Joe DeFelice last month presided over his final meeting as president of the Mayfair Civic Association.
DeFelice became a member of the group in 2005 and was elected president in ‘09.
In the last four years, the group has helped rebuild Mayfair Memorial Playground; organize the Mayfair-Holmesburg Thanksgiving Parade; introduce a farmers’ market to the community; fight a proposed methadone clinic at Frankford Avenue and Decatur Street; raised money for the children of city cops and firefighters killed in the line of duty at a Fallen Heroes Run; and assisted the local business association in promoting the annual Mayfair May Fair.
“Mayfair’s a great place to live and work,” he said.
DeFelice will devote more time serving as chairman of the Mayfair Community Development Corporation. He will remain legal counsel and zoning chairman for the civic association.
The new president is Donny Smith.
“He’s going to make a helluva president,” DeFelice said.
Smith’s neighborhood volunteerism includes organizing the Thanksgiving parade, the May Fair and the Pennypack Park Music Festival.
“I care about my community,” he said.
Kevin Leonard will replace Mike Williams as vice president. Williams will remain as a legal counsel.
Mia Hylan stays as secretary. Jim Ortlieb replaces Leonard as treasurer. John Jenkins is the new sergeant-at-arms. Serving as liaisons will be Lisa Greco (Mayfair Business Association), Anna Stacey (Mayfair Town Watch) and Melinda Mulvenna and Dana Lambie (Mayfair Memorial Playground).
In other news from the Sept. 16 meeting:
• State Rep. John Taylor said his office welcomes calls about problem tenants and landlords. Information often leads to court action or other positive outcomes for neighbors.
Too many landlords, Taylor said, care only about getting a monthly rent check and not how their property looks.
“We’re not going to tolerate that attitude,” he said.
On other issues, Taylor said he is hoping a court issues a stay to prevent a proposed methadone clinic at Frankford and Decatur from obtaining operating permits while the matter is in litigation. He’s also looking into complaints by neighbors of so-called “scrappers” looking through their trash and recyclables.
Taylor, who took office in 1985, invited constituents to visit his new district office at 3525 Cottman Ave. He has four offices across his district.
• Al Schmidt, a city elections commissioner who took office in January 2012, announced that the commissioners have unveiled a new website. The address is www.philadelphiavotes.com
The site includes voter registration forms, absentee ballot request forms, polling place locations, election results, the commissioners’ budget, ward and division maps and information on elected officials.
“There’s a lot of good information on it,” Schmidt said.
• Sabra Townsend gave a presentation on Nextdoor.com.
The free website allows residents of specific neighborhoods to post meeting schedules, complaints, crime news, referrals and information on community issues.
• The Mayfair Farmers’ Market has one date remaining this year. The market will be open on Sunday, Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The location is the intersection of Frankford and Ryan avenues.
• The civic association is sponsoring its first Mayfair Halloween Decoration Contest.
Mayfair Business Association members will be donating prizes to the three best-decorated houses in the neighborhood.
Residents are invited to submit a photo of their houses by emailing MayfairCivicAssociation@yahoo.com
On or about Oct. 23, judges will looking for the three scariest/spookiest/best-decorated houses in Mayfair.
• The Friends of Mayfair Memorial Playground will hold a Halloween Spooktacular on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the playground, at Rowland Avenue and Vista Street. The rain date is Oct. 27.
There will be a pumpkin patch and bake sale. Kids are invited to trick-or-treat in their costumes.
The day will also serve as the grand reopening of the playground, which recently received new equipment and fencing.
• Pete McDermott, a citizen planner from Mayfair, will work with City Councilman Bobby Henon’s office on possible changes to the city’s overlay for parts of Mayfair, Tacony, Holmesburg and Wissinoming.
The existing overlay affects Frankford Avenue from Harbison to Solly avenues, along with Cottman Avenue, between Leon and Erdrick streets. There’s a ban on new barber and beauty shops, bars, consignment shops, employment agencies and the retail sales of beauty products and wigs.
The proposed overlay would extend the boundaries, but allow eat-in restaurants. Other prohibited uses would include furniture and appliance rental; used car lots; tobacco and pipe sales; pawn shops; Laundromats; check-cashing agencies; and daycare centers.
• The Mayfair Civic and Business associations recently donated $5,000 to Hero Thrill Show Inc. from last spring’s Fallen Heroes Run. The groups have donated $25,000 over the years. Next year’s honoree with be Fire Capt. John Taylor, who died in a fire in a Port Richmond home in 2004.
• Mayfair Town Watch is looking for members. The contact number is 267-333-3692.
“A little bit of effort by everyone can make a big difference,” said Town Watch member Milt Martelack.
• Firstrust Bank will close its branch at 7345 Frankford Ave. on Dec. 16. Customers will be directed to the bank branch at 1931 Cottman Ave. in Rhawnhurst.
A Firstrust letter to members said that there has been a “steady decline” in people visiting the Frankford Avenue branch. The ATM will remain. ••