Blue-Ribbon Panel’s Advice to L&I: Become Two Agencies



L&I restructure may be in the works |

  • An informal panel charged with studying the hypothetical bureaucratic reform of the Department of Licenses and Inspections has suggested its dismemberment into two separate entities, reports The Inquirer. The report–still in draft form–calls for the creation of two new agencies: 1) A Department of Buildings to enforce construction safety regulations, and 2) one to issue licensees and deal with non-construction matters. The institutional shake-up would not be limited to L&I; the Fire Department would be given greater purview over the fire-code, and City Controller Alan Butkovitz’s office would be able to regularly audit the agencies. It is hoped that reform would allow for a more manageable work load for municipal strata that had hitherto “been a catchall, responsible for licensing or inspecting everything from dumpsters to day-care centers – and demolition sites.”
  • Over two years after a watermain broke at 21st & Bainbridge, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson is committed to making affected residents “whole” once more, says NewsWorks. Seeing as state law caps the amount by which the City is required to provide restitution for at half-a-million dollars (over $2 million in damages has accrued), Johnson is asking his colleagues to agree to an allocation of another $400,000.
  • The Philadelphia Business Journal notes that the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has broken ground for its 3-story, 96,000-square-foot Community Health and Literacy Center on the block between South Broad & 15th Streets and Morris & Castle Avenues. In addition to a permissive leasing agreement, the City will provide $2.2 million of the total $42.5 million in expected costs for the facility that hopes to become a national model of public-private cooperation. 
  • Philly Living looks back at the history of the Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences’ music building, originally the the Foulke and Long Institute for Orphaned Girls of Soldiers and Firemen at 201 South 34th Street in University City. The 1892 building was expanded in 2008 by Ann Beha Architects. “The end product is a new, larger building that combines state-of-the-art facilities with an attractive historic building that has been updated for our time. The new building meshes seamlessly with the historic structure, in effect creating a modern twin for the old orphanage for girls nobody wanted. Now, it’s a place those girls would probably love.”
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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  1. Yeah sure that’s what we need, two departments instead of one. No need to shrink the size and scope of City government, just expand it even more, because cost is no object.

  2. I think two smaller, more effective agencies would be the ideal solution to this.

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