Schools focus in Mayor-Elect Kenney's 1st town hall

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Kenney says he wants to know what Philadelphians think of their city. (WPVI)

Philadelphia Mayor-Elect Jim Kenney says he wants to know what Philadelphians think of their city and what they're concerned about the city's future.

Kenney held a town hall meeting on Monday night, with another four coming up this week.

"Let's hear what you have to say and the direction we are going to take the next four years," Kenney said inside the half-filled Central High School auditorium.

Some comments included:

"What is your administration going to do to crack down on aggressive drivers and protect the safety of pedestrians in Philadelphia?"

"We really need to be focusing on our neighborhoods, specifically here at the northern gates of Philadelphia."

A common refrain for parents was schools and safety.

"A lot of parents are concerned about their children and the behavior that's going on throughout the city and children are not getting the proper education that they need," Stephanie Booker of University City told Action News.

Kenney has said a goal of his is to create two dozen community schools in the city over the next four years. The schools would be hubs where families could access health and social services.

"Principals know what's going on in their schools. They also know what kids are in trouble, which families are in trouble, and we need to be able to communicate with them on a regular basis so we know what's going on in the neighborhood," Kenney said.

Brad Wilson of Olney stood before the crowd and said the city's trash and litter problem is a major concern for him.

"We have Center City District doing Center City, but that's not enough," Wilson said.

The town hall meeting provided few answers.

Kenney mostly listened, but said he's ready to hit the ground running once he takes office in January.

"I'm getting there soon. Christmas is coming," Kenney said.

About 280 people were in attendance for the town hall.
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