Cracking the Parking Authority

Like many governmental entities, the Parking Authority’s well known reputation for patronage and other misdeeds generally results in a roll of the eyes and a shrug of shoulders. But lately, expect to see a little more heat on the Authority as a result of more media investigation and local citizens, led by public school parents, who want their fair share for the public schools.

In 2004, Parking Authority officials, led by Republican legislators, namely Rep. John Perzel, made a big to-do of their educational generosity at Fox Chase Elementary School. They delivered a $4 million check to the School District, promising that it would be the first of tens of millions more.

PPA hasn’t delivered a dime since.

An extensive review of PPA’s audits shows that the agency is hardly poverty stricken. It’s nearly doubled its revenues in the past four years. We all know that increased ticket prices, 10 p.m. meters, and new initiatives, including the assumption of the Taxi licensing and much-criticized GPS system, have resulted in PPA becoming close to a $200 million operation. Last month they sold their 20th and Sansom Street property for a cool $37 million.

PPA has made clear that they are not violating fiscal and legal mandates, saying that ACT 9 restricts them from giving any money to schools unless they first make a $25 million payment to the city from their on-street division. The fact that they haven’t made that $25 million is not just hard to believe, but we think will be shown to be due largely to loading up on expenses and jobs.

So who’s on their case?

We’d hope it would be the city and politicians. But instead, a crew of parents, members of the Taxi Workers Alliance, and citizens are headed to the monthly public PPA board meeting Monday, 11:30 a.m. at 3101 Market Street to ask those questions. If you have time, we’d love for you to join us.

For once, maybe it can be the Parking Authority whose meter has finally expired.

School suffer; patronage blossoms at Parking Authority

From today's Daily News: While the Parking Authority pleads poverty on the public schools (or at least they just don't have the dollars to give), the payroll at PPA has nearly doubled. Included on the payroll: 6 ward leaders, 189 committee people, and more than 20 people making over $100,000 annually (compared to 2 in 2001). PPA Exec. Dir. Vince Fenerty now earns $195K, $50K more than the mayor. Read about it here:
http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/20071022_Under_GOP__Parking_Author...

The parking authority is disgusting...

From the article:

The authority's top job now belongs to Vincent J. Fenerty Jr., a longtime Republican ward leader who joined the authority as a booting supervisor in 1983, initially earning less than $28,000 a year.

Fenerty now makes $194,830 annually as the authority's executive director - more than any of the doctors, lawyers and other professionals on the city payroll, and $50,000 more than Mayor Street.

Furthermore, as if the story wasn't enough, I'm pretty sure that Michael Fenerty, head of the Olde Richmond Civic Association is now working negotiating a community benefits agreement.

The Fenerty family appears very well connected.

--Mike
Weeds in the Sidewalk

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