FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Mike Sturla
Chairman, Democratic Policy Committee
State Rep. Ron Waters
Democratic Policy Committee looks at state cemetery regulations
Philadelphia's Mount Moriah Cemetery examined
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 31 – The House Democratic Policy Committee examined the impact regulations are having on cemetery maintenance at a public hearing at Drexel University today, said committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.
Specifically at issue is the condition of Mount Moriah Cemetery in the southwest Philadelphia legislative district of Rep. Ron Waters, D-Delaware/Phila., who requested and co-chaired the hearing. Waters said the historic cemetery can serve as a case study of whether cemetery regulations can be improved.
"Examples of community treasures that are not being adequately preserved like Mount Moriah Cemetery in Representative Waters' district exist all over the state," Sturla said. "It is important to determine who is responsible for maintaining these unique facilities to ensure they are available for generations to come."
"Mount Moriah is the final resting place of many notable Philadelphians and decorated soldiers. We need to ensure that their graves are both maintained and accessible for future generations to visit," Waters said. "Today’s Policy Committee hearing was important in investigating who is responsible for these duties and how interested parties can cooperate in guaranteeing the future of Mount Moriah and other similar cemeteries."
Those testifying at the hearing included Brian Abernathy, chief of staff to the managing director, City of Philadelphia; Paulette Rhone, board member, Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery; Steven Travers, director of code enforcement, Borough of Yeadon; Rev. Joseph DiPaolo, senior pastor, Wayne United Methodist Church; Kevin Hodges, district captain, Philadelphia Police Department’s 12th District; John Gallery, executive director, Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia; Walter Gallus, executive director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Harvard Wood, IV, vice president, H.C. Wood Cemetery Memorial Company.
For more information about the Policy Committee and hearing materials, visit www.pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee.