The Mayfair Civic Association held a “Meet the Candidates” night on Monday, March 18, and nearly 20 political hopefuls pitched themselves to residents ahead of the May 21 primary election.
Each candidate was given three minutes to speak, and their order was determined by picking names out of a coffee can. It was a preview of what would happen Wednesday, March 20, when ballot positions were determined through the same method.
People at the meeting clapped for Sixth District Councilman Bobby Henon, who is running for a third term in the face of federal corruption charges filed against him in January as part of the Local 98 indictment.
“What we’ve accomplished over the past four years has been incredible,” Henon said. “In spite of some of our complaints, our neighborhoods are thriving. Our neighborhoods are doing great.”
“I want to thank you for your support over the last seven years,” he added. “I’m asking you, on my record, for another four years.”
Henon is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. His Republican opponent, former Tacony Civic Association President Pete Smith, did not attend the candidates’ night.
Democratic candidates for City Council at-large who spoke are the meeting included incumbent Allan Domb, Hena Veit, Katherine Gilmore Richardson, Edwin Santana, Melissa Robbins and Sandra Dungee Glenn.
Republican at-large candidates Matt Wolfe, Irina Goldstein, incumbent Al Taubenberger and Bill Heeney also made their pitches.
In the race for City Council at-large seats, the Democratic and Republican parties nominate five candidates apiece. Independents and third-party candidates are also able to run in the general election. The top seven finishers in the fall are elected.
City Commissioner Lisa Deeley and Democratic challengers Luigi Borda, Dennis Lee, Moira Bohannon and Jen Devor addressed residents at the Mayfair meeting.
Rochelle Bilal and Malika Rahman, two Democrats looking to unseat incumbent Sheriff Jewell Williams, also spoke at the candidates’ night.
In addition, Jennifer Schultz, a Court of Common Pleas judicial candidate, made her case at the event.
No mayoral candidates showed up to the meeting.
In other news from the March 18 Mayfair Civic Association meeting:
President Donny Smith said the civic association began raising money a while ago to open a dog park near Lincoln High School. The project never got off the ground, he said, but the civic association still has about $570 allocated to it. Smith said the association is still hoping to open a dog park somewhere in Mayfair.
Henon, in his campaign speech, promised to bring a dog park to the area.
The Pennypack Music Festival has planned 11 shows for this season, and the first one will be held Wednesday, May 29, at 6:30 p.m. It will feature Steal Your Face performing a tribute to the Grateful Dead, with an opening performance by the All Catholic Jazz Band.
The performances are held at the Ed Kelly Amphitheater, Welsh Road and Cresco Avenue. For a complete schedule, visit www.pennypack.org.
On Saturday, March 30, the Mayfair Business Improvement District will be partnering with SportsRadio 94.1 WIP and Einstein Healthcare Network to host the first Mayfair NFL Combine and Community Health Day.
Einstein physicians will be on hand to provide health tips to families, and kids will be able to participate in drills with former Eagles players, including A.J. Feeley. The event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the Mayfair Community Center, St. Vincent and Battersby streets.
The Mayfair Civic Association will hold a special zoning meeting Monday, April 15, at 7 p.m. at the community center. Among the topics expected to be on the agenda is an application for a rooftop deck for a not-yet-opened restaurant and bar at 2825-35 Cottman Ave., the former Teamsters building.
Eastern Plaza LP, which is developing the property, withdrew a similar application for a roof deck last year after residents expressed opposition. Smith said the firm has resubmitted its plans. ••
Jack Tomczuk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org