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Darrell Clarke Says He Is Not Competing With Nutter Over Release Of Similar Plans To Restructure L&I

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- City Council President Darrell Clarke insists that his plan to reorganize huge portions of Philadelphia government is not intended to trump a related plan unveiled at the very same time by Mayor Nutter.

On Thursday, the very same day that Mayor Nutter made public a task force report on reorganizing the Department of Licenses and Inspections, Council President Clarke unveiled an even broader plan that would affect not only L&I but a host of other departments and commissions involving planning and development.

"This puts it all in one department (and) has a cabinet-level individual who will be responsible for those departments."

Clarke says his decision to unveil the plan on the same day as Nutter's was not intentional.

"Absolutely not. We actually started this process close to a year ago as a result of conversations with individuals, developers, people who deal with all aspects of the city's planning and development divisions."

In fact the Council President says he had hoped to unveil the proposal last spring.

"We were actually prepared to introduce this earlier in the year. But then the school district (funding) issue came up. The municipal (workers) contracts heated up. So we thought it would be prudent to wait until we got those things out of the way."

Clarke hadn't seen the task force report, but believes they're not mutually exclusive.

"I anticipate that there will be components in the task force that can be adopted in this provision. This is a restructuring of the agency. It doesn't necessarily lay out some of the specifics that I'm told are in the task force report dealing primarily with demolition and construction."

Both plans would require changes to the city charter to become reality, and that requires council review and a voter referendum. Clarke says he hopes "to work together" with the Administration on the two proposals.

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