[W]e have been made aware of statements published on your blog, which are defamatory towards Taggart Associates and to Donna Taggart in particular. These statements, which allude to self-dealing and corruption by Taggart Associates, are patently false in nature. The publication of these false statements on your blog demonstrates a ... [blah, blah, blah].
Please consider this letter a warning that if you do not stop publishing these false allegations, Taggart Associates will have no option but to proceed with a claim against you for libel and slander.
Libel? Slander, too? Uh oh.
I immediately checked to see what terrible things I had written about Taggart, a Bethlehem outfit that specializes in "in project funding, transportation management, economic development and environmental planning." I found nothing. Nada. Zip.
But then I checked through my comments, and fellow blogger BillyBytes did make three comments mentioning Taggart, along with a host of others. Nothing about them is really defamatory. In fact, I barely understand them. So I fired off a response to the suits. "I've searched through my blog, and I've never written a word about Taggart. So bring it on, bippy. Sue to your heart's content."
That was the end of it. Until last Thursday, when I saw that Glenn Taggart was nominated by Northampton County Executive John Stoffa for reappointment to the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission. He's Donna's husband, and he also works for Taggart Asscoiates.
Councilman Ron Angle asked why a fox like Taggart would be in the LVPC henhouse. Stoffa replied, "He's got nothing going on. He adds expertise." Angle was not so sure. "He might have nothing now, but what about tomorrow? And he might have associates coming before the LVPC."
Angle was the sole councilman to vote against Taggart.
As it turns out, Taggart has plenty going on, and this is bound to cast some doubt upon his ability to handle matters objectively, free from the influence of developers like Ashley and the casino. Don't take my word for it. Let Donna tell you herself.
Greater Easton Development Partnership, Inc. - Recently re-structured and re-energized the former Easton Economic Development Corporation into the Greater Easton Development Partnership, Inc. to provide the City of Easton with an active non-profit economic development corporation. This new entity is the sponsoring organization for the new Easton Main Street Initiative to stimulate revitalization of Easton’s Central Business District. Also serves as Program Coordinator of the Easton Main Street Initiative.
Slate Belt - Facilitated development in the Slate Belt area of the Lehigh Valley, PA, highlights which include the formation of a Council of Government; construction of a 40,000 sq.ft. Shell building in partnership with the Northampton County IDA, the Green Knight Economic Development Corp., and J.G. Petrucci Co.; and installation of infrastructure to a 60-acre industrial park in Portland.
Route 512 Improvement Project - Local project manager for the Route 512 Improvement Project responsible for securing the local financing match of $5 million for a $12 million project. In this role, Mrs. Taggart served as the interface between PennDOT, the local municipalities and existing companies and potential prospects for the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park.
Hotel Bethlehem - Spearheaded a $13 million historic renovation of a bankrupt downtown Bethlehem hotel to carry a national flag.
Broad and Main - Facilitated the development of a key downtown Bethlehem property that had been vacant for over 20 years, into a mixed-use retail/office building. This project included the construction of an adjacent 700-car intermodal facility that also serves as a LANTA hub.
Bethlehem Technology Center - Participated as one of the non-profit economic development partners and overall managing partner for the development of a $4 million post-incubator technology building in south Bethlehem.
Petrilla Fuel Oil/ Union Station - Oversaw the successful purchase and environmental remediation of a 10-acre site at a major gateway entrance to south Bethlehem resulting in the attraction of a national chain restaurant and the development of an abandoned train station into a satellite office for St. Luke’s Hospital.
Main Street Commons - Coordinated the financing package for a $12 million renovation project of a former department store in the heart of the north side business district of the City of Bethlehem into a mixed use retail/office complex bringing hundreds of jobs to the downtown. This project included the construction of a contiguous 60-car parking deck.
Ashley Development - Currently advises major local developer, Ashley Development, regarding creative financing strategies for urban redevelopment projects. Acts as liaison between corporation and state entities involved in financing processes.
Las Vegas Sands Corporation – Serves as Community Outreach Liaison for casino operator recently licensed in Pennsylvania. Responsible for coordination of local corporate training programs, community events and public involvement.