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City of Philadelphia

Meet the Commissioner

Commissioner Carlton Williams began his career serving Philadelphia’s most precious resource, Fairmount Park. He was a strong advocate for youth conservation and spent the early part of his career educating Philadelphia school children on the importance of environmental stewardship. He organized numerous, volunteer youth conservation projects in Fairmount Park. Mr. Williams was one of the first Americorps members across the country and his youth conservation efforts earned him the opportunity to stand with President Clinton when he signed the National Community Service and Trust Act into law.

After ten years of service to Fairmount Park, Mr. Williams briefly moved to Harrisburg to become the Director of an Americorps program designed to give disadvantaged youth the opportunity to earn their GED and serve their community. His success led him back to Philadelphia to begin his official career in the Recreation Department.

Mr. Williams excelled as Deputy Commissioner of Recreation and quickly distinguished himself as an enthusiastic leader and role model. He developed numerous youth empowerment programs that provided alternatives to drugs, violence and crime. His leadership ability was recognized early on and the Managing Director’s office enrolled him in the Urban League’s - 2004 Urban Leadership Forum which develops the talents of emerging future leaders across the region. Mr. William's accomplishments in recreation included:

  • building state-of-the art recreation centers
  • creating the city’s first playground safety program which replaced antiquated play equipment
  • introducing the city to innovative spraygrounds - water parks designed to replace dilapidated swimming pools.

These accomplishments earned him a citation from City Council for outstanding service in just five years with recreation.

Mr. Williams was tapped by the Streets Department to become Deputy Commissioner where he continued to impress his superiors. In just four years he completely improved the City’s recycling rates saving the City millions of dollars each year. He focused on environmental issues and headed the annual Philly Spring Clean Up and other beautification initiatives designed to prevent litter and keep Philadelphia beautiful. Here is a summary of his accomplishments:

  • Installed new solar powered trash compactors (Big Bellies) throughout the city which reduce litter caused by overflowing baskets and also reduce costs from decreased collection frequency.
  • Designed a customized recycling rewards program (Recyclebank) that provides incentives for residents to recycle even more
  • Implemented a new handheld computer system for Sanitation Officers (SWEEP) to issue code enforcement notices more effectively.
  • Developed a new litter campaign (Unlitterus) designed to reduce litter by changing the culture, attitudes and behavior regarding the appearance of our city.

Mr. Williams is now working in the in the City’s fourth major department and is looking forward to leading new and exciting initiatives in the Department of Licenses and Inspections.