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One Great Idea: Jim Kenney, Philadelphia councilman at large

Her one great idea: Everyone should look for a way to contribute to the community.

"One of my great ideas is to allow Philadelphia police officers, once they're retired, to work part-time for the city.

"We have an issue with our pension regulations that do not allow retired Philadelphia employees to work for the city. ... But I believe that if we change the pension law to allow for retired city police officers to work an hourly rate in traditionally lower-crime areas — creating a great police presence in Center City, in East Passyunk Avenue, in Main Street Manayunk, in 52nd and Market, in other areas where people do shop and do commerce — we free up the younger officers to work in the more high-crime areas. ...

"When you're in Times Square or you're in the theater district or you're anywhere in Manhattan, there is a major police presence. ... It's a much safer feeling.

"The average Philadelphia police officer's pension is about $25,000 a year. All of our men and women who retire have to supplement their income in some way. So if they're allowed to work hourly for us... we could add three, four hundred new officers to our commerce areas, our tourist areas."

Response to Last Week's Idea

One reader's idea:

"SEPTA buses should stop at every other intersection in Center City rather than their current practice of stopping at every intersection.

"The system would save money on fuel due to less idling, which would also significantly reduce air pollution.

"Fewer stops would also mean that the buses could maintain a tighter schedule.

Ideas can be e-mailed to

The Inquirer and have launched a 45-week project to inspire Philadelphians to suggest great ideas for the city and region.

In our "One Great Idea" project, we're asking well-known and less-known people of our region to tell us their single great idea to change Philadelphia. These video interviews will run on each Tuesday and The Inquirer's Wednesday commentary pages.

Post comments, vote on this idea, or share your one great idea at, or write to