PHA Board chairman John F. Street on Tuesday said the board’s five members will meet next week to discuss the federal probe into the agency in the wake of the scandal involving executive director Carl Greene.
The meeting, called “to discuss current agency activities and the board’s investigation,” is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Board’s offices, 12 S. 23rd Street.
The Board suspended Greene on Thursday, with pay, while it conducts an investigation over the next month into four separate sexual harassment cases against Greene. Three were settled for $648,000 and a fourth is proposed for $250,000. The FBI and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Inspector General have also opened a criminal investigation. LINK
Once again the familiar narrative of our beloved, corrupt Philadelphia government is playing out. This time it’s the story of the thoroughly unsavory Carl Green. The story of Carl Green, Director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) is pretty much common knowledge around these parts. It’s such a typical and disgusting example of Philly corruption that I haven’t given it much play. But it’s a story worthy of further scrutiny.
Our Governor Ed “Fast Eddy” Rendell appointed Green years ago to run the dysfunctional Philadelphia Housing Authority, even though Green has a highly volatile personality and a history of sexual harassment charges. Rendell brought Green here from Detroit where he was dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct. Why we even have a public housing department is another matter.
Anyway PHA is as corrupt and mismanaged an agency as there exists in city government. Essentially it’s a taxpayer-funded, free housing give away program for minorities. Literally billions of dollars have been wasted on similar programs nationwide since Lyndon Johnson was President with little to show for it. Free public housing is a staple of liberalism and the Democrat party. It’s part and parcel of the giveaway mentality that brought us the equally dismal Section 8 housing. Thats the neighborhood destroying federal housing program that allows landlords to get guaranteed federal money for renting to low-income tenants. Tenants who often lack the desire or life skills to be good neighbors and who pay only 30% of the rent.
Green’s latest problems only came to light because his OWN HOUSE was in FORECLOSURE! This guy makes nearly 350K a year and was behind in his payments so far that the bank was well into the foreclosure process! The local media, finally unable to ignore the Green story any further was forced into a feeding frenzy for fear of being scooped by other media outlets. Now come a laundry list of allegations including more sexual misconduct, pay to play policies, retaliation, abusive management, favoritism, and enough allegations of corruption that even the “See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil” PHA board is finally “talking about” looking into the situation. Lucky taxpayers.
The US Dept of Housing and Urban Development has ordered a freeze on PHA’s activities pending their own investigation and even the FBI may now be getting involved. In short it is business as usual in Philly government.
That leads me to this observation: Housing is essentially a function of the free market. The government has NO BUSINESS being involved in the financing, construction or management of housing PERIOD! It is a criminal misuse of tax payer dollars. There is no shortage of housing anywhere in our region. Just a shortage of FREE HOUSING! Politicians and bureaucrats like Carl Green are responsible for fleecing tax payers to the tune of untold millions of dollars, plunging our cities into bankruptcy and financial ruin. Corruption and gross fiscal mismanagement jeopardize essential services like police, fire and EMS. They hand out free houses to ensure their re-election, then turn around and demand higher taxes to fund more wasteful programs.
Yet there are still people who believe taxes need to be raised. They are usually the “Tax the rich more crowd”. They are delusional. The honest rich create jobs, wealth and prosperity and PAY taxes. The government creates dependence, corruption, graft, mismanagement and impediments to growth and success. Mayor Michael Nutter wants to take a further 2.5-3 million from the Fire Departments budget and the Fire Commissioner has obliged by instituting the harrowing “Rolling Brown out” Policy. This policy arbitrarily closes three fire companies a shift on a rotating basis. It’s public safety Russian Roulette. Yet the Streets Department can manage to spend a half a million dollars on an anti- littering campaign. Really. I’m not even going to go into the FOUR-THOUSAND DOLLAR TRASH COMPACTORS AGAIN.
Quick observation: Between the Director of PHA Carl Green and the School District Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, we are spending nearly THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR! Two bureaucrats, two salaries. Green is being investigated for sexual harassment and Ackerman failed to stop Asian students from being harassed and beaten at South Philly High School last year. Somehow she retains her position as well, without inquiry or scrutiny.
That’s about enough money to keep a fully manned fire company on the street, protecting a neighborhood 24 hours a day for a year! Our politicians have their fiscal priorities insanely out of whack and we are all losers. Oh and let us not forget Philadelphia has APPROXIMATELY 96 departments and 22 DEPUTY MAYORS (each at over 100K). Tell me again why we have to slash emergency services? Note to CONSERVATIVE candidates: police, fire and EMS are NATURAL CONSTITUENCIES for you. It’s time you make direct overtures to these organizations and engage in direct talks on the issues that are mutually important. Namely fiscal responsibility and public safety!
In Philadelphia the real victims won’t survive the cuts.