|Mike fleck (far right) organizes union invasion|
About thirty Lehigh Valley trade union members invaded Hanover Township on March 27 to ask Supervisors to reconsider that lawsuit. Their general? Allentown Mayor Edwin Pawlowski's campaign manager, Mike Fleck. In addition to his campaign gigs, he also does public relations work for the trade unions.
Before the meeting, Fleck pointed out that Hanover Township had no problem taking about $170,000 in casino money last year. But he admitted that most townships, boroughs and even legislators had no idea that the Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) legislation, first enacted in 2009, authorized this tax grab.
Fleck stated that, as a courtesy, he had called Hanover Township to inform them that union members would be at the Supervisors' Meeting. But Township Manager Jay Finnigan stated that his first warning, about an hour before the meeting, was a telephone call from Channel 69.
As thirty plus union members crammed into the Township's small meeting room, one very large Colonial Region police officer stood quietly, in the rear of the room. There was no need. The crowd was courteous.
|"We're desperate out there." Francis Loughny|
"This is something that's going to help a weak part of our community, which is Allentown. They need the help," Lott concluded.
Three union members who live in the Township - Joe Farrell, Greg Horne and Paul Anthony - also addressed Supervisors about the need for jobs.
When they had all finished speaking, the invasion had failed. Chairman John Diacogiannis thanked everyone for coming and stated he appreciates their support for Allentown, where he happens to work himself. But he pointed out that Allentown has been reluctant to provide information about the tax revenue that would be lost. "The litigation will speak for itself," Diacogiannis stated, declining any further comment.
Solicitor Jim Broughal was even briefer. "I have no report," he stated at the end of the meeting.
When Supervisors meet again on Tuesday, April 10, at the Township's Municipal Building on Jacksonville Road, Broughal will likely have a more lengthy report.
Blogger's Note: I have two video interviews with Mike Fleck and LV Bldg Trades Prez Brett Helfrich:
Updated 9:04 AM to correct two minor factual errors. There were three, not two Hanover residents. Jay Finnigan was told the union was coming by Channel 69, not a newspaper.