Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bethlehem's Mayor Focuses on Governing, Not Fundraising

Yesterday, I told you about the whopping $108,588 that Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski has raised over the past two years. Most of this money comes from people who obviously are looking for something - city workers, developers, contractors, consultants and lawyers who do business with the city. While he's raising all this money, how can Pawlowski be governing?

Oh, they all do it, you may say. And most of them do, but not to Pawlowski's extent. Consider Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan. Over the same two years, he raised only $16,000, considerably less than Pawlowski. Looks like Callahan thinks fundraising is only a small part of his job.

Callahan's donors are listed below. His list is a lot smaller.

ABRAHAM ATIYEH
BETHLEHEM, PA 18020 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: SELF-EMPLOYED
Employer: WHITEHALL MANOR
BETHLEHEM, PA 18020

ANTHONY BOYLE
ALLENTOWN, PA 18104 11/28/2006 $200.00
Occupation: -
Employer: -

BRICKLAYERS & ALLIED CRAFTSMAN UNION LOCAL 5 PAC
HARRISBURG, PA 17104 7/25/2006 $500.00
Occupation: -
Employer: -

CARMELO HUERTAS
BETHLEHEM, PA 18015 11/28/2006 $200.00
Occupation: -
Employer: -

CHRISTIAN PERRUCCI
BETHLEHEM, PA 18018 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: ATTORNEY
Employer: FLORIO & PERRUCCI
BETHLEHEM, PA 18018

DANNY & CAROLYN THIBAULT
CAMBRIDGE 02140 8/30/2006 $100.00
Occupation: -
Employer: -

ELLIOT SUSSMAN, MD
BETHLEHEM, PA 18018 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: CEO
Employer: LEHIGH VALLEY HOSPITAL
BETHLEHEM, PA 18018

FRANK BANKO
BETHLEHEM, PA 18018 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: RETIRED
Employer: RDC - RETAIL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
BETHLEHEM, PA 18018

FRANK BURNETTE III
PITTSBURGH, PA 152161205 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: CONSULTANT
Employer: MORRIS & ASSOCIATES
PITTSBURGH, PA 152161205

GARY AND DONNA PERIN
BETHLEHEM, PA 18017 11/28/2006 $100.00
Occupation: -
Employer: -

J.B. REILLY
BETHLEHEM, PA 18015 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: DEVELOPER
Employer: LANDMARK COMMUNITIES
BETHLEHEM, PA 18015

JAMES BROUGHAL, ESQ.
BETHLEHEM, PA 18018 11/28/2006 $1,000.00
Occupation: ATTORNEY
Employer: BROUGHAL & DEVITO LLP
BETHLEHEM, PA 18018

JAMES R. FIORENTINO
BETHLEHEM, PA 18017 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: ATTORNEY
Employer: SELF-EMPLOYED
BETHLEHEM, PA 18017

JEFF AND SUSAN PARKS
BETHLEHEM, PA 18018 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: PRESIDENT
Employer: ARTS QUEST
BETHLEHEM, PA 18018

JIM & JAN CREEDON
BETHLEHEM, PA 18015 11/28/2006 $250.00
Occupation: -
Employer: -

JOE & ROSE ANNE DUSCHL
LEBANON, PA 17042 7/15/2006 $100.00
Occupation: -
Employer: -

JOHN E. FREUND, III
BETHLEHEM, PA 18018 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: ATTORNEY
Employer: KING, SPRY, HERMAN, FREUND & FAUL, L
BETHLEHEM, PA 18018

JOSEPH C. POSH
BETHLEHEM, PA 18017 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: SELF-EMPLOYED
Employer: POSH CONSTRUCTION
BETHLEHEM, PA 18017

KOSTAS KALAGEROPOULOUS
LEHIGH VALLEY, PA 18002 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: PRESIDENT
Employer: HOLIDAY INN
LEHIGH VALLEY, PA 18002

Contributor Date Amount
LANCASTER COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMM
LANCASTER, PA 17602 10/17/2006 $800.00
Occupation: -
Employer: -

MANHEIM TWP. DEMOCRATIC CLUB
LANCASTER, PA 17601 7/10/2006 $400.00
Occupation: -
Employer: -

MICHAEL CARUSO
BETHLEHEM, PA 18018 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: SELF-EMPLOYED
Employer: M.J. CARUSO & ASSOCIATES
BETHLEHEM, PA 18018

MIKE CROFTON
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19103 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: PRESIDENT
Employer: PHILADELPHIA TRUST COMPANY
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19103

MIKE GAUSLING
BETHLEHEM, PA 18015 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: RETIRED
Employer: BETHLEHEM, PA 18015

MIKE KLEIN
HARRISBURG, PA 171082105 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: ATTORNEY
Employer: LEBOEUF, LAMB, GREEN & MACRAE
HARRISBURG, PA 171082105

PABAR-PAC (PA BAR ASSOCIATION)
HARRISBURG, PA 17108 10/11/2006 $500.00
Occupation: -
Employer: -

RANJEET PAWAR
BETHLEHEM, PA 18015 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: OWNER
Employer: MONSOON
BETHLEHEM, PA 18015

RICK BRACALANTE
BATH, PA 18014 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: PRESIDENT
Employer: BRANCALENTE CONSTRUCTION
BATH, PA 18014

SCOTT ALLINSON, ESQ.
ALLENTOWN, PA 18104 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: ATTORNEY
Employer: TALLMAN HUDDERS & SORRENTINO
ALLENTOWN, PA 18104

SEAN BOYLE
LEHIGH VALLEY, PA 18002 12/6/2006 $250.00
Occupation: -
Employer: -

TARAS ZAWARSKI
EASTON, PA 18045 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: SELF-EMPLOYED
Employer: ZAWARSKI & SONS
EASTON, PA 18045

TIMOTHY & BRENDA KAUFFMAN
LANCASTER, PA 17601 10/23/2006 $100.00
Occupation: -
Employer: -
Description: Monetary Contribution-
Recipient: CALLAHAN, TIMOTHY COM TO ELECT

TOM BEACH
CONSHOHOCKEN, PA 19428 11/28/2006 $1,000.00
Occupation: ENGINEER
Employer: REMINGTON & VERNICK ENGINEERS
CONSHOHOCKEN, PA 19428

TONY GANGUZZA
NAZARETH, PA 18064 11/28/2006 $500.00
Occupation: ENGINEER
Employer: RETTEW
NAZARETH, PA 18064

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

so...when schweder says in the Call that he's convinced government in the city of Bethlehem is for sale, he's just referring to himself?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Althoiugh I applaud Schweder's campaign finance reform proposal and hope it is adopted, Bethelehem looks safe to me, especially compared to A-town.

Anonymous said...

Is the insinuation that Ed P is a crook?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm not insinuating anything. I think I made it quite clear yesterday that Allentown is a "Pay to play" culture, and that's thanks largely to the incumbent. It's legal bribery. That's why campaign finance reform is so necessary.

Anonymous said...

In my own opinion, I wonder what BO has ever donated to, and if he was too cheap to do so, he should keep his big mouth shut and stop the nameing names of innocent people who wanted to help someone they believed in. Post donations to the Salvation army and the aspca chapter while you are at it. Or the Red Cross

BethlehemDem said...

Bernie,

The Callahan Fund Raising Machine can raise lots of dough when they need it.

Remember, this is the same guy who gave away $15,000.00 to city council candidates a few years ago.

He may not have money now, but he will when it is needed.

Anonymous said...

John can raise the bucks when he has to. he's got mad skills. and I think reform is required, just not sure schweder's proposal is the way to go. his still looks like it gives a huge advantage to those (like him) who can afford to self-finance.

Anonymous said...

there will never be a "reform"because the only people who will be voting on it are the same people who are, or have, run for office. Can you say catch 22???

A.J. Cordi said...

The only thing in Bethlehem that concerns me is the casino project(s). It will change the way we live in Bethlehem, especially those over the bridge.

The city is currently in decent shape and I don't think Callahan has anything to worry about financially.

Pawlowski on the other hand, well...

Anonymous said...

I'm not insinuating anything. I think I made it quite clear yesterday that Allentown is a "Pay to play" culture, and that's thanks largely to the incumbent. It's legal bribery. That's why campaign finance reform is so necessary.

I don't believe quid pro quo for campaign contributions is legal. You are not insinuating that?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't believe quid pro quo for campaign contributions is legal. You are not insinuating that?

As you are undoubtedly aware, it is next to impossible to prove a quid pro quo. It happens, but very rarely. The way I understand things, nothing is ever said. Money goes into coffers, and the donor ends up getting trated favorable. There is an atmosphere of political corruption, and campaign finance reform is necessary for that reason. You can draw whatever inferences you want.

Look at the latest goofy deal in A-town. Zawarski is getting a sweetheart deal and Verizon workers will be kicked to the curb. And Zawarski gave Pawlowski $11,700 0ver the ast two years alone. I don't even have the figures from the 2005 race. Can I prove Zawarski is bribing Pawlowski? No. Should it make us all wonder? Yes.

Anonymous said...

Call me crazy but some condo development is more valuable to the city overall than a parking lot.

Bernie O'Hare said...

OK. I'll call you crazy. Nothing about that deal makes sense.

1) Verizon workers, some of them handicapped, will be forced to look for parking elsewhewre in a dangerous part of the city.

2) The lots are declared an "excess" on 1/14, and by 2/27, there is not only a buyer, but he has detailed architechtural drawings.

3) Under the way the deal is currently structured, Zawarski will be paying under $10k for each townhouse parcel. Each of which will have water and sewer. The lot has been vastly undervalued. There are no independent appraisals of the project.

4) The idea of incorporating storefronts is just another step along the way to sweeping existing merchants off Hamilton Street.

Zawarski will get a sweetheart deal and it just so happens that his outfit has dropped $11.7k on Mayor Ed in the last 2 years. It is a done deal or there would be no architectural drawings.

And instead of going off the assessment records of a county that has done no reassessment in ten years, how about an independent appriasal?

Anonymous said...

Because no one else wants the property? You are living in a fantasy land if you think this is bad for the city.

Anonymous said...

Oh and if condos help "sweep" tatoo parlors and pawn shops away, so be it.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the townhouses with possible storefronts are designed as live/work space.

I really don't see how this has anything to do with Hamilton St dollar stores.

That being said, if I owned a dollar store on Hamilton, or anywhere else in the city 7th would be an attractive corridor to move into right now. It's only moving forward.

Anonymous said...

Allentown is moving forward? And who is living in fantasy land?

Anonymous said...

Regarding Bethlehem's Mayor, perhaps if he could con residents into thinking he is overworked and needed a Managing Director to do some of the his work the Mayor would have more time to fund raise. That's how it happened in Allentown.

To Bethlehem residents, I hope you continue to receive good, honest government. But please plan for the worst case scenario and make sure you have proper "checks and balances" in place.

In Allentown, we thought the worst case scenario was Roy Afflerbach. We're being proven wrong.

Anonymous said...

"Regarding Bethlehem's Mayor, perhaps if he could con residents into thinking he is overworked and needed a Managing Director to do some of the his work the Mayor would have more time to fund raise. That's how it happened in Allentown."

Actually, the mayor didn't want to hire a managing director. Key business leaders in the valley made him to it order to gain their support with various other initiatives in Allentown and for Allentown via Harrisburg.

No I can't tell you who I am to confirm this but if you dug a bit you would find it o be 100% accurate.

Anonymous said...

could this difference in fundraising be that Ed is up for election in 2009 while john won't be up until 2011. Run the 2006 numbers and tell me if there is a different story.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I did run the 2006 numbers.

Anonymous said...

Don Cunningham raised almost $500,000 in 2007 and he isn't running for re-election or anything else until at least 2009. Not only that, but he didn't give to any other candidate during the last calendar year so he wouldn't trigger a reporting event before Dec. 31. Does that mean Lehigh County is surreptiously up for sale? I don't think so. Nor do I think Allentown is up for sale. Callahan, like his mentor Cunningham, is a prolific fund raiser when he has to be. I don't fault him or Don for their efforts, and if Don is running for governor, good luck to him. People support them because they know good things are happening in Bethlehem and Lehigh County.

But to criticize Pawloswki for doing the same thing just shows that you are unfair, biased, and will never give Allentown a fair shake. That's fine, O'Hare. If you don't like Ed Pawlowski, you're entitled to your opinion. But don't pretend to be a great objective investigator and protector of the innocent. You're trying to plaster Pawlowski with innuendo because you don't like him. At least have the guts to admit that up front, and admit the possibility that maybe Pawlowski's supporters feel the same way as those who support Don and John.

You've got a grudge against Pawlowski because your alleged girlfriend was allegedly affected by a LANTA decision, so nothing that happens in Allentown is good, in your not-so-humble opinion.

You're pathetic. And now you're going to respond that I'm just another goody-goody Allentown mouthpiece and Pawlowski flak, but you don't know me anymore than you know the mayor, so go ahead. Prove my point. Make my day. But first, read on.

Have I pissed you off yet? Good. Now here is the other glove.

The thing is, O'Hare, you're a pretty fair blogger/writer in most other respects and you do a service the MSM can't perform locally. I do read you regularly, and for the most part you seem to do a good job of getting the facts right and playing by the book. Don't let a minor grudge against one decision that was made outside of Allentown City Hall detract from that.

Allentown is making progress. I drive through it every day. I visit the Brew Works regularly. I patronize the West End shops (love the magic shop!), the Mountainville establishments, the East Side businesses, and I have to say that the downtown has rebounded dramatically over the past 5-6 years -- the years that Ed Pawlowski was responsible for community/economic development. I give him credit for a lot of that.

Is Ed Pawlowski perfect? No, of course not. But who could be mayor of Allentown for more than 12 months -- hell, 12 days -- without pissing off a sizable contingent of malcontents who won't be satisified until they can go back to sitting at the Patio eating strawberry cream pie with a bunch of other rich white people?

I'm really not writing this to piss you off. I'm writing this to wake you up. You're better than this, O'Hare. Validate my faith in you. Treat Allentown and Pawlowski with the same objectivity you reserve for all of your other subjects.

If you can't do that, then all of your readers have to discount everything you write as spiteful writings of a frustrated old man. I don't believe that any more than I believe that Allentown is for sale to the highest bidder.

And for the record, I thing Fran Dougherty is the best thing that ever happened to that city. The taxpayers of Allentown should do an election petition to make it illegal for this man to leave town.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:16,

I think it's fair to compare Pawlowski to Callahan or Panto. It is unfair to compare him to Cunningham. So far as I know, Pawlowski has no gubernatorial ambitions. Cunningham does.

Don's campaign fund, at the end of the year, was $423,000. If I were to criticize that, I'd say it is too low. He's running against a guy who can raISE $1.9MM just to run for county exec. I can't find Onorato's funding reports, but word is he has over $2 MM. Cunningham needs every cent he can get right now.

So let's stop comparing apples with oranges.

I agree Callahan is a prolific fundraiser when he has to be. But that's my point, and you don't seem to get it. Last year and this year are off election years. The amount of money Poawlowski has raised, when he does not have to be raising any money at all, is obscene. Pawlowski is implementing Chicago-style politics in the LV, where they don't belong.

It is the "off-season" fundraising that offends me.

While we're on the subject, I also happen to consider him a bad mayor. You may claim he had nothing to do with the LANTA decision, but I hear different versions from people who work there. And whether he was responsible for those routing transfers or not, he refused numerous requests to reach out to the affected merchants. That insensitivity to people who are trying to eke an honest living really told me a lot about this man, who claims to be a Christian.

LANTA got me started and it led me to meet many fine people who were really hurt that their own mayor would not even speak to them.

Although Mayor P and many puffers will have you believe everything in sugar and honey in Allentown, let's not kid ourselves. Like many cities, A-town has a serious crime problem. Mayor P recognized this when he was running and made three promises about public safety when he ran for mayor. (1) He promised more police, but in 2006, the police force was at its lowest strength since the 60s. (2) He promises to use deputy sheriffs with Sheriff Rossi standing right besides him, and that has been a false promise. (3) He promised to use citizen volunteers. He's still doing that.

Instead of the obvious answer, the Pawlowski solution to criome has been fine dining - as though upscale restaurants will drive criminals away. His whole approach has been both unrealistic and obviously elitist.

Many of my criticisms are still unpublished. I actually do try to find out what is going on before posting abouit it. If I make a mistake, I'll readily admit it. I will even change opinioons if someone makes a good argument to prove me wrong.

As far as having a grudge is concerned, I never personally attacked the mayor. That's not my style, man. My girlfriend, Michael Molovinsky, returns my calls. I tried speaking to the mayor's office before every post that crioticized him until I came up with four unanswered calls.

Joe McDermott, when he worked for the mayor, answererd every one of my concerns, and emailed me w/ additional info. I don't expect the same privileges that would be afforded to a regular reporter. but I do expect the same courtewsy that one human being might show to another. That is my only grudge.

In fact, I made a very hard effort to like the mayor, even after the LANTA debacle.

Even though I'm from the boonies, I'm in A-town regularly. My grandson lives and plays sports there, and I meet the people. And it's not the crowd that can afford ABW for lunch. There is a lot of poverty in A-town, and I'm very disheartened at the lack of responsiveness.

And just so that you understand me, I hate "pay to play," and will criticize it when I see it. When I thought that BHA was trying to pull a fast one w/ a Callahan contriubutor, I criticized it in several posts on this blog. I support Schweder's campaign finance reform initiative even though that has been perceived as anti-Callahan. I don't just support John Morganelli, but consider him a friend. But I have publicly criticized his connections to Atiyeh in several posts.

Another point. I don't ever pretend to be objective. I try to be factual, but make no pretense about my opinions.

If I have been wrong about Pawlowski, I'll eventually see that and admit it. But I think I'm right. And Mayor Ed is very lucky he is not mayor in Bethlehem or Easton, where two competing newspapers are looking at him.

As far as Fran is concerned, I never met the guy or even mentioned him. But if he's as good as you say he is, and he's leaving, then even you will have to agree that things are going to get worse.

Anonymous said...

Here's a classic example of "pay to play" with a Nic Z project in the KOZ district in the City of Allentown. This sweetheart deal was negotiated under Ed Pawlowski's watch. The following was posted on the Allentown Informer in August 2005:

"As promised, I've reviewed the proposed Zoning Amendment from
Allentown's new Zoning Consultants, Julio & Bob PC. (Guridy & Osborn),
which will supercede the decision of the Allentown ZHB and allow this
extremely high density project to move forward. The Amendment would
provide flexible standards for "select properties" within the R-H (High
Density) District. In other words. the Amendment will "fix" the
problems that kept this project from being approved, and it will now be
approved by right with no hearing. Basically, Julio and Bob PC. set it
up like this: For townhouse developments in the R-H District, on
minimum 25,000 square foot lots and east of 14th Street, flexible lot
and area standards will be provided. For example, front yard setbacks
will be reduced from 20' to 5', rear yard setbacks reduced from 35' to
18', the portion of rear yard setback to be occupied by decks and
porches increased from 1/3 to 1/2 and maximum height increased from 38'
to 42'.

The proposed Amendment also provides some lot yield gains for
condominium type projects, allowing overall lot area averaging instead
of individual minimum lot sizes. Julio and Bob PC. evidently spent
significant time and taxpayer resources to get Zawarski the exact
Amendment needed to maximize their lot yield on this project. (for
example: who ever heard of an 18' rear yard setback?)

This Amendment will be discussed at the Allentown Planning Commission
on August 9, 2005 at 12:15 in City Hall. My objections to this
Amendment are twofold: First, I'm already concerned about the
population density in Allentown. Instead of looking for innovative
ways to lower our population density, this Amendment provides for even
higher densities. My concern over the population density stems from
the documented overcrowding of ASD classrooms. I believe this
development will result in middle income starter homes for families
from NJ and NY. Secondly, I resent the fact that our elected
officials, who seem so inept at solving Allentown's real problems, are
so quick to invent solutions to help developers increase their lot
yield. In this case, locally affected residents have spoken out and
the ZHB has ruled against the relief needed under the existing
ordinance. I advocate denial of the Amendment. Our existing Zoning
Ordinance provisions were very well thought out and developed to serve
the best interests of the City's residents and neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

"Call me crazy but some condo development is more valuable to the city overall than a parking lot."

Yes, I'll call you crazy. Condo units for low and moderate income families are liabilities. The City may get some extra revenues, but everyone who pays scholl tax to ASD will be the big losers here.

Anonymous said...

So Nic Z doesn't get his way and invests his money in some other town. I suppose that's a better plan? Please. Allentown needs all the investment it can get. Waah, they changed the setback.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'll call you crazy. Condo units for low and moderate income families are liabilities. The City may get some extra revenues, but everyone who pays scholl tax to ASD will be the big losers here.

These townhouses cost $220,000. These are not low income houses. Also, is the site currently generating tax for ASD?

Development doesn't just magically happen in a blighted city like Allentown. The developer stands to make money but he's also the one taking the risk.

Anonymous said...

He is a mighty pretty mayor. He and Pawlowski should work for a plastic surgeon as before and after models.

Anonymous said...

"So Nic Z doesn't get his way and invests his money in some other town. I suppose that's a better plan? Please. Allentown needs all the investment it can get. Waah, they changed the setback."

Lets agree to disagree civilly. The point; the ZHB could not be bought or influenced so the administration made this deal happen through other ways. It's definately called "pay to play".

Anonymous said...

"There is a lot of poverty in A-town, and I'm very disheartened at the lack of responsiveness."

And why are you so critical of the mayor for this fact. Isn't it as much of an issue for your buddy Dent as it is for Mayor P? The poor people in Allentown are his constituents as well.

Another thing, I find it very interesting that as much as you claim to be a steward of openness and disclosure you never require people who post negative comments about Allentown on your blog to disclose their interests.

Is it not relevant that Scott Armstrong and Joe Hilliard are on the Lehigh County Republican Party payroll?

It is very disappointing to see how you have allowed yourself to become such a tool Bernie.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dent brought back $22 MM and a lot of that dough benefits A-town directly. Pawlowski sweeps the poor under the rug.

I don't perceive those anonymous comments about A-town as negative. I view them as reality. You're not going to suppress dissent here. There are at least three puff bkogs to tell you all is well. This one will tell you the truth, both positive and negative.

Anonymous said...

That was a weak response. (9:19)

Bernie O'Hare said...

But a truthful one. I don't perceive the problem in A-town as R v. D. I perceive two problems. The first is crime, and the weak response to that. The second is classicism, which is being perpetuated by our party.

And last I heard, there is no R party in A-town. So how the hell can they have a payroll?

Anonymous said...

So you are refusing to look into the fact that paid Republican operatives are commenting openly on your blog but are not being asked to disclose their personal interests to your readers. Please confirm or deny Bernie?

Bernie O'Hare said...

1) I don't know whether Hilliard or Armstrong are paid operatives.

2) I don't know whether the anonymous posts in question come from either of those guys. They seem to sign their names to what they write.

3) Paid political operatives can and do post comments here and on many other blogs.

4) Paid political operatives can even start their own puff blogs.

5) At late night, when I can track things, I've seen comments like yours, that trash and marginalize people who speak out against their government. They sometimes come from the City of Allentown. Pretty pathetic, dude.

6) This has nothing to do with political party, but good government. I advovate good government, hate "pay to play" and am a Dem. Some Rs share that view as well.

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare said...
OK. I'll call you crazy. Nothing about that deal makes sense.

1) Verizon workers, some of them handicapped, will be forced to look for parking elsewhewre in a dangerous part of the city.

2) The lots are declared an "excess" on 1/14, and by 2/27, there is not only a buyer, but he has detailed architechtural drawings.

3) Under the way the deal is currently structured, Zawarski will be paying under $10k for each townhouse parcel. Each of which will have water and sewer. The lot has been vastly undervalued. There are no independent appraisals of the project.

4) The idea of incorporating storefronts is just another step along the way to sweeping existing merchants off Hamilton Street.

Zawarski will get a sweetheart deal and it just so happens that his outfit has dropped $11.7k on Mayor Ed in the last 2 years. It is a done deal or there would be no architectural drawings.

And instead of going off the assessment records of a county that has done no reassessment in ten years, how about an independent appriasal?

3:04 PM

I hear a violin playing

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare said...
I'm not insinuating anything. I think I made it quite clear yesterday that Allentown is a "Pay to play" culture, and that's thanks largely to the incumbent. It's legal bribery. That's why campaign finance reform is so necessary."

Just because someone donates to something doesn't mean they are crooks. Thats what I feel you are insinuating. You do, in my own honest opinion, have a pure hate for the Allentown Mayor and his cabinet. There are a lot of hard working Allentown employees who were there long before Polowski was there. What do you have to say to them besides all this bribery talk that seems to be filling your brain at the moment?

Micky Mike said...

If there is such a "pay to play" culture in practice with Allentown government how does one explain the legal action the city took against campaign contributor Matt Hyman and his problem properties?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Micky Mike,

Go to the Pawlowski post and scroll through his '06 and '07 contributions. They stopped. Did Hyman stop contributing when Pawlowski began enforcing? Or did Pawlowski start enforcing when Hyman stopped giving? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

This is a very bad example. it actually proves my point.

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare said...
"But a truthful one. I don't perceive the problem in A-town as R v. D. I perceive two problems. The first is crime, and the weak response to that. The second is classicism, which is being perpetuated by our party. " Thats great Bernie, Now what is your solution to this instead of complaining about everything? You lead the bandwagon when it comes to crying the blues.

Micky mike said...

As a matter of fact Bernie, it doesn't prove your point.

Hyman publicly stated the mayor should not go after him because he contributed to his campaign. Not the smartest thing to say but it shows who's intentions were where.

In reality, the Mayor supports good projects and doesn't support those who anyone who openly brings harm to our city.

Anonymous said...

Micky Mike -

Wake up!

It was the citing of Hyman, along with another (unrelated to Hyman) Pawlowski contributor, that cost Code Director Eric Weiss his job. Weiss wouldn't back down from the pressure being put on him by Pawlowski to make the code deficiencies "go away".

Also, once the Hyman story hit the paper (with Hyman's comments) Pawlowski couldn't drop it.

Go ahead and revise some more history.

Anonymous said...

Posted by Anon 7:02:

Actually, the mayor didn't want to hire a managing director. Key business leaders in the valley made him to it order to gain their support with various other initiatives in Allentown and for Allentown via Harrisburg.
=============================

You're kidding, right?

Pawlowski pushed hard for the new position. He even kept supporting his original nominee, Scott Hoh, until the story broke in the Call about Hoh puffing up his resume. Pawlowski similarly pushed hard for Fran Dougherty, who apparently now has had enough of Pawlowski and is leaving.

Even if you want to believe what you wrote, what are you saying? That Ed will do something that he doesn't believe in (at taxpayer expense) to satisfy a behind-the-scenes group of businessmen who are pulling his strings?

Who is Ed working for, the citizens of Allentown or the contractors/businessmen who contribute to him? I think that's the point of the whole story (stories) here on Bernie's blog.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the hyman thing but Weiss was a lame duck entrenched drone who needed to go a long time ago.

Code enforcement went way downhill during his tenure in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

Neither Joe Hilliard nor I are on the “Republican Party payroll”. I am not even a committee person. I do plead guilty to being a registered Republican.

Scott Armstrong

Scott Armstrong said...

Are Republicans Allentown’s real problem

Does the mere fact that Republicans dare to criticize or work against plans, proposals, budgets…put forth by this administration or the last one make them guilty of anything?
Is it anyone’s contention that unless Allentown’s Republicans remain silent about their city’s government they are guilty of something? If so please state so plainly.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Who is Ed working for, the citizens of Allentown or the contractors/businessmen who contribute to him? I think that's the point of the whole story (stories) here on Bernie's blog.

I'd hope he'd be working for both. -shrug-

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'd hope he'd be working for both. -shrug-

That's interesting because many of these businesses and contractors are from out of A-town. If he's working for them, then he's not fulfilling his fiduciary duty to Allentown citizens.

Joe Hilliard said...

Bernie, the post about being a "paid political operative" was just brought to my attention via a phone call.

(1) Neither I nor Armstrong are paid political operatives for the GOP. For full disclosure, Scott was one for several years. But he gave that up well over a year ago. I have had several leadership positions in the party but never have recieved one penny from the GOP. In fact, I paid for many things out of my own pocket. I resigned my leadership positions in the GOP BECAUSE my activities have made many prominent Republicans uncomfortable. Like your Dem friends, they too seem to prefer a 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' approach to the very serious and real problems of Allentown.

(2) I NEVER post anonymously. If I won't state something publicly, or put my name to it, it isn't worth saying. Too bad some of the local Democrats feel the need to hide who they are. I cannot speak for Scott, but I would be very surprised if he posted anonymously. Members of both parties have never accused him of being shy about speaking out about his opinions.

(3) Don't know who these other paid political operatives are. Perhaps that is why some use "anonymous" to post.

(4 & 5) Are irrelevant to me.

(6) EXACTLY. This is only about good government. I have been telling people for over a year that until we get scrutiny from OUTSIDE the Lehigh Valley, nothing will change. Your effort has helped a lot Bernie. But, I have been working for several months to get influential people outside the Lehigh Valley to start looking at some of this stuff. They seem quite interested and very concerned. (Once they stopped asking, "You're kidding, right? This stuff isn't really going on, right?")

Just wanted to clarify. Not that I don't think that someone earning a check can't speak about what they believe with conviction. But there is no doubt the Pawlowski machine is growing concerned. You are involved. Previous supporters are beginning to ask real questions. Others are poking around. The truth will get out....