Thursday, April 19, 2012

Why LVEDC's Exec Committee Supports the NIZ

The Express Times tells us that LVEDC, the Lehigh Valley's supposed economic development engine, has endorsed Allentown's 130-acre Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ). This happened even though it allows Allentown to grab EIT owed to other municipalities, This happened even though the subsidized rents within the NIZ will create an uneven playing field for commercial real estate developers in the rest of the Lehigh Valley.

Why?

Let me explain. LVEDC, like faux grass roots group RenewLV and Alan Jennings' CACLV, is a creature of the Lehigh Valley Partnership. That's an aging collection of rich white guys who think they run the Lehigh Valley, and maybe they do. LVEDC, RenewLV and CACLV are three fronts for the Partnership, just like a pizza shop can be a front for the mob.

On Tuesday, five Partnership bluebloods got together and decided that LVEDC needs to endorse the NIZ. After all, what's good for Allentown is good for the Lehigh Valley.

Even if it isn't.

After getting its marching orders, LVEDC prostrated itself before an unelected aristocracy yet again. Who knows? Maybe Alan Jennings will write yet another op-ed claiming he "walks the walk."

Secretive as always, LVEDC declines to reveal its exact vote, but Chair Don Bernhard huffs that it was not close.  Then he went off to play golf.

Summer hours, you know.

Well, I have the numbers.

The vote was 14-2 in support of the NIZ. But the two No votes come from pretty powerful people.

One of the Nos comes from Richard Thulin, who is slated to take over as LVEDC's Chair next year.

The other No vote?

Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan.

I'm sorry, but if the Mayor of the Lehigh Valley's most successful city has concerns, this bullshit endorsement is meaningless.

9 comments:

Doc Rock said...

Allentown may call itself the "City Without Limits," but Bethlehem is the "City That Works!"

Congrats to Mayor Callahan for his vote.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have deleted 2 comments attempting to attack John Stoffa. OT comments will be deleted. There are 4 other blogs that will accept your hate.

Anonymous said...

I am cautously behind the NIZ, recognizing that it is a flawed vehicle.

That said, LVEDC has no place to either a) endorse, or b) oppose, the NIZ. They need to be Switzerland here.

Anonymous said...

This is why the LVEDC does not and never has mattered in the eyes of the LV munis. Maybe Angle was right with his questioning of this group.

Anonymous said...

Where is LVEDC when new industries they lured here close?

Anonymous said...

@6:58 out golfing!

John.Jay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

All the Developers need to cancel or not renew their memberships in LVEDC.

They drive economic development not LVEDC.

Perhaps the HOTEL TAX money needs to be directed towards the Chamber not LVEDC.

Anonymous said...

John.Jay,

you should look at the membership of the board before you declare them to be objective.