In one of its last sessions yesterday before the summer recess, City Council dealt with several issues, including approving legislation dealing with economic development and minority inclusion.
Among the legislation adopted were three bills by Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. that will give a $3,000 tax credit in 2010 and 2011 to businesses for each job they create, require contractors to document their progress in opening their businesses to minorities, and expand a program under which more companies can receive tax credits for contributing to nonprofit community-development corporations.
Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez's bill to guarantee a prevailing wage for security guards at homeless shelters passed unanimously. The wages of about 30 guards were slashed in a budget-cutting move this year; Sánchez's bill removes a loophole that allows the city to avoid paying a prevailing wage by funding the security guards through private shelters rather than hiring them directly.
Council also unanimously approved a bill that expands the use of electronic advertising at city newsstands.
In other action, Council delayed voting on Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell's bill to legalize seven-passenger Conference Bikes and other cycles with four seats or more on city streets.
Blackwell's legislative counsel, John Christmas, said the Nutter administration wanted more time to study the issue, and he wanted to include rickshawlike pedicabs - currently illegal - in the legislation.
"It just needs more focus," Christmas said. The bill will not be acted on before the summer break.
Finally, Mayor Nutter forwarded to Council a nominee for the Ethics Board. His pick, the Rev. Damone B. Jones Sr., is pastor of Bible Way Baptist Church in West Philadelphia. Jones' nomination will go before the Committee of the Whole for a hearing.