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AlliedBarton provides opportunities

To the Editor:

As the ranking official assigned by AlliedBarton Security Services to Penn, I would like to respond to the guest column offered in The Daily Pennsylvanian on Feb. 20.

I began at AlliedBarton in 1993 as an officer. I have had the opportunity to rise through the ranks, and was promoted to District Manager in 2002.

I am proud to say that I am from inner city Philadelphia. In fact, every Manager under my charge began their careers as hourly employees.

It is because of this unique perspective that we do all that we can for our employees. In a world where every employer is searching for innovative ways to pay for the skyrocketing costs for healthcare, we proactively seek the best possible solutions for our officers. AlliedBarton employees receive paid vacation time (up to 3 weeks), industry competitive medical coverage, a matching 401K plan (up to 75 percent) and life insurance at no cost to the employee, to mention a few items.

Internally, we continually discuss how to provide the best for our employees - but the values never waver. Above all else, that is the reason that I've remained with Allied Barton.

The Op-Ed piece suggests that Allied sets out to deny officers hours in an attempt to monitor its bottom line. Untrue! Every day, we work hard to do right by people. It's personal for us. We all started as officers and understand what it means to live paycheck to paycheck.

One of the best things about AlliedBarton is that every person has the opportunity to improve themselves. I am a testament to that fact.

It is easy for Mr. Oppenheim to sit by and criticize. Our management team, by contrast, is fighting every day to provide the best for our officers as well as bring superior customer service to our clients and safety to the Penn community.

Sidney Toombs III The author is a District Manager for AlliedBarton What about parking?

To the Editor:

Monday's editorial describes the proposed 11-story residential hotel at 40th and Pine streets as "responsible development." 120 units and only four parking spaces is hardly my idea of "responsible."

While the developer has made promises about valet parking, we all know that guests will search for on-street spaces before shelling out big bucks.

If Penn is so concerned about the needs of out-patients and families of in-patients at their hospital, why don't they use Penn Tower, right across the street from HUP and CHOP?

Mary Goldman Community resident Not very responsible

To the Editor:

I have lived in the neighborhood of the proposed hotel since 1976. Except for some corner restaurants, the area is purely residential. It contains two historic districts and several architectural landmarks. The developers are seeking variances in height from 35 to 114 ft and from 3 stories to 11. They envisage 120 units and a restaurant with live entertainment, all stuffed into a woefully insufficient parcel, where all rear and front yards disappear.

More than 400 neighbors have signed petitions against the project, as have several local businesses. If Penn were not abandoning the West side to for-profit development, it could find many solutions beneficial for the whole community, instead of aiding and abetting another example of zoning by variance.

Magali Sarfatti Larson Community resident

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