Incumbents on Review: Councilman at Large Allan Domb

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COUNCILMAN at Large Allan Domb

In four years on City Council, developer Allan Domb has made a name for himself as having a keen eye for the intricacies of municipal finance.

“I’m the one who raised their hand and identified $33 million unaccounted in the City budget, identified seven financial accounts that had not been balanced, going back seven years,” Domb said. Controller Rebecca Rhynhart later confirmed his finding; the mayor assembled a task force to address the problem, which is now 99.5% reconciled.

Domb has introduced a bill that allows any Council member to ask for financial analyses of jobs gained vs. jobs lost in any piece of legislation.

He questioned the City’s purchase of the old Provident Mutual Building at 46th & Market Streets without an appraisal – something no private real-estate developer would dream of doing.
“I have identified many areas of the budget where we can save money,” Domb asserted.

“Government is not efficient.” He asks, for instance, why, given a drop of 40% in the prison population, its budget has scarcely budged from around $380 million. Surely it can be cut by at least 20%, he argues.

But good business, he says, is driven by a more-important factor: good education. Domb donates his entire City Council salary to numerous schools.

His concern with schooling was apparent even before he entered politics. He has long engaged with Cristo Rey Charter School to allow some students to work one day a week at his company – an idea he would like to see implemented by others citywide. “It exposes them to the world,” he said.

Domb introduced a resolution supported by all his colleagues for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to provide mandatory financial-literacy and coding education pre-K-12 in all schools as well as mandatory education in entrepreneurship in grades 7-12.

“If we did that, we would be the leader in the U.S.,” he urged. “It would change the trajectory of our city, battle poverty and improve lives of our children by preparing them for tomorrow’s economy.”

When he first ran for office, Domb won just five endorsements. This time around, he is backed by the Democratic Party; many unions; Govs. Tom Wolf and Ed Rendell; former Mayor John Street; Council colleague Derek Green; and Congressmen Dwight Evans and Brendan Boyle.
One signatory conspicuously missing, though: Mayor Kenney. Domb’s scrutiny of the administration may have yanked a few chains there.

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