Thursday, July 21, 2011

At Least LVEDC's Phil Mitman Can Laugh

On a Friday in early June, I took a shot at Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC). Despite its grandiose name and the bluebloods on its board of directors, it's actually a nonprofit funded mostly by hotel tax revenue from Lehigh and Northampton County. But some of that aristocratic atmosphere made its way to one of its PR people. She tweeted, on their official tweeterer, "We start summer hours today. That means most of the staff leave at noon, many to hit the links. Do you observe summer hours? What do you do?"

I'll tell you what I did. I slammed LVEDC. It's incredibly tone deaf to brag about hitting the links when many LV residents are on reduced wages or laid off.
LVEDC "Business Relations Manager" Steve Althouse predictably took it upon himself, in a mass email, to accuse me (without naming me) of "sensationalism" for accurately reporting what was said. And he got another blogger to dump all over me, which must have been pretty easy.

In most cases, the story would end there. But not this time, Both newspapers sunk their teeth into this story, and ripples were felt all the way to frickin' India.

So LVEDC CEO Phil MItman decided to fix everything by firing the tweeter. That backfired, too. That got the twitterati all lathered up.

Yesterday, I saw Mitman before Northampton County Council's Finance Committee hearing. I was thinking it might be an unpleasant experience, but we both started to laugh when we saw each other. He even introduced me to one of his muckety mucks, who was receiving all kinds of accolades for having lost 45 lbs.

Probably golfing.

"I'm not saying a word to you. It's safer that way," grumbled Phil, who actually started to laugh himself.

"Shouldn't you be golfing?" I asked.

"It's only Wednesday," he answered.

I have to admit that, arisocratic blueblood or not, Phil has a pretty good sense of humor.


Anonymous said...

phil's a great guy...witty, warm and likeable. just hugely ineffective.

Anonymous said...

I remember Steve Althouse as the editor of the Allentown Times, a spin off the Express-Times from 10 years ago or so. I was sad to see the paper fail, as they provided more objective and balanced news reporting and were not beholden to the Democratic Party machine in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

Phil Mitman is in trouble on this one. With Dowd and Angle owned by Tony Iannelli of the Chamber of commerce. This deal is already done.

Anonymous said...

the role of the LVEDC is very important - especially in these tough economic times. Commuinities want and need job creation and we are competing against locations that have a lot more going for them. The LVEDC does a lot despite these shortcomings which include state money, equipment and infrastructure loans, relocations costs, etc. They do well for us because they are effective in spreading the word that the LV is a great place to do business and grow a company.

This whole summer hours was a great gaff for the bloggers but in reality it is no different than the policies of a lot of other non-profits.

And the whole Chamber thing is rediculous, why should hotel tax money pay for the Iannelli empire? It seems to me that the Chambver is trying to be all things to all people.

Thank you LVEDC for creating job in our community.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe government needs to subsidize an organization made up of and for private businessmen.

Why the Hell should one nickel of taxpayer money go to Tony Iannelli and his overstaffed overpaid Chamber of Commerce corporate shills?

Where are the tea partiers on this one??