Central Roxborough Civic Association Meeting Minutes
January 7, 2016
CRCA President Don Simon welcomed the crowd and wished a happy new year to all present.
Update by State Representative Pam DeLissio
On December 29, 2015, Governor Wolf signed the Appropriations Bill, but made a number of significant changes. For about 100 lines, he either line item vetoed or reduced amounts of funding.
Impacted groups include PA public schools (including charters) and the PA Human Services department. Gov. Wolf zeroed-out amounts for Jan-June for both of these units (the Commonwealth’s fiscal year commenced in June 2015) because they were too severely underfunded to make any meaningful difference.
There remain 8 bills regarding the budget to be decided. These included the Fiscal Code Bill and the Tax Bill.
There are several proposals for raising revenue for PA, including a raise in the personal income tax. Rep. DeLissio explained that the proposed raise of 0.25% would raise over $1 billion for PA while resulting in a raise in taxes of about $2.50 per week for someone making about $50,000 per year.
Gov. Wolf will make his Budget Address on Feb. 9, 2016.
Rep. DeLissio suggested mediation as a solution to the budget negotiation impasse.
Interesting fact: cigars are not taxed as tobacco products in PA.
Rep. DeLissio has lined up a series of Town Hall meetings for January through June. The February through May Town Halls will each feature a cabinet-level secretary guest.
Rep. DeLissio responded to community questions regarding proposed personal and sales taxes, pension, and proposed shale tax.
- CRCA Pres. Don Simon informed the group that he had recently contacted the Philadelphia Folk Song Society about their plans to convert a former church on Ridge Avenue to a performance space. They are still on track in the their preparations to go before the Zoning Board of Adjustment to seek a special exception for the project.
5th District Police Community Relations Officer Chris Jones
2015 Crime States for the 5th Dist.
- Total violent crime down 12% since 2014
- Theft from autos down 32%
- The 5th District responded to over 20,000 calls in 2015
- 5,000 vehicles were stopped and almost 3,000 individuals
- Residential burglaries are up 8%. Off. Jones reminded those present to be cognizant of their home security and advised cutting back bushes, looking at lighting options, and considering the use of alarm systems. For a free security audit of your home, call Off. Jones.
- Businesses are increasingly participating in the City’s Safe Cam program in which the City will partially reimburse business for the cost of installing a camera system in exchange for the owner’s consenting to allowing the police view footage if an event occurs near a register camera.
- Off. Jones and the community then engaged in a discussion of drug problems noticed in the vicinity of Ridge Avenue and Green Lane. 5th District Police have met twice since June with the owner of a business at that intersection, and the owners are cooperating with police inquiries. Off. Jones explained that the 5th Dist. does not have a NEXT team (a Philadelphia Police team devoted to targeting open-air drug sales and markets). Regarding indoor sales, the narcotics field unit would be greatly assisted by community reports. If you are aware of a drug transaction going on, please notify the 5th District (can be confidentially) and let them know specific details – who is selling, who is buying, when, where, what kind of drug, where are drugs kept, etc.). Off. Jones assured the community that arrests are happening at Ridge & Green in response to reports of severely intoxicated individuals and drug paraphernalia.
- Rep. DeLissio recommended that anyone concerned about a particular bar should file a complaint with the State Liquor Code Enforcement. This will affect the ability of the bar to obtain a rubberstamp renewal of its annual license.
CRCA President Don Simon presented the Nominating Committee’s slate for officers. There were no other nominations. Upon motion, the slate was unanimously adopted. The following officers are hereby elected:
- President: Don Simon
- Vice President: Lynda Payne
- Treasurer: Neil Macdonell
- Recording Secretary: Elizabeth Fischer
- Corresponding Secretary: Alexander Fidrych
- Board Chair: Leonard "Ed" Hotham
Wissahickon Valley Watershed Presentation
Lindsay Blanton from the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association
showed a film about the watershed’s history, topography, and recent initiatives to address storm water concerns, such as meadow planning and home rain gardens. She then answered questions from the community and left literature about her organization. She particularly warned about “impervious creep” – the gradual expansion of impervious surfaces that goes unnoticed when the amount of impervious space being added per project do not require any sort of approval but eventually accrues to problematic levels overall.
- Don Simon requested any programming suggestions for future meetings be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Don Simon welcomed, in particular, pastor Rick Jones.
- Upon motion, the meeting adjourned at 8:38 P.M.