Philadelphia Council doesn't have the summer off
Philadelphia City Council may be on a weekly session recess for the summer, but members and staffers want you to know they are working.
There will be at least four public hearings this summer on the Market Street building demolition collapse, and there could be other issues that will bring councilmembers out of their offices.
Councilman-at-large Jim Kenney says for him, the work continues all summer.
"I've been here 22 years. Other than weekends I don't usually take any time off. We don't meet formally. I'm in the building every day," he said. "I don't know where that myth came from, but I can assure I'm here all summer long."
Council President Darrell Clarke says the city charter mandates a certain schedule for budgetary purposes, and that dictates their calendar.
"The reality is that we have a schedule that is put out at the beginning of the council session. We have met that schedule," Clarke said. "This notion that we have to extend our schedule beyond June 30 is not within the charter's authorized procedures."
Kenney says even if Council had hearings, summer vacations would cause havoc because administrative officials are often away during July and August. Other council members say the summer is when they go into the districts and talk to constituents.