Friday, April 20, 2012

Schossberg: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the NIZ

Mike Schlossberg, who has no opponent in his state house race for Jenn Mann's seat, will take office in January. Since his district is mostly in Allentown, he obviously supports the Neighborhood Improvement Zone. Here's how he answered my questions.

1) Do you support the NIZ? - Yes, absolutely.

2) Are you willing to repeal the Allentown tax grab under which the EIT of surrounding municipalities can be used to finance a hockey arena, and other improvements over a 30-year period? - No. As State Representative, I would be more than happy to work with each and every municipality in order to ensure that their EIT revenue is returned as soon as possible. As I understand, the settlement offered by the city would, in fact, provide the municipalities with their EIT revenue up-front, and I hope that this resolves their concerns.

3) Are you willing to impose a restriction that would prevent the poaching of other LV businesses within a 25-mile radius of the NIZ?  - Let me turn this question around - when suburban greenfields or farmlands are developed with the help of government funding, or subsidized by tax dollars in the form of road and infrastructure improvements, are those developments banned from recruiting city businesses? Of course not. So no, I would not support such a ban.

4) Are you willing to insist on a requirement that all new businesses moving into the NIZ agree to pay a living wage to its workforce? - Absolutely, but that has nothing todo with the NIZ. as the link you sent me clearly demonstrates, minimum wage is insufficient to support one adult in Lehigh County, let alone someone with a family. To me, that is unacceptable.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mike can buy a retirement home along Tilghman. He's in like Flint. Folks like him. He's a hometown guy and has a sweet family.

Mark Baker said...

unfortunately the collective lever pullers vote for the "nice guy" not necessarily the person who will do the best job.

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to tell Schlossberg that poaching business from Bethlehem's brownfield is not the same as poaching from a green field. How can he justify taking a business from Bethlehem's redeveloped Steel property?

Anonymous said...

I heart Dummyrats.

RE-ELECT OBAMA IN 2012

Anonymous said...

He's an Atown guy, so he has to support this. Where are the other so-called leaders, and what is thier opinion? Simmons, Emrick, Hahn, Freeman, Samualson, even Mario Scavelli? anyone out there? chirp chirp chirp
crickets...

Anonymous said...

Nice biased questions. And nice to see you get schooled with his answers. His answers were a collective "duh" to your questions.

zoid said...

A no vote for him!!

Anonymous said...

Schlossberg schooled O'Hare with his answers?

Really?

Further proof, Obama is a shoo-in.

GIMME FREE HOCKEY TICKETS

Anonymous said...

What about the municipalies who required developers to improve the infrastructure themselves. Mike will quickly find out nice guys finish last.

Anonymous said...

Schlossberg is a joke who stepped in shit and won the lottery at the same time!

Ron Beitler said...

"3) Are you willing to impose a restriction that would prevent the poaching of other LV businesses within a 25-mile radius of the NIZ? - Let me turn this question around - when suburban greenfields or farmlands are developed with the help of government funding, or subsidized by tax dollars in the form of road and infrastructure improvements, are those developments banned from recruiting city businesses? Of course not. So no, I would not support such a ban. "

This makes sense to me?

See: Upper Macungie - Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray Plant in UMT is an example of localities poaching business. This is NOT NOT creation as touted by corbett.. OCean Spray left Bordentown NJ for greener pastures (literally… a greenfield development) mainly b/c of TAX INCENTIVES. Bordentown FYI is 60 miles away. Certainly in the larger region. Bordentown employed 250 employees. New plant subsidized by taxpayers will employ 160. So this is actually a net loss of 90 jobs of the greater region.

Most of the jobs will be filled by transplants offered relocation packages. So now Bordentown is left with a Brownfield, huge hole in it’s local economy. Our taxpayers pay for the subsidy, UMT pays for the infrastructure and loss of open space. And Corbett gets a feather in his cap for “job creation”. Who even is the winner here? Ocean Spray I guess?

This is MUCH worse/destructive when this happens on Greenfields in the townships.

New infrastructure to build in these green fields costs us ALL.

R. Beitler

Ron Beitler said...

@Anonymous - What about the municipalies who required developers to improve the infrastructure themselves. Mike will quickly find out nice guys finish last.

In my opinion you have to take one time payments out of the equation. For example, The Traffic impact fee in LMT.

Officials must start to provide the community with a full accounting of short & long-term financial obligations that our township has assumed for maintaining infrastructure due to a continued policy of "expanding the tax base by greenfield growth" strategy. This is fundamental conservative principle.

Infrustructure on greenfields in townships are unfunded mandates.
R. Beitler

Anonymous said...

Bernie -

The assertion that Allentown has been somehow underfunded in government subsidies (compared to the suburbs) throughout the years is laughable. Go through Allentown's annual budgets and tally up the grants and other subsidies funneled into the city each year. It would be enough to make any suburb drool.

That Allentown City Hall - with know-nothings like Schlossberg as leaders - have squandered those funds is not the fault of the suburbs. Nor is it a justification for even more pilfering from the taxpayers in the form of the NIZ.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, these are reasoned responses. They are not the responses of a vindictive "let's screw the burbs" rant. I don't agree with them, but they are reasoned. In politics, we disagree. Perhaps we can stop vilifying those who support the NIZ as being knee-jerk blowhards out to screw the burbs.

Also, bravo to a candidate, unopposed, for actually responding. He had no reason to respond, but he did.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Excuse me, but please point out where I have vilified Michael Schossberg. I happen to like the guy. I also happen to disagree with him, but would probably vote for him, even if he had an opponent.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Now I see the anonymous personal shots. It amazes me how nasty people can be when they don't have to identify themselves.

Anonymous said...

Rob from the rich to feed the poor. Redistribute the wealth. What else would Ohare expect from a liberal Democratic State Rep.? Really?

Anonymous said...

Since when did the taxpayers pay for the bulk of suburban development improvements? This guy is as green as they get. Ask any developer about the money grabs by the Townships and PennDOT and other governmental agencies. The last I heard is that developers PAY for improvements to support their projects. Good Grief, this is what we are dealing with. Wet behind the ears politicians at the State Level.

Ron Beitler said...

@ Anonymous

After the developer has paid his/her one time fee... (thats what it is in most cases, one time appeasement fee) who pays for long term maintenance/infrastructure?

Traffic and Streets
Includes: Road resufacing, Widening, Intersection improvements, Traffic lights maintenance, Railroad crossings

Water and Sewer
Includes: Water and Sewer line installation & maintenance, new treatment plants, fire hydrants, new sewer hookups, insurance and liability costs.

Stormwater
Includes: Infrustructure, ongoing maintenance, Future capital improvements

Emergency Services
Includes: EMS, Fire, Police.

Schools
LMT is a great example. EPSD is at the threshold of having to build a new high school. This is 100% on LMT. Should the boroughs of Alburtis, Emmaus and Macungie have to pay for LMT's poor planning decisions? New high school cost - 150 million

Show me a lifetime cradle to grave cost benefit analysis where greenfield development pays for itself. Show me where the public gets a Return on its investment to subsidize suburban development?

IT NEVER does. Never.

It's like a ponzi scheme. I've said this before, but the analogy is so perfect. Greenfield development never produces the revenue to cover the liability it creates. So what happens? The public is asked to subsidize more infrastructure. Repeat this. Over and Over til a township has no more green fields. Then what? Tax explosion since the building was done in such an unsustainable way.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the work on this story and like the questions. You lost me on "living wage," however. WTF is a living wage? It's a concept void of definition and, therefore, unenforceable. In fact, it really doesn't exist. It's an economic unicorn. Ridiculous question. But you're (three solid hits) for four.

Anonymous said...

"Excuse me, but please point out where I have vilified Michael Schossberg. I happen to like the guy. I also happen to disagree with him, but would probably vote for him, even if he had an opponent."

You didn't. As your next comment suggests, the anonymous crowd that makes up the majority of your commenting audience (myself included) handles that task nicely. At least some of us have the decency to post thoughtful responses without resorting the the "dummyrats", "tea bagger" or "rethugican" comments or the blind and blanketed rhetoric about corruption or stupidity.

The more I read Schlossberg's comments, the more convinced I am that he is ready for the job. Altieri provides a doozy of a contrast. Here responses are confusing and leave me absolutely convinced she isn't ready.

Anonymous said...

Since when is Schoongberg a "hometown guy". He is a carpetbagger who showed up worked the right political campaigns and was given the Chamber job as a gift. He then stepped in political crap and will now live the Bob Freeman, "never have to work for the rest of your life", lottery. Congratulations! Many try to win that prize but few attain the goal.

Mike has secured his future while the rest of "his" district wallows in poverty.

And so it goes. By the way this is a bi-partisan story you crazy baggers.

Anonymous said...

Allentown has become the farm team for the region's Democrats politicos.

Scott Armstrong

Bernie O'Hare said...

The living wage question is a lousy one, I admit.

Anonymous said...

I bet Scott Armstrong is going to cave and raise our taxes.

Anonymous said...

7:42 pm,

I was the lone "No" vote on the new Teacher's Union contract. How facile to make declarations behind the screen of anonymity. Man up and run for office or at minimum sign your name. Until then you are just another coward.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Soon to be the lead Allentown clown. Sorry Mike but you are a baffoon and totally lack the capacity for independent thought. In short you do not have the cojones to represent the people. Thank co-clown Wayne Woodman for your success in the election.

Anonymous said...

Scott Armstrong has nothing better to do than read the blogs and respond to everyone who criticizes him. Hahaha, he'll be out in 3 years. It's so funny because everyone thinks he's a joke!

Doc Rock said...

Mr Beitler:

What fantasy land do you live in?

Why don't you compare, say, high school dropout rates in the suburbs compared to Allentown? Divorce rates. Out of wedlock birth rates. Illegal drug use. Illiteracy. Employment rates of those who were raised in the suburbs compared to Allentown.

The "quarter acre patch of green" is the principal incubator of healthy, productive, tax paying citizens.

Go ahead, make my day. Show me we would be better off if jackbooted thugs forced everyone to live on top of each other in Allentown.

Allentown would be dead without the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

The calls for Armstrong to be silenced are perfect. There's no room in Allentown for political dissent. It's best that nobody offer an opposing view. This has worked well from every wreck of Democrat controlled major city to Republican-bankrupted Orange County CA. One party politics are the best way to go.

Anonymous said...

Armstrong is way out of line.

The proposed developments in the NIZ will generate millions in additional tax revenue for the school district.

Scott would be better suited thinking about the kids, parents, taxpayers, and voters of the school district whose interests he is responsible for before spewing political rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

At least this Gentleman has a position.

He further doesn't attempt to place blame on others.

Anonymous said...

8:07 no name,

The NIZ has already cost the district a quarter of a million dollars this year alone due to lost real estate taxes. This money has been lost to a back room, pipe dream, boondoggle that was never market studied or exposed to timely public opinion.
No wonder no one defending it will sign their name.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

yeah, Armstrong should just do the right thing and stop complaining. If that was what he was going to do why did he run for public office?

Allentown Democrat Voter

Anonymous said...

Armstrong does complain a lot. I wonder how many of his recommendations even get considered on the school board. Seems like a waste of time, for him and everyone else. Everyone knows how he's going to vote -- no compromises proposed. The juicy insider gossip from those in the know is telling.

In any case, he can't be all too bright if he's keeping his kids in the ASD. That district is going to hell in a hand basket. Hope they enjoy "social language arts studies".

Anonymous said...

I think Armstrong's oldest son is at Cornell.

Anonymous said...

ASD faces a continuing decline in property taxes due to assessment appeals. Only increasing the market value of property in the city will change that as rates cannot keep going up.

The NIZ may or may not be a popular idea, but it was a way to increase real estate taxes for both the city and ASD without raising rates.

xxxxxxxxx

Also,the GOP wasted a lot of political effort on the county commisioners race while the ASD(and other SDs)have bigger budgets and more impact on property owners.

FOCUS on the big dollar budgets not personal disputes.

Anonymous said...

Enough with the attacks on Mike. If he weren't gay you guys wouldn't be so hateful. Enough already.

Anonymous said...

The Allentown democrat movie of the year, ever since it was released in 2006, has been Idiocracy.

It is the go to movie for administrative bott sockers. You think giving the finger is an expression of superior intellectual power. Not fools!

What a bunch of twerps these guys are. Biggest kitty cats in town. Do not have what it takes to run for any political office, cause they spend all their time obsessed with quashing any dissenting voice.

What are you fools gonna do when this berg goes belly up and all the pension funds are empty from the big raid? Empty, Nada, Nothing, Zippo, Zonked, Zero!

Welcome to poverty city suckers!

Fact is the arena is dead. A soon to be deserted field, hardly fertile enough to cultivate dandelions.

It ain't gonna happen. Brooks will pull out and so will Radley, I mean Rilly, I mean Reilee, ah what the f***, what ever the dweebs name is.

All you guys will end up in some sordid democratic political commune in Lehighton. You can stroke each others egos and live in a state of perpetual denial and fantasy.

Big gaming hunting will be the sport of choice and will consist of blasting fantasized Republican operatives in the local blogsphere.

Guess you can entertain yourselves trading uncancelled hockey tickets and taking bets which hospital will loose it's tax free status first. So you have even more money for even bigger ideas.

Have fun.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Since Michael Schlossberg entered the world of politics, there have been anonymous snarks - probably from the same person - suggesting he is gay. The purpose is to damage him in the eyes of people who themselves are anti-gay. But I think it makes Michael's detractors look pretty pathetic. If you want to call him a rubber stamp, that's fair. If you want to say he has not learned to think on his own, that's fine. I would even agree with much of it. But when you make shit up, that destroys all the legitimate criticism.

Anonymous said...

Scott, are you saying the property taxes from the 4 proposed office buildings and hotel will not generate $250,000+ in revenue for the SD?

The NIZ will be a HUGE plus for the ASD in 3 years! Imagine in 30. Your position is either politically driven or just wrong.

Anonymous said...

So Ashley development bought a bunch of buildings from someone who was paying attention when they obviously were not. Awww.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

This isn't the first time the Gay message was put out against a candidate..This a typical right from the republican dirty trick book.