Mayor Cherelle Parker to split License and Inspections roles between 2 leaders

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CENTER CITY - Mayor Cherelle Parker of Philadelphia believes the challenges at the city inspection agency License and Inspection (L&I) are so great two people should lead it.

For the second time this week, Parker fills an event room in City Hall to introduce new members of her administration, but this time it comes against the backdrop of a report finding problems in the L&I department.

Asked if L&I has been lax in enforcement of city codes, Parker said the agency and the city needed to, "Strengthen our resolve being intentional about making tough decisions."

The Joint Task Force report probing L&I found the agency needs to vigorously enforce city codes on bad contractors regularly. Also, make L&I a better place to work by splitting the department’s responsibilities in half. Parker is attempting to do just that. She said, "Enforcement in both construction and quality of life issues, they were not being addressed according to the standards people of Philadelphia expect."

Long-time city workers Bridget Collins Greenwald will tackle quality of life issues at L&I, while Basil Merenda will take on inspection, safety and compliance.

Merenda said, "I see L&I as the one department in the city that can have a direct, positive impact on the life of every Philadelphia citizen."

It’s the second time the new mayor has taken a cleaver to a city department as she split the duties of the Streets Department Monday.

The mayor argues dividing the duties at the vital inspection and enforcement agency will lead to a better quality of life for residents without asking them to pay more. Parker said, "We are living within our means and doing so without asking for a tax increase."