at Cottman and Lawndale av­en­ues. The meet­ing will serve as a neigh­bor­hood meet and greet. Guests will be able to vote in the “Best of Burholme Pizza Con­test.” The fol­low­ing shops will show­case their pizza: Johnny G’s, Rising Sun Pizza, San­tucci’s, Croce’s and Ernie’s. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­

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