Monday, September 21, 2009

Hershman: More Cops Without More Taxes

Allentown City Council candidate Lou Hershman had a news conference outside city hall on Friday morning. I was unable to attend, but he has supplied me with his statement explaining how the Queen City can add more police officers without raising taxes. Here it is.

Thank you everyone for coming out today. I'd like to discuss the issue of adding more police to the Allentown force. Al! the candidates in the race for city council declare they will put more police on the streets of our city, but they can't say how it will be funded. They can't say because they probably have no idea aside from raising your real estate taxes. Part of the problems in our city stem from the election of officials who do not know how to read or stay within a budget. Understanding finance is a very important, yet often ignored, qualification for holding public office. I am the candidate who understands economics and can tell you how I will add more officers to the force without raising your property taxes.

1. I will introduce legislation to bring all money collected from parking tickets issued by police and fire to the general fund after the operating funds have been deducted. Currently these dollars remain in the parking authority department.

2. I will Introduce legislation to collect 50% of ail money obtained from the sale of unclaimed vehicles by the [towing company] after the cost of towing, storage and transferring titles of these vehicles have been deducted. Currently the towing company keeps all the proceeds. I believe the city should have some of these funds.

3. I will move to transfer the solid waste fund back to the general fund, as it was prior to 1992. The cash balance of this fund will be included in the general fund, which could be several million dollars. This would not only help pay for additional police, but could also reduce the deficit.

4. As the solid waste fund would be joined to the general fund all fines collected from street sweeping violations by the parking authority, minus operating cost, will go to the general fund. Operating cost would be the salaries of enforcement officers and the cost involved in collecting fines.

5. Introduce legislation to hire a firm to study the benefits of having the Allentown police department assume responsibility for enforcing all parking violations. This has been done in the past, and currently the police department enforces parking violations on weekends and holidays. Parking enforcement officers, once transferred to the police department, could also enforce double parking, handicapped parking and littering codes along with any other duty assigned by the police chief. Additionally, during patrols, officers could spot any unlicensed business operations and make sure they are updated to the Allentown tax rolls.

6. The mayor's blue ribbon panel recommended a study to see if the parking authority was necessary. I will introduce legislation to do this study.

All candidates promise more police for the city of Allentown. The citizens want this, but it needs to be funded. I am the only candidate who has presented a plan to pay for these added officers.

Police protection is very important to all of us, and we can do it in a way that is fiscally responsible. These are not easy financial times, and any candidate asking for your votes has the responsibility of backing up his promises, especially when it concerns taxpayer dollars. I've just done that, and ask for your vote on election day.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lou Hershman is the only candidate who knows what is what at city hall. We have never got this kind of detailed proposal from any other candidate, even the incumbants. All we get from the others is a bunch of smiles and fancy mailings. I am sure Paloser is putting together 80 powerpoint slides to counter everything Hershman has proposed! This is why Paloser FEARS Hershman, when he was on council, Hershman was the only one with a heart-beat, only one who would stand-up for the taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

"Parking enforcement officers, once transferred to the police department, could also enforce double parking, handicapped parking and littering codes along with any other duty assigned by the police chief," Lou Hershmann.

Just think of the waste of time and money spent on this one procedure because currently residents are required to call-in a complaint. The communications center takes the info and then must call it over to the parking authority where it is again repeated for an employee on the street.
For whatever reason, too often, nothing is ever done about the initial complaint anyway, so residents give up.
Not only is this an awful system, we've been told by parking employees, they cannot do anything on their own. For example, they cannot drive by a car illegally parked by a fire hydrant or double-parked and give it a ticket. They are only "responders to complaints"
initiated by others. Does this make any sense to anyone? They could take a photo of every violation with a $50.00 digital camera for verification.

Anonymous said...

Hershman was the only one with a heart-beat, only one who would stand-up for the taxpayer.

6:59 AM



We agree with you, but he can't seem to get anything changed. Not that he's not a nice guy, he is.

LVCI said...

Finally a candidate who replies to the oft asked questions concerning funding. I am very much on the same page with Lou on this. I had posted this elsewhere yesterday and said,

This department needs to be re-integrated back under the authority of the police department that can actually use the fines to fight crime. REAL police assigned to traffic duty can be used as 'boots on the ground' so as to be a further deterrent to the ever growing street crimes.

Perhaps a way for a rookie to start out on a lower pay scale till a better position opens up on the force.


As far as the 'solid waste', I didn't quite understand why it was ever taken away from the general funds in the 1st place. Police, fire, streets, etc. were never outside the general funds... why should 'solid waste'?

While we're at it... I'm not too keen on dropping another $2 million to finance "Drop Off Center Improvements"" either! (Page 7)..

In which of this $2 million expenditure, $1.8 million of it would be financed through a General Obligation Bond (another loan) next year! All of it being provided 100% by the city

Anonymous said...

i read a lot about studies which cost money. I'm tired of studies and committee recommendations. just do it already. city council committees should be doing studies and making recommendations. as it sounds, he doesn't want to do the real homework.

and seeing as all of these changes he wants to undo happened either while he was in office or after he was in office and he did nothing to undo them, I wonder if this guy has made more mistakes than the current mayor has. they may be good ideas, but where were these ideas the last time he was on council?

LVCI said...

Last time he was on council, we weren't facing a possible $9 million shortfall!

Anonymous said...

he was on council when afflerbach was mayor and I remember huge deficits then too. maybe not 9million, but there is a trend. He's around, things go to hell (not his fault exclusively) and then he comes up with ideas, none of which are put into place. he's either late to the party, ineffective or just not capable of being a legislator.

it just feels like this guy has had his chances and needs to move aside.

Anonymous said...

Nobody seems to be asking Don Cunningham what kind of tax increase looms next year - after he's re-elected. He's playing an election year shell game and won't even debate the issue. Don should be honest and open about the ticking time bomb he's pushed off to avoid political embarrassment in a re-election year. Again, he's afraid to debate and defend his record. He'd prefer an unchallenged, approved version as dutifully reported on this blog. So much for the open government stuff.

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Steve said...

Screw Lou Hershman! I hate it when Politicians change parties so they have a better chance to win. One reason why Arlen Specter lost my vote and Pat Toomey gained it.

I would rather have some young conservative blood in Allentown City Council, I support Joe Brudnak. He is a average, hard working Allentown citizen who wants best for the people. Hes got my support.

Anonymous said...

where there actually budget deficits or tax oncreases when Hershman was on Council? check the Mcall archives. If so, he did not vote for a tax increase.

It was Hershman who discovered several multi-million dollar budget errors year after year during the Afflerbach Administration. He called afflerbachs finance director on the carpet. But you are correct, one guy cannot do it all.

Fast forward to the controller's race 2 two ago. Super finance wizard controller candidate hoffman (paloser sponsered and paid for) versus hershman. Paloser smears hershman with negative mailing, and the finance wizard in controller's office has done what - sit by and watch allentown fall apart finacially.

and what about the current do-nothing council. Several talk a good line, but have done nothing. What ever happened to donovan or eichman asking for a pay freeze for all management, or even revoking thier salaries, like lou hershman did.

Paloser again afraid of hershman so his boy booby hopkins solcits money from schlossberg and damore to again smear hershman

This is a quiet campaing and the demos will run the table. but, you gotta wonder, what is paloser, Inc, afraid of when it comes to good old louie hershman? Accountability? Because currently paloser is accountable to no one and his hand-picked council ticket, whom he has endorsed and they he, will hold no one accountable.

Allentown voters, please note, you get exactly what you "play and pay" for!!

Anonymous said...

steve - hershman did a write in when which is totally legal. i am sure he would be a happy demo if his party had not smeared him withe robo calls.

also, can you tell us how joe Brudnak will pay for more police, imrpove the quality of life in our city, reduce the deficit?

Thought not......

Bernie O'Hare said...

Steve, Lou did switch parties. He was more or less driven out of the Democratic party. I would not hold that against him. You can vote for 4. I know you like Joe and that's good. You still have three votes left.

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Anonymous said...

Why more cops? More cops are not the answer. We need to get people in office who know what they are doing! Before we become a 3rd world country with a huge police state problem on our hands. Which can happen within next couple of years if we don't change are voting habits now!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Steve, I'm sorry, but I can't allow you to post comments here that are just nasty personal attacks. If you want to criticize, great. But lose the name-calling.