Ori Feibush [Zumapress]
Ori Feibush [Zumapress]
Welp kids, the Inky has thrown its endorsement to you know who…

While the race has often devolved into a highly personal feud between Johnson and Feibush, the choice for voters comes down to which candidate can provide the momentum to maintain the district’s progress. That’s clearly Feibush, whose determination to ease the right development promises much-needed economic growth. 

Feibush has detailed knowledge of city codes, government agencies, and impediments to growth that can serve the district well if he keeps his temper in check. As he points out, the district’s longtime residents will feel less pressure from development if new construction is facilitated on the district’s many vacant lots.

And that’s just two paragraphs in what is probably the most “explainy-est” endorsements I have ever seen.   Read it all here [Inky].

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[savestlaurentius.org]
[savestlaurentius.org]
Looks like the Spirit newspaper is on to something, and it doesn’t look good for our local branch of the Catholic Church….

The Spirit has recently obtained court records showing that O’Donnell & Naccarato, the engineering firm hired by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to evaluate the structural viability of St. Laurentius Church, has recently misrepresented inspection findings in another similar situation.

In a nutshell, the Archdiocese fed a load of hogwash on worshippers that St. Laurentius Church, an icon in Fishtown, is in immediate danger of collapse, which the ArchD wants to demolish.  Right.  Now.

It’s not that difficult to get an engineering firm to give an assessment you’re paying them to give.   My guess is that the ArchD will not entertain the idea of Fishtown neighbors hiring their own engineering firm to independently assess the St. Laurentius property to verify the facts found by Naccarato.

It looks like someone really, really wants very badly to get T. Milton Street Sr off that ballot on May 19.

Street, representing himself as his own lawyer, has already defeated this challenge twice now over his residency.  Once in Common Pleas court and again in Commonwealth Court.  A ruling on this will be issued quickly since the ballot machine templates have to get to the printers ASAP.

Milton Street Nomination Challenge – PA Supreme Court

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HOT TIP:  Want to see if a property is late on its property taxes?  Click here.

Department of Licenses and Inspections commissioner Carlton Williams contacted Philadelinquency to let us know a promised computer system meant to block the issuance of licenses, in particular the Housing Inspection License, has resulted in landlords having their rental license permits being thrown in the wastebasket because they owe back property tax.

As you know, this is an issue that PDQ has been pushing hard for years.  In 2013 and 2014, Philadelinquency was sending lists of many landlords throughout Philadelphia to L&I with proven tax arrears, inquiring why L&I had renewed the rental licenses when the Philadelphia Code forbids the license to be issued.  The reason for that is that L&I has limited visibility into the Revenue Department’s systems and it’s not standard procedure to look into their data.  Instead, L&I demands that permit applicants obtain a tax clearance certificate, which isn’t that difficult to forge.

The amount of money that has been collected from deadbeat landlords has skyrocketed since the inception of the new computer checks.  Take a look:

Tax Revenue from Deadbeat Landlords

 

The Revenue Department has recovered nearly a million dollars from deadbeat landlords now that their rental applications have been blocked until they pay off the back taxes.

This isn’t the last of it though.   There are still more unregistered landlords throughout the city who do not obtain rental permits for their buildings.  There is another roadblock for those people:  evictions.    You cannot evict a tenant using Landlord-Tenant Court without showing the court a valid rental license that is in-force.

So any unlicensed landlord that is renting out property is taking a gamble that they will not ever need to use the eviction process.  Should they need to, the only way to get access to the courts is to pay off the real estate taxes before they can get a valid rental license.