Help us save the city from itself.

Dear Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority:

I regret to inform you that you have failed me as well as the citizenry of this fine town that we all call home.

For years, it seems you’ve stood in the way of progress, or at least made progress as easy and painless as a root canal. I ask you why? As an agency charged with improving the lives of its citizens, why do you stand passively while large swaths of numerous neighborhoods remain blighted?

I opened one of the first new businesses on Point Breeze’s blighted commercial corridor in years. While I have grown accustomed to a City government that seems to discourage small business, I was not expecting the fight of my life just to open a coffee shop. Where were the elected officials in that fight? I looked behind me and they were definitely not in my corner. I was delayed and stone walled at every turn by the same people elected to serve my neighbors and me.

Now, I clean the lot you took possession of 36 years ago directly behind that coffee shop, making the community safer for all, and you threaten me with a lawsuit. How could you possibly prefer what was there last month to what is there now? I called, texted, and e-mailed your offices for years. I could not get a single person to show up from your agency. I did finally get an official from Licenses and Inspections to visit the lot. He recognized it was a mess and wrote a ticket… me!

The tale of this lot has been all over the news, garnering coverage from across the globe, and eliciting tens of thousands of letters and comments from other people just as fed up as me. I cleaned up this lot in spite of your agency’s verbal and written demands that I not trespass on the lot, and in the face of threats of legal action. I undertook this effort because I was fed up with your inaction and unresponsiveness; and frankly, my patience had run out after all these years.

Your agency, charged with selling land to business owners, neighbors, and community groups, claimed that they only first heard of my interest in this property in the days before I performed this cleanup. That same agency had put out press releases and called me a liar. When presented with evidence regarding my many expressions of interest for the parcel they issued no apology.

You sent another press release and claimed there were “three other parties” that have expressed interest in this one lot. Impossible! In nearly four decades, only 3 parties have expressed interest? What happened to what must be dozens of additional applications?

In thirty-six years, what has this agency done with this lot? Why were you only now getting around to selling it after 36 years of neglect? Look at what this lot looked like during the years you maintained it, and then look at it now. I don’t think there is a sane person in this world that agrees with you.

You claim that I am fleecing tax payers by spending my own money to clean up what would otherwise be the tax payers’ expense. How does that make any sense to you? You speak out in opposition to this garden and call it a land grab. You claim the land is worth $50,000 and that you intended to sell it. I say rubbish! You own over 14,000 lots and sell hardly any at “market rate.”

A few hundred feet away from the garden, you sold 2040 Ellsworth Street four years ago for a mere $500. How was that lot worth $500 and this lot worth $50,000? Guess what, they’re both worth $50,000! How was selling that lot for $500 not fleecing tax payers? Does the Redevelopment Authority not discuss that sale because City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson just bought a new home on that lot?

I repeat: Our Councilman moved into Point Breeze AFTER the election and did so by moving into a home built on a lot sold by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for $500 just a few years before. Isn’t that amazing?

You simply cannot make this stuff up. If I were not living this tragedy myself I would have assumed it was written in The Onion.

Regarding your missing records of my countless expressions of interest… shame on you. You either wantonly threw my applications in the trash or simply never got around to reviewing them. Both should be grounds for immediate termination.

Want another example of your inability to get out of your own way? Here’s a quick one.

After six years of aggravation and countless requests, you graciously agreed to allow me to purchase three lots directly across the street from the coffee shop and garden. Five minutes later (not a typo), you filed for condemnation on the very same lots you just voted to sell me. Your explanation....”the property owner had not put forward any plans.” A) That’s 100% false. B) You were staring at the plans 5 minutes before and used those same plans to vote to sell me the lots. More so, I had owned the adjacent lot for less than a year and you decided I was not moving fast enough and condemned that lot too!

Yes, after owning the lot for a fraction of the time you own real estate, you determined that I wasn’t moving quickly enough. Imagine if you held yourselves to those kinds of deadlines!

Clearly, the PRA has failed here and forced a private citizen to take action. Will you finally now, apologize for what you have done and allow everyone to move along with their lives?

Warmest Regards,

Ori C. Feibush

Review the Evidence.


Francesco Banda Jasso

Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 10/26/2012 - 6:13pm.

Just wanted to say you have a great site and thanks for posting!…


Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 10/15/2012 - 2:25am.

Ori, if you were Black and the city officials were White, you would have a major lawsuit here. Jesse Jackson would be leading demonstrations on City Hall and someone might even be fired. Perhaps they are discriminating against you because you are a successful businessman and are bringing the city up.

Never one to turn down a good fight!

Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 10/12/2012 - 5:35am.

First of all,

I must say, Ori, that you are a model citizen and a model businessman!

I would be similarly outraged by acts from such a corrupt city council, or of ANY government agency that they would have THE NERVE to cite me and charge me a fine for a trashed out piece of property that is next to mine, but is, itself, NOT MY PROPERTY! Now HOW the HELL do they get away with THAT ?

This almost sounds like the same sort of creatures that we have in abundance in our "City of Trees" here.

Then, they have the NERVE to gripe and complain because YOU fixed the problem, spending your OWN money and actually doing something worthwhile that ends up benefitting the community, but NOT the sleeze-bag, third-rate, bottom-of-the-barrel contractors they may have hired to do the job at taxpayer expense, but DID NOT DO? And then they want to sue YOU because you did a far better job than they did?

I certainly hope the citizens in your area see the potential of having you as their champion and their next mayoral candidate come the next city-election! Time to "Through the bums out"!

You have my most hearty kudos, and best wishes from me to you!

- Rev. Jim


Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:56pm.

This seems like a selfish move on Ori. How can you fix something that isnt yours, then when you cant have it, you want your money back. I will even be surprised if this comment isnt erased by the one sided administrator

...are you kidding? did you

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 10/11/2012 - 3:12am.

...are you kidding? did you even read what he wrote?

Give 'em hell, BE THE ROCK!

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 10/02/2012 - 5:23am.

Corruption on a Govt. level is horrible. Once you see it with your own eyes you will be astonished at the arrogance of some people. I have gone to council meetings, I have watched them grow from a "petty bunch of fools" into a vindictive entity. Welcome to my reality. And it is ugly! Good for you for taking a stand. It will take every oz. of your being not to go insane. Their logic is nuts, and you will see more and more and more of it. Cross your T's and dot your I's around them. And watch for the sovereign immunity crap, that is coming. You did good with the before and after pics. I would (personally) have hired a appraiser to get a "read" on the property before. You can still do that (since you have pics). Prove what the lot is worth, then make sure they do not charge you for all of your good work. Then (if I were you), I will seriously look to begin trying to get these people out of office. You have seen the beast, make sure it does not win. And yes, I know "I have a business to run, I cannot be bothered with these fools", well those fools have something that will haunt you daily. POWER. Watch for this;

projects that get in the way of your business
pot holes that appear in front of your business.
missed trash pickups
annoying complaints to state and federal agencies (baseless complaints)
sidewalk cracks that grow and grow and grow
break-in's that make no sense (I call them warning break-in's), we have had 10 so far.
illegal police action (non dispatched police showing up at your place of business)

Welcome to my world. They nasty little underbelly of dealing with people who think they are G-d.

Have a good one, and you did a great job!

Now the real work begins!



Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 09/26/2012 - 9:49pm.

what was on this lot 37 years ago before PRA got a hold of it?
How does PRA determine value. Does the PA sunshine laws apply to them?
It would be interesting to see you run for office, maybe a "at-large" seat.
Continue the good work, clean up another lot, really piss off the PRA, they deserve it!

G-d bless you Ori !

Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 09/26/2012 - 1:31am.

I say accuse the city of anti-semitism ! Claim they are going after you because you are a successful Jewish entrepreneur trying to make a downardly mobile area into something more upwardly mobile ! Shame has no name. RUN FOR COUNCILMAN I WILL VOLUNTEER ALL MY FREE TIME TO YOUR CAMPAIGN. G-d bless you !

Schmidt Shul

Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 10/06/2012 - 9:59pm.

Having moved from Philly to Silicon Valley two years ago, I
continue to follow your work and efforts.
Looking forward to the announcement of a Chabad Shul in
Point breeze. Is the coffee house just the first out post.

Please, Anon, please...

Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 09/26/2012 - 10:57pm.

There are enough legitimate grievances here that you shouldn't have to go invent one. You embarrass fellow supporters and yourself when you start shrieking about an anti-Jewish conspiracy. For everyone's good, why not stick to the facts?

How do you know anti-semitism is going on here?

Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 09/28/2012 - 3:31am.

Racism goes in many directions. Philadelphia is no exception. How do you know this is invented? It is a well know fact that gentrification of run down ghetto areas has always sparked racist tensions. It is also well known that at the helms of gentrification in the hood in Philadelphia and New York is usually headed by Jewish real estate developers. There is nothing new going on here.

If the tables were reverse and Ori were black, were he to accuse the city of being racist against him, would you be saying he were "inventing" it? Nope.

Google/Bing Maps.....

Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 09/26/2012 - 1:00am.

If you go to bing maps and do a birds eye view and also google maps aerial and street level you can see how crappy it was prior also. I suppose you could find out the dates they were taken.

this is your new campaign site!

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 09/25/2012 - 7:09am.

Ori, maybe you should think about running for city council. Then you will be able to continue helping your neighborhood in the manner that you did, and help it even more by taking over a position in city council!

Your new campaing

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 09/25/2012 - 6:57pm.

Where can i sign as a volunteer for your first campaign for city council?


Corruption is everywhere.

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 10:44pm.

Its not just Philly.

When I was growing up i was in 4-H for horses. We used to frequent a paddock and arena called the Salem saddle club, in Salem OR. The arena & barn were in need of repairs, but when plans were submitted to the planning and zoning committee. A letter came back indicating that the terrain was unsuitable for development. The property was condemned, and the structure was ordered to be torn down and removed. This of course was at the cost to the owner.

Right now there are hundreds apartments in 3 story buildings on the same ground that was unsuitable for riding horses on.

The difference of course, is that the new property owners have "friends" on the zoning committee who are driving new cars.

These people should be not only be fired, but they should be imprisoned. There is severe lack of oversight in America today.

Don't apologize

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 09/25/2012 - 7:26am.

Maybe corruption exists, but Philadelphia takes corruption to a completely different level.

Apologizing for Philly, making excuses, only makes it worse. This city government is not normal.

It exists primarily to serve itself and the local political machine, not the people. There is not even the pretense of principal, honesty, or decency. Kenyetta Jones doesn't want you to have the property, so FU. He needs a new car to go with his new $500 house. Hint hint. You know what? He's no worse than almost everyone else on city council. Better than some of them.

Look at the Sheriffs office, PHA, PRA, DRPA. These are organizations performing in the worst 1% for honesty and efficiency in government- that is the rule rather than the exception here. And it is not an accident. It is the way the politicians here like it.

Philly politicians really do actually like wallowing in their own filth. They are pigs. The way they dealt with this lot is just a good metaphor. This is the way this government acts every day. Corruption here is no accident. It is systemic.

The only solution should be systemic as well.

A good start- indict every councilman who has ever taken a contribution from someone and then advocated for the city to not collect their taxes, sell them a discount property, or otherwise loot the city for them.

Call to action

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 9:10pm.

Love what you did! Use the momentum you've created and get a bunch of caring neighboring citizens to take on all the eyesore, neglected lots. Build gardens, picnic tables, little oasis's where pedestrians can sit down and watch the world go by. You're not taking ownership, just cleaning things up with a few amenities. Where's the harm in that? Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

Philadelphia Redevelopment

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 7:32pm.

Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Press Conference:

Thank You Mr. Ori Feibush

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 7:03pm.

I first heard about this situation from my children who walk pass everyday on their way to school. First I want to thank you on their behalf as well as mine. They now find it a little safer to walk by in the morning compared to last year. They are happy they don't have to walk in the street or even across the street where the pavement is broken and more weeds are growing that covers the path they can walk on. They say your hot coco and muffins are to die for...I have to try them for myself. Anyway, thanks again for beautifying our little neck of the woods and good luck on the purchase of the body cared until you fixed it up and Thanks again!!!!

Why should Ori OR the City Own the Lot?

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 4:38pm.

A few year's ago I spent over $1,000 to enhance the security of my back alley which is shared by a few of my neighbors in Point Breeze. I did not ask for anything in return. I did it to help the community, and it was good enough for me for my neighbors to say "thank you." So I ask . . .is it not enough for the community to say "thank you, to Ori?" I think so. Why does Ori need to own this land, why does the city need to own this land (they clearly can't mange it) . .so how about both parties the developer and the city come together and say "how can we actually help the community?" The community doesn't benefit from either party owning or selling the land, but the community will benefit from the lot being a park and staying as it is right now. Ori, take the high road here and say "I propose we donate this park to the point breeze community."

Seems like Ori suggesting a

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 09/25/2012 - 7:51am.

Seems like Ori suggesting a park would be the kiss of death for the PRA to sell it. Or give it away to some politically connected slumlord.

Regardless of some well-meaning people in the PRA, the organization is not decent, rational, or well-meaning for the community or the city. The PRA exists solely for the benefit of the political establishment here. It exercises its power to demonstrate the machine's control over the city.

The dumber and more senseless their action, the louder the PRA's message is, "the Democrat machine here is in control and there is nothing you can do about it." This is Philly politics 101.

Manifest Destiny

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 2:51pm.

Glad to see the Manifest Destiny mindset is still alive and well. Take what is not yours, expand to new territory, because God wills it and because the people who live on that territory are heathens. Sounds about right to me, doesn't Mr. Feibush? I'm sure you wholeheartedly agree.

"The people who live on that territory?"

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 10/21/2012 - 4:58pm.

What the hell do you mean "the people who live on that territory"? These are ABANDONED LOTS!!!! No one lives there. The city is a freaking slumlord because for some it is good politics. Gross.

Manifest Destiny or Responsible Citizen

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 09/25/2012 - 5:28pm.

I fail to see how the clearing and improving of a vacant lot is synonymous with Manifest Destiny. In what way has Mr.Feibush taken possession of the property? Seems to me the Point Breeze neighborhood is benefiting from having a responsible member of the community move in. "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." These words are just as applicable here, Mr. Feibush stepped in where his local government was failing and spent his own money to the benefit and betterment of an entire neighborhood. Just because the land has been maintained for the first time in 36 years, doesn't mean it isn't still under the ownership of the city. If you Sir or Madam are a resident of Point Breeze then you should be thanking Mr.Feibush instead of condemning him for doing what you and the other members of the neighborhood have failed to do: act as pilars of your community and not wait for the government to make the neighborhood clean and safe.

I'm all for manifest destiny

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 10:59pm.

I'm all for manifest destiny if it gets those ghetto ass thugs out of my fucking neighborhood. They're not smart enough to be heathens.


Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 2:03pm.

Quick story-

I live in grad hospital. The southwest corner of Christian and broad is a vacant derelict lot in maintained by Kenny Gamble - with poverty trees growing at breakneck speed. It became a den for derelicts. Not only did they live there, one must have been a carpenter in a past life because he constructed a lean-to hit where he and another derelict resided. Then there was the cat lady who constructed a cat condo out of milk cartons; residence to a dozen feral cats. I tried to rally the neighbors to take action.... nothing, peppered with laziness. Then the Upenn professor living 4 houses down had one of the lean-to residents, friends, or local drug addicts climb the fence bordering the mess into his yard, steal a ladder from the caddy corner construction, and climb into his bedroom and shoot him in the head. Thankfully, he was grazed as survived it.

I wrote a letter to Kenny gamble, contacted the city requesting clean up..... And of course nothing happened. So I took my chinsaw and enlisted the help of a friend. Two 12 hour days or work later, I massacred every tree sprouting and concealing the drug den, turned the lean to to splinters, thwarted off the two resident derelicts, and created a 30x30 foot mass ad debris in the center of the lot for the city to see. For months, no action. I petitioned for its removal, and futilely attempted to contact Kenny gamble. Nothing. this story usually goes, the pile of garbage began growing like an aggressive tumor with every contractors garbage. FINALLY, Kenny must have realized the situation and ponied up to clean it. The trees are now back just over a year later.

The moral? Kenny Gamble is a connected man and gets away with this deleliction of property. It's reminiscent of how the city manages their land. To add, the neighboring property on Christian st just constricted a beautiful new townhouse, and Kenny charged them, like a petty teenager, to use this gross lot to put up a temporary scaffold to stucco the side of their house - all while allowing it to become a perennial drug den. Sounds like par for the course right?

Kudos to you for standing up for yourself and beautifying the city.

Good for you

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 4:40pm.

And wow . . .you actually did this without petitioning Kenny Gamble to sell you the land, you did it because it was the right thing to do!

could not disagree more with this on both ends.

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 3:11am.

Im confused as to what this plot of land is going to be used for, it looks to me like there will be much outdoor seating for a cafe, the ocf coffee place, which sounds very lucrative and makes sense for all the money that was spent. I live close by, so does that mean I can sit here and enjoy a cup of coffee i made at my house with my dog and enjoy the morning, or will i have to buy something from the ocf coffee house? I also maybe made a mistake and cleared out a backyard full of trash only a block away from here, that was not my own. total cost $400. I did it so I would not have to look at it anymore. Not sure why its being blasted that kenyatta johnson got a lot for cheaper, but that sounds really bad as well.

"I live close by, so does

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 2:37pm.

"I live close by, so does that mean I can sit here and enjoy a cup of coffee i made at my house with my dog and enjoy the morning..."

yes, stupid.

Thank you, Mr. Feibush,

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 2:37am.

for a job well-done. Rather than community redevelopment organizations like Germantown Settlement (bankrupt) and Ogontz Ave. Revitalization Corp. (corrupt), this city/country needs more individuals like you. It's not gentrification, it's common sense: if one is unable/unwilling to maintain a property, then one needs to move on or be moved out. Why should one's taxpaying neighbors be forced to suffer next to squalor? Thank you again.

I hate to say this, but...

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 12:06am.

...this is the reason that Philadelphia has GOT TO elect a Republican administration. Not for the sake of having a Republican administration, but just to purge a bureaucratic quagmire that the City has built up over the last 50+ years. Four years from now when the Dem's come back in, there can then be a fresh new group of people who actually believe that they have WORK to do...and ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING !

The only way...

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 1:00am.

The only way to purge corruption is to organize a voting block who are willing to cross party lines (in both directions) if they believe there is corruption, to vote out the person responsible and NEVER vote for them again. Both parties are up to their necks in corruption, and switching parties will only reduce corruption for so long as it takes for a new set of corrupt business arrangements to be brokered.
Corruption pays. Unless we create a mechanism that permanently destroys the political career of corrupt politicians (and we will have to turf through a few before the message is sent), it will continue to be massive profit with minimal risk.
Corruption will end when WE choose to make it utter political (and possibly social) suicide, trumping left/right politics.

It sounds like we're on the same page...

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 3:28pm.

...However, I guess where I was coming from is that we need to eliminate the immediate corruption and/or complacency i=of this monster by gutting the crony-ism and nepotism within its ranks, and (hopefully) have them replaced with people who will do something.

Bless all of you who care.

back and forth

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 09/25/2012 - 7:19am.

we have been voting back and forth between republican and democrat on the national scale more or less for this reason; but it gets us nowhere. i agree that a voting block that does not blindly affiliate with any 1 party is very necessary, and i think that non-establishment (3rd party?) candidates may need to be chosen first since both usually both standard choices lead to the same thing.

How to clean up politics

Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 09/26/2012 - 7:07am.

The ONLY solution is to have an organized effort to either elect a running third-party candidate or write-in someone who is not corrupt. You have to vote ALL the corruption out at once and replace it with people who can resist the temptation of easy money or all you will do is get a new batch of corruption in.

People who love money and crave power are attracted to public office while people who do not don't volunteer for the headaches and mud slinging of politics. We have to get the few ethical people to "cowboy up" and take over running things.

As an IBM Manager was said to a co-worker who did NOT want to be a Manager: "would you rather you and everyone else have to work for THAT guy"?

We have to realize people aren't perfect, but there simply aren't all that many who are trustworthy and ethical so we have to encourage them to lead - and back them up 110% and defend them against the inevitable attacks that will come there way.

That is the only way we can take back our neighborhoods, counties, states and country. But make no mistake about it - where big money is involved these may be life or death decisions because those who love money will do anything - including kill someone - who tries to take away their power.

That said, we have let the situation decline so far that we are going to have to act or it will be too late to ever do anything. Many people will defend the status quo and don't even see what is wrong with it because they're so used to the way it is it seems "normal" to them!

Gov our to control

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 9:41pm.

Mr. Feibush demonstrates the character that made this country great. Philly is a perfect example of what is destroying it. Bureaucrats abusing their positions, using them to terrorize and destroy business and using tax dollars to do it.


Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 6:19pm.

Are the gov't. watch dogs so stupid to call attention to this by saying they will fine him. He took care of an eyesore and they want to fine him! Gov't at its worse.

Old-school crooked politics

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 6:08pm.

Sounds like some old-school back East crooked politics. Did some city councilman want a new car, or want the lot for themselves?

Keep fighting! Decent honest people everywhere are pulling for you.

Corrupt Ghetto City Employees

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 5:51pm.

It's their turf is why. There are no rules on their turf. They are a cartel just like the entire Democratic party. If you are a friend of the cartel then you get cheap property. The cartel keeps the uneducated city residents happy with meager handouts. Businessmen are a threat to the cartel. They don't answer to the cartel. They are white which is bad. Most likely racist white. They don't care cause you a cracka. It ain't yo turf.

Played a Song for You

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 5:17pm.


I played Talking Heads - Nothing But Flowers for you today. Know that you are in the thoughts of the just.

kenyetta johnson

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 3:34pm.

Won byless than100 votes. He should get his resume together.

the majority of people in this district dont want to wallow in ghetto trashpiles.

He talks like he is on the side of taxpayers. Sir, your actions speak louddr than your words. Everyone knows you now.

Invoice the city

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 2:43pm.

I would send an invoice to the city for all your expenses PLUS a thousand per day that they didn't clean up the eyesore. Actually, I would NEVER live in a liberal city like that. You should come to Texas. It's a much better place to live!

Invoice the city?

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 09/27/2012 - 8:22pm.

If you're suggesting some of us in liberal Philly move to Texas, it can only be assumed you mean Austin. Otherwise, really? Texas?


Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 1:36pm.

Just want to commend you on taking matters into your own hands. Thank you for setting a postive example and making the world a better place! :)

Keep it up

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 1:22pm.

Pleased keep up the good fight we support you.


Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 1:21pm.

Kudo's to you, Sir. Don't give up the fight. Corrupt government is at all levels.

Warmest Regards to YOU Ori Feibush

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:15pm.

This is a parable of good vs. evil. The message of determination and inspiration are not lost on others who face similar circumstances in their own communities. Thank you for your perseverance, your tenacity and the beautiful environment you've created from a dangerously blighted property.

As we work, tirelessly, to turn the corner in our own community of Pottstown, Pa. There are many here that would welcome your innovation and forthrightness with open arms Mr. Feibush.

What is amazing and a

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 9:25am.

What is amazing and a testament to the city and its people- in spite of what is one of the worst municipal governments in the USA, Philly has been thriving for the last 10+ years. Well, at least the exodus of taxpayers has stopped.

Frankly, I'm amazed that people are investing in a neighborhood like Point Breeze. That takes some balls. That the city is trying to drive them out, wow. You really can't make that up.

Permanent improvement requires state takeover

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 9:06am.

Hauling these dirty Philly pols out into the light is a great start, but Philadelphia government is incapable of reforming itself. They have zero shame. Over $100mm later, we still have DROP after all.

The only solution is the State steps in to defend taxpayers here in the city. Clip the wings of this corrupt third world style machine. State law trumps city council. We are citizens of PA. Most people in Philly have little love for Corbett. He seems to write off Philly. But if he defended taxpayers here with the same energy he defends natural gas companies, he would win reelection in a landslide. He needs less than a third of the vote in the city- the third of the city that pays taxes and/or owns property, cares about improving their neighborhoods, and is constantly being screwed by this city government. With AVI coming up, that group of the screwed is growing dramatically.

Here's a simple good government agenda that only the most hardened Philly machine pol would oppose:

1. The city should not be able to increase property taxes (or any other tax) until it:
a) collects 80% of outstanding property taxes from deadbeats and
b) sells at least 75% of the PRA inventory.
In both cases, only a pure auction is acceptable. No councilmatic prerogative or involvement by council whatsoever. Any councilman who has given away low-cost land to his buddies and then exempting them from paying taxes should be prosecuted as the criminal he/she is.

Unfortunately, since Philly's political establishment historically choses Sheriffs that are basically (borderline) criminals themselves, the Sheriffs office would need to become a non-elected position appointed by the state.

2. City council should have their pensions frozen. No more accruing new benefits. Council should never have been allowed to vote on their own pension. Nor should they be able to approve on new pension sweeteners until they fund fully the multi-billion dollar liability they have already incurred. Letting venal Philadelphia politicians give out favors today without accounting for their cost, expecting taxpayers 30 years from now to make good, is a guaranteed path to bankruptcy.

3. Minority contract set-asides should be banned as a matter of state law. Whatever their original merit, they serve no useful or just purpose anymore. Especially in Philly they have become a vehicle for fraud by politically connected grifters ripping off the taxpayers (ie. Milton Street).

The only solution is for the state to step in. Otherwise, the global story will blow over and this same fetid regime will resort to their old tricks. Nutter seemed like a decent guy, honest at least. But he's apparently a feckless puppet and has done almost nothing to improve the city. Regardless of what you think of the governor, he is the only hope for reform. If only some of the decent Philly democrats (eg Sen Stack) would team up with him, a lot could get done here.