A new Philly Phlush public toilet has been installed in Germantown’s Vernon Park. But it's inaccessible.
The Inquirer reported on Jan. 22 that a brand new Philly Phlush public toilet has been installed in Germantown’s Vernon Park. That should be great news… but no, the toilet is gated inaccessibly behind fencing, there’s no apparent plan to put it into service, and there’s no commitment by the city to maintain it if it ever is put into service.
Our City Councilmember, Cindy Bass, ignored longstanding pleas from the Friends of Vernon Park to get a maintenance plan established before the toilet was installed, saying “I don’t want to lose time focusing on ‘There’s no maintenance plan.’ ”
Apparently, all that counts is being able to take credit for landing a capital improvement, regardless of whether it can actually provide any benefit to the community. Councilmember Bass’s suggestion for maintenance? Keep the toilet shuttered and open it only for permitted special events, making it essentially a private amenity rather than a public service. Perhaps no surprise, coming from the official who has kept the Germantown YWCA shuttered for years while opposing any effort to replace her handpicked do-nothing developer for the project.
Please contact Councilmember Bass and tell her this “capital improvement” is no credit to her unless she ensures that it is continually, safely and hygienically usable by all visitors to Vernon Park.
Stephen B. Heimann