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Camera Surveillance...Vending

No action items were on the agenda at Council March 4, but the interim reports of two committees pointed toward the possibility that Council will be asked to update the Guidelines on Open Expression to take account of closed circuit television cameras now used in surveillance as part of the public safety program.

The Committee on Open Expression's chair, Dr. Dennis Culhane, reported that discussions are in progress with the Safety and Security Committee, led by Dr. Sean Kennedy. In response to query, Dr. Culhane clarified that the object would be to ensure that there are restrictions on the use of closed circuit monitoring. A former C.O.E. chair, Dr. Larry Gross, added that early revisions incorporate protections for those photographed during demonstrations but "we did not at that time consider, because it was not technologically relevant, anything like closed circuit surveillance of the sort that has now become routine." Estimating that there may be 240 cameras in use, counting those at ATMs which have turned out to be one of the ways criminals are apprehended, he added, "There are important concerns: what happens to the [images] once they're there, who keeps them; and I know from working on a consultative committee with Tom Seamon about a year ago that these issues are being looked at carefully."

Vending: During his report (scheduled for fuller summary in a coming issue), Executive Vice President John Fry furnished to Council members a grid (see below) which gives the administration's point by point response to charges made in at Council February 11 by GAPSA's Matt Ruben. In Q & A, Mr. Ruben entered a continued disagreement with items 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9 and 10. In response to other queries on vending, Mr. Fry detailed the problems of finding locations for the proposed fresh air food plazas. To a jocular proposal that the Franklin Building parking lot be taken over as a food plaza, Mr. Fry replied seriously that he expects that lot to become the service area for physical plant, freeing the corner of 36th and Sansom for housing or other retail use.

Mr. Fry's update on Trammell Crow was that while a letter of decision from the IRS is still expected shortly, and that staff and management transition is on schedule, with 81 staff who were offered and accepted positions transferring to TC on April 1. For 21 who did not have TC offers, positions have been sought inside the University or through outplacement firms, and to date one has been placed, two being contemplated and the others in process. "It is our goal to place all of these individuals by the time the cutover is made," he said.

Based on visits to a number of other campuses, Penn is looking at three models for food services: self-operating as now; in partnership with a firm for special expertise in certain operations including catering; or full outsourcing. Bon Appetit is the vendor considered for the partnership model, and Aramark for full outsourcing. A summary of options and financial analyses are scheduled to go to the food services committee March 18, he said, and will then go for further consultation--including the president and provost--with a view to a decision in early April.

More on Council: Interim reports from the Council leadership and from Library and Research Committees will be summarized next week as space permits. -- K.C.G.

Response to Statements Made by GAPSA Representatives to PCA on the Vending Issues during University Council Meeting of February 11, 1998

(Distributed at Council March 4 as part of a presentation by EVP John Fry)

 GAPSA Contention

 University Response

 1. It was agreed to allow the Vending Advisory Board (VAB) to put decibel limits on generator noise as a first step to figuring out how to regulate rather than totally eliminate generators; the administration reneged on that agreement.  We only said we would consider it. We considered the idea and viewed it as impractical and unenforceable; instead we proposed a one year interim period during which vendors could make transition to electrical hookups instead of gas powered generators.
 2. [The University] agreed to allow 5 carts on the west side of 34th Street between Walnut and Spruce (specifically in the area behind Meyerson closer to Walnut); the administration reneged.  The University complied with Councilwoman Blackwell's wish to have some vending in this area and we will be developing a Fresh Air Food Plaza for 4, not 5, vending carts, adjacent to Meyerson Hall. The University only agreed to 4.
 3. [The University] agreed to allow 5 carts on the east side of 33rd Street in front of Penn Tower, where vending already takes place currently. The University instead put 3 carts at a location on Civic Center Boulevard across the street and south of Penn Tower.  The University agreed to allow cart vending to take place in this area. Section 9-206 (10)(b)(.1)(s) provides for 3 vending cart locations along the northern side of Convention Center Avenue between the entrance to Penn Tower and the entrance to the Parking Garage. We are physically unable to accommodate greater number of carts at this location without impeding access to either the garage or the patient health care facility.
 4. [The University] agreed to allow trucks (no specified number) on 33rd between Walnut and Spruce; the administration reneged on the grounds that PCA and UCVA reps supposedly "reacted badly" when 33rd street sites were first offered at Monday's meeting. The offer was not withdrawn based on the supposed bad reaction on Monday; it was only withdrawn on Tuesday when the administration refused to incorporate the 33rd St. sites into its revision. The University proposed the idea of limited on-street truck vending in this area but was met with response from UCVA and PCA that the area was too far removed from their customer base. We are still willing to consider this option.
 5. [The University] agreed to put in language limiting Penn to a maximum of one of the three nonprofit organization seats on the Vending Advisory Board; Penn administration did not include such language in its revision.  Section 9-206(10)(b)(.2)(A)(.i) provides for a 15 person VAB of which five members (or 33%) shall be vendors, 3 members (or 20%) shall be Penn affiliates as recommended by University Council, 2 representatives of the business community, and 2 representatives of the neighborhood organizations A plain interpretation of the language of this section leaves no doubt that, as to the remaining 3 slots, Penn would be entitled to only 1, with the other two to be filled by representative of other non-profits institutions in University City.
 6. [The University] agreed to allow coolers and other objects to be placed on the sidewalk surface during daily set-up and breakdown of vending operations; no such language was included in the administration's rewrite.  Section 9- 206(2)(a) provides that the provisions of the ordinance shall not apply to "the temporary placement of goods, wares, or merchandise on the sidewalk in the ordinary course of delivery, shipment, or transfer". Therefore, coolers and other objects would be allowed on the sidewalk during transfer of items required for daily set up.
 7. [The University] agreed to conform to existing law by requiring that a representative of city Licensing and Inspections Dept. be present when a Penn or City police officer tried to remove an "unauthorized" vendor or vendor violating terms of license or ordinance; no such language was put in the administration's rewrite, which retains language allowing a police officer to unilaterally remove a vendor with no Licensing and Inspections presence.  Section 9-206(12)(b) stipulates that ONLY L&I (in the presence of either a city or campus police officer) may remove any stand, equipment, or merchandise from a non-complying vendor.
 8. [The University] agreed to allow 60 minutes rather than 30 for vendors to clear out at end of day; no such revision appears in the administration's rewrite.  Section 9-206(10)(b)(.2)(E) states that vendors shall not park their stands and conveyances at the permitted sites between the hours of midnight and 5:30 am daily. Furthermore, section 9-206(10)(b)(.2)(F)(iv) states that vendors shall only operate at their permanent locations between the hours of 6 am and 10 pm. Therefore, it would only be the case for vendors that begin operating at 6 am on a regular basis that they would have only a half hour to set up their operations.
 9. [The University] agreed to PCA language allowing vendors to trade their licensed sites with one another; no such language in the administration's rewrite.  University representatives NEVER agreed to swapping or transfer of location between vendors. However, section 9-206(10)(b)(.2)(J) does provide for the transfer of a commensurate license by a duly licensed party to another previously unlicensed party, provided that L&I has reviewed and signed off on the propriety of the transfer.
 10. [The University] agreed to language preventing parking of cars etc. in sites licensed for street (truck) vending; no such language in the administration's rewrite.  Section 9-206 (I)(h) defines a "street vendor location" as being "a specified location within a permitted blockface that is designated and marked by L&I where street vending may occur." In marking any such location, L&I will post it with signage designating it as a "no parking" area for anyone except for the permitted, licensed street vendor.
 11. Penn wanted to require vendors to "wash" sidewalks where they vend; agreed to change language to "sweep", but the administration's revision says "clean," which is ambiguous.  The University feels strongly that vendors should clean up after themselves.

Return to:Almanac, University of Pennsylvania, March 17, 1998, Volume 44, Number 25