Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Joyce Marin to Lead RenewLV

Over the years, I've been critical of RenewLV, primarily because it is a Lehigh Valley Partnership spinoff that has masqueraded as a "grass roots" organization. But I admired former Exec Director Steve Bliss. From passenger rail to bi-county health, he was a tireless advocate who made his group "grass roots" in spite of itself. I particularly enjoyed the brown bag lunches, which could cover topics extending from bicycling to our struggling cities. Bliss was happy for the discussion, even with those who held different views. Unfortunately, once Steve left, RenewLV fell upon hard times. That's about to change.

Macungie resident Joyce Marin has been named RenewLV's Executive Director. There is no doubt in my mind that, with her at the helm, regionalism will get the hearing it deserves.

Unfortunately, I never got to know Marin until after I had beaten her up in several blog entries. I got to know her during her stint with the Allentown School District, where she worked on a number of after-school programs for the kids. She became consumed with them and their well-being, and remain involved in all kinds of programs for disadvantaged children after the money ran out. She still cared, just as much as the volunteers who run Allentown's Wall2Wall program, or Craig Golden, a Bethlehem basketball coach who came out of retirement because he the young men on his team wrote him and asked him to stay.

None of this has anything to do with her being Executive Director at RenewLV. But it has everything to do with why I must recognize that I had her wrong.

Marin is actually a co-founder of RenewLV, which is described as "smart-growth organization dedicated to revitalizing our urban cores and regional, cooperative approaches to government in the Lehigh Valley."

Her experience as a Main Street Manager, Emmaus Council member and as Allentown DCED Director has given her plenty of exposure to both revitalization and regionalism opportunities.

"Having an experienced, strategic and knowledgeable professional like Joyce will enable RenewLV to continue its important efforts to be the voice for regionalism in the Lehigh Valley," says Deana Zosky, co-chair of the RenewLV board of directors. "Joyce also brings a tremendous amount of passion for smart growth, which will help us engage our stakeholders and the general public and raise the level of discussion Valley-wide."

Marin's academic credentials include an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh and inclusion in the Knight Fellowship in Community Building at the University of Miami's School of Architecture, the recognized center for New Urban thought and practice.

"I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to direct my experience and education toward engaging the region's leadership and the public more deeply in the discussion of a sustainable Lehigh Valley, regional cooperation and the efficient use of our resources through utilization of smart growth principals and policies," said Marin.

In her new role, she's already begun revitalization within RenewLV itself. She's helping organize the Lehigh Valley's first smart growth conference, the Lehigh Valley Summit for Smart Growth, to be held on October 24th at the Holiday Inn at Center City in Allentown. "The summit is a great opportunity for both the region's leaders as well as regular citizens to get informed and engaged on what we can each do to have a better Lehigh Valley as we grow," said Marin.

I wish her luck.

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Translation: The Regional Health Department is baaaack!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't think anyone in their right mind would oppose public health on a regional basis. But the plan put forth was untenable, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Any friend of Mayor Ed P's is a friend of mine!

Anonymous said...

Marin worked for the ASD and the current Allentown City Administration and she is going to lead an effort about participation and citizen engagement?
You must be kidding?
Is this some kind of a spoof post???

Anonymous said...

This is a bad joke.

Anonymous said...

You couldn't make this shit up.

Anonymous said...

Lets see how the new faces of regionalism work together and play out...

LVPC = Becky Bradley
LVEDC = Don Cunnigham
LV Renew = Joyce Marin

Getting ready for some big things to come and for the Valley to finally get on the map!!! These three are very progressive and believe in change that is very much needed!

Anonymous said...

Joyce is the obvious and best choice for this position. She knowledgeable, experienced, visionary, principled, hard-working, inclusive, persuasive and passionate.

She will need it all.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"she is going to lead an effort about participation and citizen engagement?"

The mistake I made was to associate her with her former boss. You neglect pointing out that, as a former founding board member at RenewLV, she was responsible for many of the efforts to reach out to the public.

This is a good pick. I will likely disagree with some of her initiatives, but she will use the same inclusive approach i liked so much when Steve was at RenewLV, and I suspect she will bring some knowledge from her past positions.

Anonymous said...

Due to the political patronage aspect of her previous jobs with the City of Allentown and ASD, I have a degree of skepticism. However, she may be a good director of RenewLV. Task Number 1 to resore Lehigh Valley's urban core: Leadership is needed to disband and decentralize public education in Allentown. Nothing will improve Allentown more than dissolving ASD and giving each student a check to go parochial schools, charter schools, trade academies/LVTS or other suburban school districts. Since Marin lives in a segregated public school district she can test her leadership skills by taking the lead on this issue. Allentown has everything to attract young middle class families over the next 50 years if a unique solution is found for public education, which ends the racial segregation of Lehigh County's public schools.

Anonymous said...

Lets see how the new faces of regionalism work together and play out...

LVPC = Becky Bradley
LVEDC = Don Cunnigham
LV Renew = Joyce Marin

I'll give Becky Bradley credit if she moves the LVPC offices out of the suburban sprawl boondocks of LVIP and into an urban setting in East Allentown or West Bethlehem. The LVPC should be taking the lead on sustainability instead of being part of the problem.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Nothing will improve Allentown more than dissolving ASD and giving each student a check to go parochial schools, charter schools, trade academies/LVTS or other suburban school districts. Since Marin lives in a segregated public school district she can test her leadership skills by taking the lead on this issue."

Excuse me, but are you nutz? A change like that will never ever happen in our lifetimes. And while education is important, your idea on its face is nonsense. You want to eliminate ASD? Did you know they charter many of the charter schools you want to keep?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I'll give Becky Bradley credit if she moves the LVPC offices out of the suburban sprawl boondocks of LVIP and into an urban setting in East Allentown or West Bethlehem. The LVPC should be taking the lead on sustainability instead of being part of the problem."

LVPC is where it is bc the rent is cheap and it is in the center of the LV. Kaiser was very frugal. No need to wste ,money on a symbolic gesture, though I am sure the NIZ could use the biz.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but are you nutz? A change like that will never ever happen in our lifetimes. And while education is important, your idea on its face is nonsense. You want to eliminate ASD? Did you know they charter many of the charter schools you want to keep?"

I know it seems radical, but can you give me one reason why the state and City should keep pouring more money into a failing district that keeps middle income residents out of Allentown? I think the concept of ASD in 2013 is nutz. Surely, you do not support the continued segregation of Lehigh County's public schools? The Allentown residents who use affliated charter schools are thriving, the model works and for less money. The failing public school system in Allentown is the number one factor in the decline of Allentown and any serious RenewLV discussions should start there.

Anonymous said...

LVPC is where it is bc the rent is cheap and it is in the center of the LV. Kaiser was very frugal. No need to wste ,money on a symbolic gesture, though I am sure the NIZ could use the biz.

W. Bethlehem, Lehigh County is just as central with similar rents. How can RenewLV discuss sustainability when the regional planning commission staff all commute to work in SOVs on Route 22in a suburban office park. Why should anyone else practice sustainability? If you are against wasting money on symbolic gestures than RenewLV should be abandoned.

Anonymous said...

This is a stunning vindication for the Mayor of Allentown,
his collaboration with the LCA,the NIZ Project,his energy policy and other projects Ms Marin helped to birth.
Congratulations to all.

Anonymous said...

I'm not seeing it Bernie.

Known Joyce for more than 20 years. She's a wonderful person but she's never been a leader. She's an order-taker. That's why she'll be perfect for the partnership. The last thing they want is thinkers.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I agree 100% on your comments re Steve Bliss. He was fantastic and is missed.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Marin is cut from the same cloth as Jennings.
Two politicians who are holier than thou.

Ron Beitler said...

@8:08 I've been to two LVPC meetings to hear discussions about Hamilton Crossings TIF. One also happened to have a discussion about re-upping their lease. I had the same exact thought about the hypocrisy of the LVPC being located where it is. Should definitely practice what they preach and locate in an urban center.

Anonymous said...

Joyce will be a " Good Soilder".

Anonymous said...

Pawlowski is a happy man today!

Anonymous said...

"How can RenewLV discuss sustainability when the regional planning commission staff all commute to work in SOVs on Route 22in a suburban office park."

Good LORD! The LV is not made up of single; happy go lucky young professionals either! Life is a little more complicated these days and the walk to work mill jobs are gone.

Many of us use Route 22 to get to valuable jobs EVERY DAY. Isolating our Cities is a recipe for growth and prosperity. Growing Cities have functional transportation systems that encourage business relocation.

Regionalization will happen incrementally, ONLY, if everyone is a stakeholder. Previously, regionalization seemed to be a way to diversify the debt.

Anonymous said...

Good luck to Becky with this group of yes men to the money & power players surrounding her.
JM has really sold you a load of BS,BOH, but that's what she does best.

Anonymous said...

She carried a lot of water for Ed. She deserves a cushy gig.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mike Kaiser was dealing with a bare bones budget and all other options were more expensive. Counties were not inclined to increase the subsidy. It is ridiculous to suggest that a government agency waste money simply bc it suits whatever your urban core agenda might be. Then everyone would scream, rightly, about another government entity wasting money.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't see anything cushy about this gig. Steve Bliss worked his ass off, day and night. I believe Marin will do the same.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Then you agree she'll be good.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I was unaware that either was a politician. Marin did serve on a Boro council, but that's not exactly what I think of when I think about pols.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Banker. I've known her for years back to Emmaus. JM is a follower not a leader. People in AT were very much aware her main skill was buttering up the mayor. Probably hoping to get a job in Harrisburg I understand her staff was happy to see her depart. ASD was just a high paid holding spot for her and her buddy Zosky.

I can see the need for an occasional visioning guru but that doesn't make for a leader, particularly in tough political fights.



Anonymous said...

Joyce and her former husband were the very thing you despised about Ed and the new white 'Urbanistas" of Allentown. She and others saw themselves as the "intellectual cream" that would help the poor dark-skinned ethnics and the backwards Pa-Dutch to embrace the new reality of regionalism.

Her stint with Mayor Ed reinforced her fervor. After cominng back form Spain,sans husband, she needed a job and her old limousine liberal buddy Ed Rendell made sure the new head of the ASD, the old "Z-man" made up a position for her, as he was laying off teachers and support staff.
Once his patronage ass was dispensed with the real Administrators tossed her like a bad burrito.

So it is no surprise to most that the self-described brain trust of the Lehigh Valley would make her their leader.

I worked with her in the past as a "real" elected official and if she is even half as arrogant and entitled as she was then, she will be a disaster

Anonymous said...

She has conned you BOH.
Time will tell.

Watch your back Becky. Your in a den of liars and back-stabers

Anonymous said...

The peeps at RENEW went to better schools than we did, live in better neighborhoods, drive snazzier cars, have hipper hair doos, flasher glasses and eat lunch at all the cool new spots.

They have WAY better connections and much bigger bank accounts. Their hubbies and gals got the stuff too!

They are the cool kats and kitties. They give two shits about what common people want or need. Anybody takes this serious is a class A jack ass.

Anonymous said...

puhlease....... the "urbanista" thing is lame. Just as lame as saying all tea party folks are back woods hicks.

I support renew and I'm the furthest thing from an latte sippin snazzy car drivin cool cat. I live on acreage in the burbs next to some woods and a river and that's the way I like it.

No it isn't a mcmansion but rather older (70's) home stock I got cheap that I'm putting sweat equity into fixing up. People who believe in smart growth don't all want to live in or force others to move to dense cities. Some like myself just believe the system is broken and that it's unsustainable. I choose to live on a big property in the burbs but I'm also willing to pay for that lifestyle. And that's on my 30k salary as a small business owner.

What I want is for my taxes to be stable and predictable. For the system to treat the burbs and cities in the same fashion. And I understand a strong city core is good for the region including my little chunk of suburbia.

I also don't want to live in fear of unmanageable lump sum tax increases when the sprawl time bomb blows up and we're blindsided with the realization that there are no more greenfields left in my community and all the sudden the real estate transfer tax gravy train stops rollin.

http://www.strongtowns.org/the-growth-ponzi-scheme/

I don't want to control where people live. I'm just a realist. I like my hometown, Ive accepted it's changed (and still changing) but I want to stay here and do whatever I can to make sure that even though it's different it stays a nice community. Smart growth is a big part of that. That's why I support smart growth and renewLV.

Anonymous said...

@5:16
You may be all that---
You may want that----
U support Smart Growth--Me too.
Now if you think Ms Marin or her RENEWLV buddies give a good god damn about what you want you are a freaking dumb ass fool!
They are in it for the LCA, the suits and the $$$ boys.
Marin was a loyal croney for the Mayor of Allentown fella.
Wake up and smell the coffee.

Anonymous said...

I know 2 people on the board of directors personally. Thats it. Passing acquaintance or don't know at all the rest. The two I know well are very good people. Passionate about what they do. "In it" for the right reasons.

Can't speak to the rest. Quick look at the names on the board I see 1 maybe 2 who maybe fit your description based on folks I know whose opinions I value and things I've read/heard.

Big board though... with anything appointed like this you'll have a mix a motives.

I met a couple times and corresponded with Rachel Bradshaw the previous director. I thought she was great. No ulterior motives that I know of. Sad to see her go.

Anonymous said...

Steve Bliss and his MD wife were so devoted to the Valley that they have moved on to greener pastures.

Anonymous said...

Joyce Marin.---- sustainability----- a 50 year water sell out
And------------ Minor League Hockey.
Your kidding me, right????????????????????

Anonymous said...

Smart growth is great stuff and the Brookings Report was excellent. ReNew LV has always been at least 1/2 bullshit. Witness how they had nothing to add to the critical water debate in Allentown.
Ms. Marin is an attractive opportunist who talks a good game.
Let me be the second to say it, good luck Becky. Watch your back.

Anonymous said...

Let's stop treating Route 22 like it is a rural road. Many of us rely upon it to get to valuable jobs everyday. The mission of diverting funding from Route 22 to rail hurt the LV.and set us back. When you travel the Country as I have, you understand that sustainable and growning cities do not isolate themselves. Maybe the metro types can explain to us why it is ok to develop land 1 mile south of the soldiers monument (Queen City Airport) on Hamilton and 7th in Allentown is smart growth however if it isnome mile to the N, S, E, or W it is called sprawl?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm feeling a lot f hatred from people who can't identify themselves. If you want to get personal the way some of you are, you need to ID yourselves. You'd think she was just named Queen of England, but being Exec Director of RenewLV is pretty much a thankless job. If you can't make these criticisms to Joyce Marin's face, you should not be commenting. I will delete any additional personal attacks. It is getting nauseating.

Anonymous said...

The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission is not the "City" planning commission. Decision making exclusively based on municipal borders is nonsense.

Folks like myself want to support the revival of our neighborhoods in the city, boroughs and townships but I am not willing to endorse geographic discrimination.

Anonymous said...

Boy this touched a raw nerve,at the very least they have got a big PR problem.

Anonymous said...

People hear one thing------
See something else ------------
They get tired of it.

Anonymous said...

How much does this "pretty much thankless job" pay?
I know a bunch of people looking for clean safe work.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's fairly low paying. I will look into it. Your friends could have applied. Jealous?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Boy this touched a raw nerve,at the very least they have got a big PR problem."

No they don't. One or two anonymous cowards is not a PR problem.

Anonymous said...

My friends probably aren't qualified
I doubt they have the right political connections

Anonymous said...

Bernie, really, you can hardly expect people who live in Allentown to not feel burned. Not to mention exceedingly skeptical about promised participation.
People are angry and frustrated. Ms Marin was a part of the administration and as such made promises and invited involvement. People feel abused,ignored and angry.

That can't be hard to understand.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's easy to understand and fair. The vulgarities are not.

Anonymous said...

You may cenmsor and dlete all day Mr. O'Har ebut you brought it up. ReNew is just another appenmdage of the Partnership and the moneid boys who want to control taqx dollars for their "pet" project".

Bernie O'Hare said...

I happen to be the person who connected RenewLV to the LV Partnership. I am censoring nothing about that. What I am censoring are filthy and disgusting comments.

Anonymous said...

When Ms Marin arrived in Allentown she issued a vigorous and impassioned plea for citizen participation and active engagement. I answered that call and encouraged friends and family to step forward,

I will not make either of those mistakes again.
Never. Ever.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I watched as Re New LV pulled together a real nice position paper on regional water,and then watched as they showed ZERO LEADERSHIP as Allentown went through its "debate"?

When the information and participation was critically need Re New LV tucked tail and went completely MIA.

Fool me once baby, fool me twice......
All show and NO GO as people struggled to try to have an intelligent and informed dialogue. All the while J.Marins buddies back at city hall did absolutely everything they could to withhold information and stifle debate.

Zero credibility in my book.
ZERO!

Anonymous said...

Re Allentown
Did she jump-----or was she pushed?

We all know about the patronage deal gone south at the ASD. Scott A can confirm that sorry deal. You been had BOH but don't feel too bad she can talk the talk.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of water regionalization, why was the planned northern tier authority eliminated from the final document. It was politics.

In some cases it completely disregarded municipal partnerships that existed for decades.

Anonymous said...

7:28
It's all about politics..................and $$$$$$$$$$$
This is a bunch of elites.
As for Marin,I watched her in Allentown.
Big talk. Lots of talk. Loved the city. Took off for Spain.
A big joke.

Anonymous said...

The Ex.Dir. of the LCA and Alan Jennings were both involved. Case closed.

Anonymous said...

Regionalism and sustainability are a joke and waste of time. Almost a quasi religion. The dogma of this religion has been around since the late 1960's for the "Valley" and nothing has changed nor will it change. Its time for government to stop putting tax money in these Lehigh Valley this Lehigh Valley that groups and spend money on much needed infrastructure. The local municipalities are doing a great job in running their communities. This country was built on the concept of small not large government. Keep the power with the people and move on. Centralized government has never worked and won't work.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This, of course, is ridiculous. Under your thinking, there'd be no 911, no regional emergency management, no consolidation of volunteer fire or police. Your thinking is too absolute.

Anonymous said...

While I disagree with you @11:04 you needn't worry.
This group will never effect real change,
This is just a talk the talk group. They never actually DO anything. The new hire is a case in point.

Anonymous said...

Under the thinking of anon 11:04 there would have been no incident of George Washington leading a "federal" militia to western Pennsylvania to break-up Shays Rebellion. The America these fruitcakes speak of never existed but real history has never stopped their cause.

Anonymous said...

Brookings Instution Report = A +
ReNew LV translation into action = F

Analysis = A bad joke.

Anonymous said...

Time will tell Bernie. Joyce is attractive and articulate.
It took me several years to figure out I had been gamed also.
She is a perfect front man for this showcase roadshow.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe anyone takes this circus or the new ringmaster seriously. You got to be kidding?

Anonymous said...

Ms. Marin does, indeed have good academic credentials. She is also attractive, which helps in this world.

She is, however, and extreme left wing political person, who, as shown in Allentown, is trying to take as much money from others as possible to fuel her left wing causes.

It would be nice to have professionals looking into these issues.

Reasonable.