Monday, June 27, 2011

Callahan Priorities: $5,000 For Bach Choir, $0 for K-9

Let's see. Bethlehem has eliminated fifty positions in this year's budget. It's down 3 police officers, 2 firemen and 1 1/2 housing inspectors.

I don't know which half of a housing inspector was kept, so don't ask.

The Christmas City delayed a raise for most of its professional staff until July. Ho. Ho. Ho. Best of all, City Council increased taxes by 0.75 mil for a new EMS center because Johnny Casino blew the money borrowed for that project on something else.

Seven months later, a spade has yet to hit the ground.

Bethlehem police officers are panhandling right now, trying to pick up the $12,000 needed to purchase and train a new K9 dog to replace poor Madjo, a 13 year-old veteran.

Ruh roh.

Sounds like a City in financial distress, right? In spite of all this, Mayor John Callahan wants $5,000 for the $65,000 it will cost the 100-person Bethlehem Bach Choir to travel to the Big Apple and perform at the next commemoration of 9/11.

After all, 100 foo foos mean a lot more at election time than 1 K-9 dog who probably voted for Congressman Charlie Dent.

Now the Bach Choir might do a better job fundraising than they do in concert. They have guarantors ($125), associate guarantors ($50), an annual fund drive, a "Heritage Society" for endowments of $5,000 or more, as well as a "lifetime guarantee" of priority seating for $25,000. They provide great performances, to be sure, but do an even better job raising money.

A K-9 dog has no professional fundraiser. Madjo just saved lives.

So here's an idea. Let the Bach Choir raise its money from the private sector. It should not be up to the citizens, many of whom are victims of unemployment, to support this bus trip.

Bethlehem City Council's Finance Committee will review Callahan's $5,000 request tonight.
Updated 11:22 AM: To contribute to Bethlehem's K9, you can call Officer Jason Ebert at 610-865-7187 or email jebert@bethlehem-pa.gov

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let Bach sing its way to NYC. Shameful they'd expect taxpayers to pay their way. The bus is about $42.00 round trip. They can walk to the Memorial.If a member can't afford $42.00, stay home.

Anonymous said...

Is that the city's half housing
inspector "Sam" has in his mouth?

Anonymous said...

Great choir and all but now is not the time to be asking for tax dollars...

Jon Geeting said...

Looks like the Dent campaign is starting early this year. Must be worried about the debt ceiling vote.

Ayn Rand said...

Bethlehem has had two idiots for mayors. It is first in line to be the new Sodom and Gamorrah.

Anonymous said...

uh....money to Bach Choir = Sadam and Gamorrah....you people make me laugh....LOL

I have already ordered 3 shirts for the K-9 fundraiser. Bernie, you should put in the information for people to donate.

Yes Jon, you can see the pattern start to begin already. They had the feelers out to see what the Mayors next move will be a few weeks ago.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

26 year old Pennsylvanian man living in Brooklyn, NY

Bernie O'Hare said...

Seamus,

I have added the contact information I gleaned from The Morning Call. If you have better information, please feel free to share it.

Instead of the usual political accusations, explain how a City can give $5,000 to the foo foos, but can't find a nickel for the K-9s. Explain how you can send money off to the artsy-fartsies when you are down 3 cops, 2 fireman and 1.5 housing inspectors.

Put the politics aside and the needless desire to defend every Callahan move and ask yourself, does this make any sense at all?

Afer you have thought 0.001 second and realized that this is a stupid idea that sends the wrong message, tell the Mayor. If you want to help the guy, tell him when he's wrong, too.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Is that the city's half housing
inspector "Sam" has in his mouth?"


That could be what happened.

Anonymous said...

Actually I did not defend the move at all. I really have no knowledge as of yet how the decision was made. I do feel the arts need to be funded as they add allot to a city's amenities. The arts help draw people to the city and add to it’s vibrancy. Having people outside the area seeing our choir may lead them to come here and spend money and maybe like what they see and stay awhile.

That being said on face value (since we do not know if this was targeted funds in the budget) , I would more than likely go for the Police Dog. Like I said who knows where the money is truly coming from, could be a grant that can only go to this type of entity. Keep in mind though, the dog is not a onetime output. After the dog is purchased it needs food, vet visits, re-occurring training and certifications. Maybe the ongoing costs were of concern too, I simply don't know.

Contact for Bethlehem K9 Unit T-shirt Fundraiser is Jason Ebert: Jebert@bethlehem-pa.gov

$10 for short sleeve (S, M, L, XL)
$15 for long sleeve (S, M, L, XL)
nominal additional cost for sizes 2XL & up.
Available in Grey, White, Pink or Tan

Left chest reads “City of Bethlehem”
with the K9 paw below it;
there is also a K9 paw print on the back

It's funny how Callahan was so beat up over the horses (which most everybody loves), now he is getting beat for spreading around the funds to other needy causes. The city simply does not have enough for everything and decisions have to be made. What is popular with one group is not so much with another, but that is the cost of leadership making those decisions and standing by them.

Seamus

Bernie O'Hare said...

Seamus, I updated my post to identify Officer Ebert.

Anonymous said...

I saw that, Thank you.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

While we're at it, where is the money that was supposed to be place in a "lockbox" received due to the 5.8% property tax increase? Where is the new firepumper and EMS facility that money was supposed to have been used for? Where did the Administration (Johny Casino) spend the $18 million Council borrowed? Why are they now talking about having to borrow another $9 million?

Why is Geeting not ranting and raving about that? Oh that's right, because it doesn't fit very well into his partisan bomb throwing!

Geeting lives in Brooklyn NY, he doesn't even live in Bethlehem but has the nerve to constantly stick his nose in our business.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love Geeting - ignore the facts and go off on some false argument (love that term Jon, thanks for sharing it!) Yet again, the young, inexperienced blogger and policy wonk gets it wrong.

You can divert all you want, but this is clear - Callahan is pandering for support at the expense of the safety of the police force.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, thanks for the contact information. I'm sending a contribution.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

I understand more now, dog is not due to retire for seven months. Stay tuned...

It is most certainly not a decision of either or as you would like to portray it.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

This is a carnival barker Administration. Basic city services are being ignored and scaled back. The city is falling apart under the surface but Johnny Casino wants you to look at the glittering lights at the casino.

This is the worst administration in the city's history.

Snake Eyes!

Anonymous said...

dog paid for twice over and then some.....

http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-bethlehem-easton-drugs-gangs-20110629,0,7276923.story

Seamus

Anonymous said...

The Choir didn't "expect" taxpayers to fund the trip, which was financed by private donations. As for the notion that Mayor Callihan was seeking to buy 100 votes (maybe half of the choir lives in Bethlehem), umm, it's time to remove the tin foil hats. The choir is a group of individuals who love to sing, and who have received international recognition for how well they do that, not a voting bloc. Get a hold of yourselves.