Friday, June 14, 2013

Where's City Hall's Apology?

With the alleged suicide of Ron Wagenhoffer, seven are now dead as a result of the collapse at 22nd and Market.

Meanwhile the media can't keep its facts straight, one moment claiming that Wagenhoffer blamed himself for the tragedy, and redacting it the next. That's a pretty big fact to get wrong. In fact, that's the entire premise of the story.

And where's our Mayor? He's at a conference in Chicago leaving his spokesman, Mark McDonald to handle his publicity nightmare.

Councilman Kenny called him out on it, and McDonald played politics by accusing Kenny of playing politics.

Come on, Nutter, we've all seen enough political dramas to know this scene by heart. When your office is under fire and the press is asking for answers you don't have, you get out of town until the heat is off. Give us some credit.

And while you're at it, how about an apology?

I'm certainly not going to blame anyone for a man choosing to take his own life, but it's no stretch to imagine that had the Mayor and City Council been managing their city - doing their jobs - instead of covering their asses or cowardly hiding, more death could have been avoided.

Instead, they sat back and allowed the blame to be heaped on the shoulders of one crane operator and one inspector, hoping that the public eye ignored the fact that their own ineffectual policies and regulations are as responsible.

Those running this town are busy doing what they do: satisfying the status quo. L&I is pandering the "he was a model employee" rhetoric. City Hall has doled out their own politically correct "L&I followed the rules" bullshit. Not one apology from a career politician has come without a caveat.

I just want one elected or appointed official to look at a camera and say, "me, my office, and City Hall played a role in this tragic event and I'm sorry."


  1. I have boxes of evidence of elected officials allowing and committing varied and many construction crimes at the Devon Street Project in East Mt Airy. I was the adjacent neighbor & caught even brick & cement dust that 7 years later , my lungs are so tight, we suspect asbestos or silica-both in cement and bricks and brick mortar throughout the city. 4 feet from my house, demolition on a known to be contaminated industrial site owned by Stan Smith, partner to Ken Weinstein at Philly Retail, was done without permits or dust control. I ended up in hospital several times & city secretly & illegally trucked away contaminated soil. History of petrol & chemical dumping & leaking gas station for coal trucks. No environmental report of due diligence. Elected officials, including D.A. staff Vernon Price, then ward leader, represented project. A 9 month project took over 6 years +. Regularly druck crew who partied and fought all night on site. Vernon Price chose a contractor Thomas Berrian who had wrecked other project and "mismanaged" the money a few years earlier. Ward Leader didn't know? Director of Community Planning Richard Redding writes that a "conspiracy was engineered in Reed Miller Office" against me because I filed Zoning appeal and was discovery too much crime and corruption. Whistleblower Retaliation has been severe. Hate crimes and Civil Rights Violations by elected officials. Many hospital visits and displaced from home which was cracked and bent. Now facing asbestos threat/death. One cat already dead from cancer.

  2. Deputy Mayor Alan Greenburger should be saying that. In Oct , 2011 he attended a symposium on Environmental Justice presented by the Public Interest Law Center. The feature speaker was Vernice Travis MIller. Alan Greenburger was at the meeting during her presentation. I also attended the meeting and have the entire court style transcript that proves Greenburger was there. I also have the book that was given to all of us with the presentations of all speakers. Ms Miller worked with a group in Baltimore and John Hopkins Medical center and they developed 1st rate safety measures for demolition. She handed the entire protocol to all of us. Additionally city planning received the same information from Baltimore on JUNE 10, 2006 in N.liberties from a colleague of Ms Miller. Additionally, I had been sending info on safe demo practices for years to City Planning. They ignored all of it even though they knew I was ending up in hospital and displaced from home due to reckless endangerment and haz mat. They attacked and ignored me because I was nothing to them . I had no money and no political connection. I was collateral damage and they enjoyed terrorizing and harming me. If they had listened and made an effort to correct the demolition problems on the Deveon site and listened to the experts from Baltimore which we paid them to go listen to , the deaths at Market would not have happened. But Alan Greenburger and will allow developers with money to cut corners and kill people and destroy lives. That is business as usual.

    1. I really appreciate you sharing you're stories and I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. It seems that this city is falling apart piece by piece and a lot of its residents are being forgotten in the dust.

      I'm all for the exciting, new development taking place throughout the city - that's what my blog is prominently about - but not when giant tax incentives are given towards new condos and office towers when those millions of dollars should be spent securing the city we have and ensuring the safety of current neighbors and employees.

      In the past couple of months two prominent buildings have collapsed and burned in Old City due to the city's completely lack of proactive oversight, and another just collapsed in Northern Liberties.

      There are untold hundreds, maybe thousands of aging structures throughout the city unaddressed by inspectors and awaiting the same fate.

      I hate to wonder how many residents and employees need to suffer or die before the city is willing to get out in front of the problem instead of just performing their usually damage control.

      I hope the best for you and your cats and I really wish I could provide a meaningful voice for you and others. All I can say is keep telling your story and eventually someone will listen.

  3. Thank you so much for answering. I was forced to move out of state as the threats and assaults grew too serious and have been perpetuated by the high level politicians and cronies. I'm trying to adjust to a new place and write a book about what happened in Philadelphia.