Letters to the Editor

Oh opposes bloated budgets

City Council adopted a $5.025 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2020. It is the first time the budget has ever gone over $5 billion. Just four years ago, the budget was $4 billion. I’ve voted against the budget each year because it’s increased so much, and I was the only member of Council to vote against this year’s budget. Here’s why.

First of all, each year the city hides money in the budget that will be moved around and spent on things Council didn’t originally approve. We can predict where this money will be by looking at the way each department has spent its budget for the past decade. This year I offered an alternative budget, like I have in the past, that would get rid of this hidden money. We’d save over $160 million. My proposal to cut this spending didn’t pass.

Secondly, one big reason why the city has so much extra money to budget $5 billion in the first place is that over the past couple of years it hasn’t fixed the huge increase in property taxes that result from inaccurate, overly high assessments.

I’ve introduced a bill in Council that would get rid of all 2018 property assessments, which an independent auditor said were inaccurate, and another bill that would prevent any inaccurate assessments from affecting people’s property taxes in the future. The bills have had hearings in City Council already, and I want to bring them to a vote this fall. I urge the public to call their Council representatives to ask them to support this legislation.

I will continue fighting for fair, responsible government, and I invite the public to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns.

David Oh

City Councilman

Wake up, Philadelphia

People have to pull their heads from the sand. In big cities, George Soros threw a ton of money into campaigns for district attorney/prosecutors. Winners are beholden to his shared mindset that prisons should be largely emptied. You can see what the impact has been in cities like ours, Philadelphia.

DA Larry Krasner won’t prosecute many cases, rather negotiated sentences are the new method of concluding them. Probation for all is the new direction. Homicide rates are the highest in 10 years, violent crime and shootings are also on the rise.

Officers have no incentive to make good, aggressive arrests. Things will get much worse before they get better. God bless us all in the meantime.

Brian King

Normandy

Plastic bag ban a bad idea

So the retail sales industry foisted the plastic bags on the American consumer. And now the same industry will receive a 15-cent per bag bonus for their actions. Bags are part of the cost of doing business. This bill now passes that cost on to the consumers. This is typical of Kenney and City Council. They have talked to everyone except the consumer. ShopRite owner Jeff Brown has money in the game and he shouldn’t be involved in these talks because he will eventually make money from it. The 15 cents wouldn’t bother me if it went to plant more trees.

The other problem I have with this concept is that very few cashiers or baggers can pack a paper bag properly. They are so used to throwing two or three things in a bag and on to the next bag. A $200 order gets you 15-20 bags. It will be interesting how many paper bags will be used on the same order.

The concept of the law is great but lower the cost to 10 cents (to plant trees) and let Mr. Brown buy his bags, which he is doing anyway.

Thanks to Mr. Kenney and City Council and the soda tax, many Philadelphia consumers have found outlets outside the city so this bill won’t affect them.

Richard Donofry

East Torresdale

Thankful senior citizens

I am a senior citizen in the 6th Councilmanic District.

Councilman Bobby Henon and his work to push legislation to freeze real estate taxes for senior citizens is commendable to us who are on fixed incomes. Also, his countless number of community events each month to bring seniors together with dance and music is rewarding.

Thank you, Bobby, for caring about our district and your continued work on our behalf.

Larry Chiolon

Lower Mayfair