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Controller hopeful vows to cut wasteful spending

Mike Tomlinson, a Holmesburg resident, said he plans to look into spending in city government and the Philly school district.


Mike Tomlinson, the Republican candidate for city controller, vows to find waste in city government and the School District of Philadelphia.

“Give me four years,” he told members of the Take Back Your Neighborhood civic association.

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A Holmesburg resident, he will face Democrat Rebecca Rhynhart. He told the crowd he has raised just $1,442, a sign that the establishment favors his opponent.

“They want to control the controller,” he said.

Tomlinson said he’ll be able to find $440 million in savings in the city budget. He wants to use the city’s bargaining power to lower health care rates for employees. He also plans to target patronage at the Register of Wills office.

“It’s off the charts,” he said.

The savings he finds will go to pay for municipal contracts and the underfunded pension plan and to modernize police district stations.

On the campaign trail, Tomlinson — a former 65th Ward Democratic committeeman — hears from people who tell him they will not vote for him because he is a Republican.

“That is so frustrating,” he said.

Tomlinson, a former teacher at Overbrook High School, wants to eliminate the School Reform Commission. He wants City Council to release details of its budget, including average salaries for members of about $130,000.

“Not bad for nine months work,” he said.

In other news from the Oct. 16 meeting:

• Tim O’Brien, a former 20-year bail commissioner, spoke on behalf of Beth Grossman, the Republican candidate for district attorney.

O’Brien spoke of Grossman’s 21-plus years as an assistant district attorney, including a decade-long stint addressing quality-of-life issues as head of the Public Nuisance Task Force. He said she vows to run a strong municipal and political corruption unit, and describes her as tough on crime.

“I call her a junior Lynne Abraham,” she said of the former district attorney, known as “one tough cookie.”

O’Brien, pointing to Grossman’s tenure as chief of staff for the city Department of Licenses and Inspections, said Democrat Larry Krasner’s resume is lacking, noting he has been a career-long defense lawyer.

O’Brien criticizes Krasner’s call for no cash bail for some defendants, saying it will be “lights out” for Philadelphia, with skyrocketing crime and a disintegrating quality of life as word spreads among criminals.

“It’s going to be bedlam,” he said.

O’Brien also predicted that many assistant district attorneys will quit if Krasner is elected.

“There’s going to be a mass resignation of prosecutors,” he said.

Phyllis Swing, a community activist from Summerdale, credited Grossman with shutting down a problem bar while she headed the Public Nuisance Task Force.

• City elections commissioner Lisa Deeley told the crowd that turnout in the primary was just 17 percent. She challenged people in the crowd to find someone who does not plan to vote and convince them to go to the polls.

Deeley handed out sample ballots. She suggested a vote against a proposed amendment to the state Constitution regarding property taxes.

“When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is,” she said.

• Lt. John Craig and community relations officer Mark Mroz, of the 2nd Police District, gave an update on local crime statistics.

• Calvary Christian Church, 6000–38 Roosevelt Blvd., will host a free Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 21, from 5 to 8 p.m. The cosponsors are the Turkish Center and Sharyn Solomon, director of Take Back Your Neighborhood.

• Abundant Life Home Health Services is open at 6632 Bustleton Ave. For a free assessment, call 215–331–3655 or visit abundantlifeservices.org

Take Back Your Neighborhood will meet on Monday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. at Max Myers Playground, 1601 Hellerman St. ••

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