Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Schlossberg, Hoover Weighing Allentown City Council Races

Affable Mike Schlossberg, a Borough Business Revitalization Coordinator with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, is contemplating his first stab at elective office next year. Rob Hopkins mentioned Mike's possible candidacy at Sunday's Allentown gay rights rally, and Schlossberg confirmed his interest yesterday.

A 2005 Muhlenberg alum, Mike is actually a product of Livingston, New Jersey. Like six of Allentown's seven council members, he's a Democrat. His prior political experience includes managing Michele Varricchio's successful campaign for Lehigh County judge. He was also involved in Jennifer Mann's recent re-election as state rep. He is a member of the Lehigh County Executive Democratic Committee.

Just 25 year old, Mike is quite energetic. He helps Tony Iannelli produce Business Matters, the most provocative and entertaining local issues program in the Lehigh Valley. He also publishes Lehigh Valley Main Streets, a blog dedicated to revitalization of LV Main Streets. His stories there are regularly featured in The Morning Call's Valley Blogosphere. He has even helped his boss start a new blog for the Chamber of Commerce.

Allentown seven-person City Council will have four seats up in next year's election, when the terms of President Mike D’Amore, VP Tony Phillips, Julio A. Guridy and David M. Howells are set to expire. Council's sole Republican, Tony Phillips, plans on challenging Mayor Pawlowski, so I presume his seat will be open. The rest are expected to seek reelection.

I've already sent Mike a host of questions about different Allentown issues.

At the Sunday rally, Hopkins also mentioned Allentown realtor Gail Hoover as a possible contender, and told everyone to encourage her. But that's just cRaZy.

In her last stint on council, Hoover excelled at ethics violations. When cited for double-parking as the result of some new "get tough" policy, she made sure the practice ended that day. She was sanctioned a $1,000 fine by the state ethics commission after she traipsed off to San Francisco for a three-day real estate seminar, failed to file her 2001 statement of financial interest ("I forgot") and failed to include the cost of that seminar, which was waived, as a gift.

Are any Republicans running? Mike Welsh's impressive state house campaign was based on Allentown's rampant crime, so he may be considering a run, but I don't know that. There is another eminently qualified candidate, but that news will have to wait.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

As an employee of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Schlossberg should not run for City Council. I think it is inappropriate for the mixing of partisan politics with the Chamber work.
I intend to make my concerns known to the Board. If this is the path of the Chamber, I will demand an accounting of the positions and job descriptions to see if they are all necessary.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Hoover is the right fit for the City and she should fit right in with the Mayor

Anonymous said...

Now this guy knows the pay to play crowd.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
As an employee of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Schlossberg should not run for City Council. I think it is inappropriate for the mixing of partisan politics with the Chamber work.
I intend to make my concerns known to the Board. If this is the path of the Chamber, I will demand an accounting of the positions and job descriptions to see if they are all necessary."

Absolutely Agree !

michael molovinsky said...

mr. schlossberg fits the criterion valued in today's allentown government; he is liberal and recently moved here from elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I know both of them.

Gail voted against the police pension plan. Nuff said.

Mike is a good heart with a passion for the city. The city's old blood blew it for us. I'll try anything new if it's qualified.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:49am, does the Chamber have a policy prohibiting employees from seeking public office? Such a disclosure would have to be in your employee manual or otherwise disclosed.

MM, Schlossberg is one of the most involved people in the Valley, and has been for several years. He may be liberal and a recent relocator, but he's a good person, he's ethical, and I believe would be a good potential candidate.

The Banker

THE Observer said...

HERE'S A NAME FOR YA'LL TO CHEW ON

RAYMOND O'CONNELL ,retired ASD administrator. serves on the city rec board, cares about the kids in this here burg ! HE is a fresh face and new voice.

Anonymous said...

No Rs run in the city because no one wants to be associated with the throw backs currently running the city R committee.

The have no vision or no plan. All they do is complain and put our city down when there are plenty of opportunities to improve it and reasons to love living here.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:49am, does the Chamber have a policy prohibiting employees from seeking public office?

Mike Dowd holds office in Norco. He ran for re-election when he was VP of Easton office. He's an R. Miriam Huertes ran for D party convention delegate.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Here we go ...

Anonymous said...

Bernie, this'll be fun!

Anon 8:50am, good points - curious, I hope Anon 12:49am comments on how he/she reconcile things.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:46 -

Perhaps no R's wish to run because they are fed up with less-qualified candidates being elected merely because of party affiliation.

There are many other personally-fulfilling and productive avenues where they can spend their time and efforts.

Allentown's blindly-partisan Democratic voters deserve the government they have received over the past 7 years.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps no R's wish to run because they are fed up with less-qualified candidates being elected merely because of party affiliation."

Then learn to run campaigns. There is nothing more pathetic than blaming voters b/c the minority party can't run a credible campaign. It wasn't long ago that we had an R mayor and R council. The R party got lazy and stopped organizing while the D party figured out how to start winning.

In 2007, I had 6 D's (candidates and volunteers) knock on my door in Allentown. I had no R's. I got mail from 4 D candidates and nothing from R's. That's how elections are lost. Party affiliation is an excuse used by hacks that lose.

Anonymous said...

The Chamber does get Grant money, but that comes from the State or Feds. Most people active or employed by the chamber are hard working public servants. Schlossberg is a great fit for the council and working for the chamber is a non-issue and is not and no where is a person prohibited from running for public office while working for them.

Anonymous said...

Comment at 8:50 and by 8:51 Bernie O'hare has a reply up? Interesting,taht's pretty damn fast, unless maybe you are replyingf to your own anonymous comment, but Bern wouldn't do that, would he?
Sammy B is off the table, Jen Mann easily kicked Mike Welsh's butt, so Now Bernie turns his attention to having his entourage tear up a good guy looking to work in his city.
What, no Ed Pawlowski trashing today? We have to get Bernie an invite to the Brew Works on Blogger appreciation night! Change his mind about our fair city!
I bet they'll even reserve the preferred parking spot for you on Hamilton street!
Hey, Bern, did you see Gail Hoover at the rally? Bet she could kick your butt!

Anonymous said...

"As an employee of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Schlossberg should not run for City Council. I think it is inappropriate for the mixing of partisan politics with the Chamber work.
I intend to make my concerns known to the Board. If this is the path of the Chamber, I will demand an accounting of the positions and job descriptions to see if they are all necessary."

Why shouldn't Schlossburg run? His boss Tony Ianelli is a major Ed Pawlowski campaign donor. He may get a promotion for getting involved in politics.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:22,

Yeah, I posted a comment at 8:51, but was not responding to the anonymous comment posted at 8:50, I was responding to the anonymous comment at 8:46.

To answer your insinuation, I don't post anonymously.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:46am,

Who are the throwbacks that you are referring to? I'm unsure. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Of course I will need to learn more about any new candidates, but I would gladly vote for an intelligent young transplant than any person that utters the phrase;
"when Hess's was downtown...."
Ye olde days are over, we need people with a forward-looking vision.

Anonymous said...

It is important to look ahead but lets not forget the past. Many transplants extol what they consider new ideas for redevelopment and fighting crime. Many times these ideas have been tried numerous times in the last 20years. Take community policing for example. People that remember Hess's have watched as newcomers come in and repeatedly try the same "new ideas" over and over again.

Anonymous said...

Rs have left the city to Ds long ago. Even the last so-called Rs were RINOS who couldn't get nominated on the D slate (Easton went through this phase as well). The voter registration numbers are overwhelming. The inmates have been left to run their asylum as they see fit. How's that going?

Anonymous said...

Aren't there any R's who moved here from somewhere else and can therefore claim to have all the answers?

Schlossberg has all the shallow qualities of other relocation 'natives.' All show and no go.

Anonymous said...

In the spirit of putting your clearly biased opinions out there without having the courage of your convictions enough to sign your blog posts: I think it is the height of hubris, not to mention disrespect, to say that the "inmates are running the asylum" because Republicans have abandoned the city and the Democrats are trying to make some changes. Personally, voter registration numbers only hearten me--at least many people are getting involved (even if it's only by voting). Also, just because you might disagree with their party affiliation, what gives you the right to call them insane? I don't quite understand name-calling here. Being involved in your city affairs should mean taking part in an open exchange of ideas, not a nagging, shrewish competition where we see who can scream their opinion louder or more belligerently. I agree that we should be looking backward and forward in making decisions, especially in regard city counsel. However, I don’t think we should be attacking a perfectly viable candidate because he may or may not represent new energy, clearly educated views, and a spirit of dedication rarely expressed in publicized politics. Schlossberg is a young voice, but let’s not confuse the word “young” with naïve, uneducated, or inexperienced, because he is so obviously not any of those three things.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Schlossberg has all the shallow qualities of other relocation 'natives.' All show and no go."

Geez, the poor guy hasn't even officially announced his candidacy, and he's being eaten alive. I'm gonna' have to go out tonight and look under all the bridges to make sure Mike didn't jump.

We don't have enough young people taking an interest in their government. That's why I find people like Mike refreshing. I'm looking forward to learning his stance on A-town city issues.

Don't jump, Mike!

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:11pm, don't sell him short - even though I'm conservative and we may not agree on everything, I'm very interested in hearing him out.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

I am still troubled by the issue brought up earlier by another poster regarding holding public office while employed by the Chamber. It is true that Mike Dowd is a Chamber employee and probably true threre is no Chamber rule regarding holding public office but as a member I believe it is wrong.
Any funding from the Federal Governemnt coild involve the Hatch Act and Chamber funds from dues should really stay out of the political arena.

I don't know Mr. Schlossbergs politics Bernie and I hope you are not supporting him sinmply becaus you attended the Gay and Lesbian event but I do know some members are not thrilled with the deeping of political activity by the Chamber.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:24,

I've met Mike just once and did not attend Allentown's gay rights rally. I'm sorry if I gave the impression i was there.

Mike impresses me as an energetic young man and I am always happy when I see a young person take an interest in government, especially local government.

I don't see the Hatch Act problem. But I actually think you're right about chamber of commerce employees involving themselves in politics. It's a nonprofit. Since the chamber itself may not endorse candidates, its employees should be similarly prohibited. Your point is well taken.

But when Mike signed on, political activity was not prohibited. It would be unfair to impose that restriction on him now, although the Chamber may want to consider your concerns for new hires.

The only person I can support so far is Mike D'Amore, who has been accessible and does not blindly follow the mayor.

Whether I support Mike, an enthusiastic newcomer, will depend on his campaign, the campaigns of others and his answers to a lot of the questions I dumped on him yesterday.

Anonymous said...

The only people who have a meaningful opinion in regards to Chamber Employees running for public office is Chamber members.

That being said, why would a chamber member be against expanded influence of their organization?

michael molovinsky said...

michael s. seems nice enough. he has asked me to appear on business matters to talk for english only, against immigrants, wait a minute, he thinks i'm archie bunker. he is a young urbanist who never met a grant or study he didn't think was worthwhile. my problem with his candidacy is that we have a mayor of that ilk, we need more pragmatic people as a check and balance on council

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:40, Actually, the IRS has been known to have some meaningful opinions. If you allow yourself to get mired in politics, the IRS might opine that it has ruined your nonprofit status.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Michael,

I think it's probably safe to say that you and the other Michael have different ideologies. But as he had preconceptions about you, perhaps you have preconceptions about him.

michael molovinsky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
michael molovinsky said...

i have deleted my previous comment, my choice of words was uncalled for, and i apologize to mr. schlossberg for them. a review of his web site convinces me he is very much in step with a tax and grant mentality which doesn't, in my mind, support a level playing field. our existing council has supported the administration on every proposal, including some questionable bonds and unnecessary intrusions upon private property (home sale inspections) i believe he would be just another automatic yes vote.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how Mr. Schlossbergs affiliation with the Gay and Lesbian Community has any relevence to his running for office. He should not be judged based on sexual preferences but on policies.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I don't see how Mr. Schlossbergs affiliation with the Gay and Lesbian Community has any relevence to his running for office."

It has no relevance. It is only relevant to explain how I found out about Mike's interest. Thanks to a video shot by Pa Pro, I caught Rob Hopkins remarks at that rally.

Anonymous said...

It is very offensive to think that Mr. Schlossberg being gay would have a negative effect on his being a candidate. I am concerned by what I see as inferences that because of his orientation he may not be able to serve.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:40,

You're looking for a nonexistent issue. I scrolled thru the 36 comments that appeared before yours. No one suggested or even hinted that Schlossberg's orientation had anything to do with their opinions. Some like him as a fresh face with new ideas. Others are duious bc of his connection to the nonprofit world and his liberal views. And the Ds and Rs had some fun pointing fingers at each other. But that was pretty much it.

As I indicated earlier, I learned about Mike's candidacy as a result of watching a video of a speech that Rob Hopkins gave during a gay rights rally in Allentown. He mentioned Mike, who was no longer there, as someone the gay community should support. He also mentioned Gail Hoover, although I think Rob is dead wrong about her.

Had I been aware of that rally in advance, I probably would have gone to it. But my appearance at a gay rights rally would not mean I am gay. It would mean I support gay rights. It would be illogical to infer someone is gay simply bc he attends a gay rights rally. And as you correctly note, orientation is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to ask this again but noone answered me. At least I don't think anyone did. I'm curious to know who anon 8:46 is referring to when he says throwbacks running the city R committee. I haven't a clue to whom he is referring to. The last people that ran for council last year were David Bausch and Robert Smith. Before that we had Tom Burke, Charlie Thiel, Kim Beitler and Stephen Bodnar. Pretty decent candidates. Pretty up to snuff on city business.

Anonymous said...
No Rs run in the city because no one wants to be associated with the throw backs currently running the city R committee.

The have no vision or no plan. All they do is complain and put our city down when there are plenty of opportunities to improve it and reasons to love living here.

8:46 AM

Anonymous said...

Who cares about this Schlossberg cat being gay? I mean really?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:46, I can't answer your question. Sorry.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Straight or gay, and Mike happens to be straight, his orientation is irrelevant unless he's into chickens or something.

Anonymous said...

HOW ABOUT PEOPLE WHO THINK PRACTICING GAY ACTS ARE MORALLY WRONG? THEY DON'T WANT THAT BEHAVIOR CONDONED BY THE GOVERNMENT.