Philadelphia Parking Authority Executive Director is Fired
Scott Petri, who has run the organization since 2017, has been told by the board that his last day is Friday, March 11.
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The board of the Philadelphia Parking Authority has decided to fire executive director Scott Petri, effective Friday, March 11. The reasoning behind the firing is the board's loss in confidence with Petri’s decision-making.
Al Taubenberger, a member of the board, told WHYY that “there were just too many small things that were adding up into big things.”
One of the most significant decisions that may have led to his firing, is the PPA asking the public school system of Philadelphia to pay back the agency for a mistake on its part. Last December, the PPA asked for $11.3 million back that it said was overpaid to the school system in 2020.
City Councilmember Helen Gym has been calling for more oversight at the agency since this happened. She released a statement on Petri’s firing.
“Scott Petri has had a disastrous reign at the Philadelphia Parking Authority, rife with chaos, financial mismanagement, and a blatant disregard for meeting its most critical duty: to serve as a public trust. From failed development efforts to demanding a “refund” from public schoolkids, he consistently lowered the bar on public service. The decision by the Board to oust Petri from leadership validates the seriousness of our concerns and the need for structural reform of the Parking Authority, including independent oversight of its budget and a return to local control as a city agency,” the statement read.
In the statement, she continued by saying that the issues at PPA go deeper than Petri and reiterated the need for oversight.
Another factor that may have lost him the board’s confidence is the situation with the Philadelphia International Airport. In early February, the airport decided to cut ties with the agency and replace them with a private contractor.
The airport’s chief revenue officer, James Tyrell, said that the decision was due to the airport’s agreement with PPA. The agreement made it difficult for the airport to modernize the parking area or do expansions. The decision was in part financial, as well.
Tyrell explained, “Our arrangement with the parking authority was one where we didn’t control the bottom line.”
PPA general counsel Dennis Weldon has been named the interim executive director while the agency looks for Petri’s replacement.