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Voters speak on Council votes

Staff writer Miriam Hill reports from the Second and Sixth Council Districts.

David Snelbaker, a 44-year-old metal worker, liked both State Rep. Kenyatta Johnson and Barbara Capozzi but cast his vote for Capozzi because Johnson already held elected office and could continue to work for Philadelphians in Harrisburg. The two are vying with Tracey Gordon to replace Council President Anna C. Verna, who is retiring in January after 36 years in office.

Snelbaker also voted for Andy Toy in council's at-large race because of his economic development proposals. He was less familiar with the other candidates. Toy is one of 14 candidates vying for five Democratic nominations for Council at-large.

Ori Feibush, a real-estate agent, knows Capozzi through work. He believes she will work to put vacant lots owned by the city and other government entities back into private hands so they can be developed. "I'm excited to see someone who will make changes in this neighborhood," said Feibush, 27, who lives near 20th and Catherine streets.

In Torresdale, Holmesburg and other North Philadelphia neighborhoods ,Bobby Henon and Marty Bednarek signs seemed to cover about half of the grassy areas. Supporters of each candidate stood outside most polling places. Henon and Bednarek are looking to succeed retiring Joan Krajewski in the Sixth Councilmanic District.

Outside the Torresdale Youth Club, which served as the neighborhood polling place, John Donohoe, an electrician for Local 98, said he had knocked on about 200 doors for Henon in the last three weeks. Henon is political director for Local 98.

As she left the Youth Club, Republican voter Patricia Giordano said she was ready to "get rid of all of the people in City Council right now." She doesn't think most of them work very. A retired college professor, Giordano said she was angry about elected officials participating in the city's Deferred Retirement Option plan, or DROP. She did not want to say how that affected her Council vote, but Republican at-large incumbent Frank Rizzzo is endrolled in the DROP program.

Rizzo is one of nine Republican candidates seeking five spots on the November ballot. Republicans and Democrats have five nominations each and fight it out for seven spots. At least two seats are guaranteed to a minority party, and the five Democrats consistently win, with the five Republicans scrapping for the two other spots.

Stacie Hasher, 46, also of Torresdale, said she, too, was angry over DROP, but she came to vote mostly for at-large Republican candidate Joseph McColgan because he is a family friend. She could not remember who else she had voted for.

Mike Harkins, an 85-year-old retired butcher from Torresdale, said he voted for Henon. "He's the only guy who seemed like he was going to do something for seniors," Harkins said of Henon. Harkins was not sure about the specifics but believes Henon plans to seek grant money for older people.

Ted Westervelt, a 42-year-old salesperson, said he pushed the button for Henon because he "speaks for the community." He did not want to say anything else.

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