Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz discussed what he was doing about hot-button issues, including the systemic inequities his office uncovered during its investigation of the city’s 311 phone service, to about 35 people at the Jewish Community Services Building.
Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz was the featured speaker to a group of about 35 people at the weekly Klein Center City Senior Program, held at the Jewish Community Services Building in Center City last Friday.
Butkovitz is a lifelong Philadelphian and public servant who has frequently been mentioned as a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination for the mayoral election in 2015. Accordingly, his 45-minute talk focused on what he was doing about hot-button issues, including the systemic inequities his office uncovered during its investigation of the city’s 311 phone service. That investigation found that while the vast majority of Philadelphians only have access to a live operator during weekdays to help them get directed to the right city agency, a select group of people can call operators who are on duty after 8 p.m. on weekdays as well as weekends.
Butkovitz also discussed Philadelphia's public schools crisis and issues of fiscal transparency that have given the city a reputation as a “pay to play” environment.
Butkovitz stuck around to answer questions from the audience, who came ready for him. During the 30-minute Q&A session, he responded to queries and complaints about everything from uneven sidewalks and bicycle etiquette to a possible SEPTA strike and South Philly parking rules.
Butkovitz clearly enjoyed the interaction, and brought an ace-in-the-hole for those questioners to whom he couldn’t provide immediate answers: a staff member who took down their information in order to follow up with them.