To date Mayor Parker has appointed over 40 officials to the City’s leadership team
PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Cherelle L. Parker today announced two longtime public servants would both serve as Commissioners in a reformed Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I). One will head up a L&I Quality of Life division; the other will lead an L&I Inspections, Safety and Compliance division.
Mayor Parker’s appointments, coupled with the retention of seven senior-level Finance Department officials, means the Parker administration has appointed or retained over 40 City officials in just over a month.
“Our appointments today, of Basil Merenda as L&I Commissioner for Inspections, Safety and Compliance, and Bridget Collins-Greenwald as L&I Commissioner for Quality of Life, are a significant reform that has been sought by citizens and reform advocates for years,” Mayor Cherelle L. Parker said at a City Hall press conference this afternoon.
Mayor Parker specifically praised the work of the Joint Task Force on Regulatory Reform for Licenses and Inspections, a panel chaired by her L&I appointment today, Merenda, and also led by Philadelphia City Councilmember Mike Driscoll (6th District), Chair of Council’s Committee on Licenses and Inspections.
“As chair of Council’s Licenses and Inspections Committee, I’m pleased with the new course charted by our Mayor,” Councilmember Driscoll, 6th District said. “The recommendation to split L&I was central to the report of the Joint Task Force on Regulatory Reform. The mayor’s decision will allow the respective city departments to better serve Philadelphians and those who’ve made the decision to locate their business in our city. I look forward to working with Commissioner Merenda, Commissioner Collins-Greenwald, and the Parker administration to make sure residents and taxpayers are well-served by effective city departments and agencies.”
The mayor indicated in her press conference that an executive order was in the process of being prepared that will formalize the separation of the two sections of L&I into separate entities.
Today, Mayor Parker made the following appointments to the Parker administration:
New Positions & Appointments
Basil Merenda, L&I Commissioner for Inspections, Safety & Compliance
Basil Merenda will serve as Licenses and Inspections Commissioner for Inspections, Safety and Compliance under the Parker administration. In this role, Merenda will be responsible for enforcing the City’s codes for the safe and lawful construction and use of buildings, as called for under city law. Merenda is a lifelong public servant who has served in high-ranking positions within L&I, the City Department of Labor, the PA Attorney General’s Office, and the Governor’s Office.
Bridget Collins-Greenwald, L&I Commissioner for Quality of Life
Bridget Greenwald will serve as the Licenses and Inspections Commissioner for Quality of Life. In this role, Greenwald will manage the City’s response to nuisance businesses or enforcement of legislation regulating AirBnBs, bedbug infestations, or enforcing the city’s plastic bag ban. Collins-Greenwald has 27 years of public service in Philadelphia.
“The goal of this significant reform is to end the “mission creep” that has seen too many nuisance issues and quality of life issues wind up at L&I – without the resources to handle them,” Mayor Parker said. “We believe our appointments and actions today point a way forward to better serve Philadelphians and keep residents and property owners safe.”
In addition to the Licenses and Inspections appointments, Mayor Parker also announced that seven City officials in the Finance Office would continue to serve in their current roles in the Parker administration.
Jacqueline Dunn, City Treasurer, Treasurer Office
Jackie Dunn is the Treasurer for the City of Philadelphia. She oversees the issuance of notes and bonds on behalf of the City’s General and Enterprise Funds, the City’s $9 billion outstanding debt portfolio, cash management and investments, and related policy issues. In addition, she serves as the Finance Director’s designee on the Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement, a board member of the Philadelphia Municipal Authority, and as a member of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Treasury and Investment Management Committee.
Tonya Brinkley, Director, OnePhilly
Tonya Brinkley will continue to serve as the Director of OnePhilly. She joined the City of Philadelphia in May of 2023.
Valerie D. Hayes, Deputy Finance Director for Payroll
Valerie D. Hayes will continue to serve the City as Deputy Finance Director for Payroll. She has been employed by the City for 39 years. Valerie, along with her 11-member team, oversees and processes weekly payrolls, as well as special payrolls for additional compensation such as uniform and tool allowances, credential based bonuses, and labor contract signing bonuses. Prior to joining Central Payroll, she worked as the Payroll Supervisor for the Fire Department for 15 years.
Francis X. Bielli, Esq., Executive Director, Philadelphia Board of Pensions & Retirement
Francis X. Bielli, Esq. is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement. Mr. Bielli has served as Executive Director since May 2010. During his tenure, Mr. Bielli has also served as interim Chief Investment Officer on two occasions. Mr. Bielli also serves as designee for the City Finance Director on the Board of the PGW pension fund. Prior to his time as Executive Director for the Pension Board, Mr. Bielli served as Assistant General Counsel in Labor for the School District of Philadelphia and as Assistant City Solicitor and Divisional Deputy City Solicitor in the areas of labor law, pension law, special litigation, ethics and first amendment-related matters for the City of Philadelphia.
James Aros, Jr., Chief Assessor
James Aros serves as Chief Assessor for the City of Philadelphia. The Chief Assessor must be confirmed by City Council, so the mayor today nominated Mr. Aros to continue his service, subject to Council confirmation.
Barry Scott, Risk Manager, Office of Risk Management
Barry Scott serves as the Risk Manager for the City of Philadelphia. The Risk Manager oversees the analyzes the City’s insurance and other risk exposure issues, including managing claims, workers’ compensation, and service-connected disabilities. The Office of Risk Management also provide safety and loss prevention programs.
Kathleen McColgan, Revenue Commissioner, Department of Revenue
Kathleen McColgan was appointed Revenue Commissioner in February of 2024. Prior to her appointment, McColgan served as the First Deputy Revenue Commissioner from 2019 to 2023 and has been a part of Revenue’s leadership team since 2014.