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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Brace Yourself For Darth Voter Sidekick

Geoff Brace is an ordained deacon. What's more, he's an ordained deacon at Zion Liberty Bell UCC. That's the Church that took the homeless during a raging blizzard. This was after Jack Felch, a clergyman in the Order of Assholes at the Lehigh Conference of Churches, streeted about 30 homeless guys. Geoff also lives in the heart of Allentown. He's not with the foo foos in the Flats at Oh So So Do So Pa,  but in center city. I got to know Geoff via blogging, and used to rely heavily on his knowledge of Main Street and downtown programs. When he decided to seek a vacancy on Lehigh County's Board of Commissioners, I backed him. When he ran for the seat, I supported him and he won anyway. Now word is going around that Brace might make a horizontal switch and go for the Allentown City Council seat that suddenly became vacant when Jeff Glazier was appointed Controller. I consider this a bad idea, both for Brace and for Allentown.

Before you jump all over me, I did reach out and ask him about this last week. In a terse message, he told me he was undecided. The reason Geoff was terse is because he knows how I feel. He was sought out by Allentown Mayor Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski to become an alternate and then a regular member of the Zoning Hearing Board. He at one time worked for NIZ Queen Jenn Mann, who is the exact opposite of her "For the People" PAC. Now he's a legislative aide for none other than Mike "Darth Voter" Schlossberg, whose moral compass may never have worked right.

Despite his attempts to distance himself, Schlossberg is a close Fed Ed ally, and so are the people in that office. There is too much suspicion that he would be nothing more than a puppet for Mann, Schlossberg and Fed Ed. The fact that he would even consider abandoning his commitment to the people of Lehigh County is a sign to me that Brace is being pressured by Fed Ed, who is still trying to lure another unsuspecting person into a web of deceit.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

bernie did you know that Jennifer Mann and her dad own a pawn shop. JM is definitely interested in we the people. I wonder how much interest they charge the poor victims who patronize their fine institution....

Anonymous said...

This is another community activist dced/Chamber type guy. he knows that Lehigh
county is basically Republican but if he can snare the Allentown job, he is in for as long as he wants.
These are all guys with no real marketable skills trained by the best on how to sniff out safe sources of income. From Jenn Mann to Don Cunningham to
Tony Iannelli, they know the game and the new bold is following their lead.

Anonymous said...

This is another community activist dced/Chamber type guy. he knows that Lehigh
county is basically Republican but if he can snare the Allentown job, he is in for as long as he wants.

The problem with this logic is that Brace is a district Commissioner from a western Allentown district.He could hold on till this district as long as he wants as well.

He was unopposed when he ran for this position succeeding Dan McCarthy.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, what a difference eight years makes. when i first started blogging, brace warned you that I was a dangerous guy. at that time, you and others dismissed my complaints about allentown's machinations as sour grapes. now, you're the bastard, and i've become a voice of reason.

Anonymous said...

From a pragmatic perspective: how does the mayor have any power?

Rich Fegley said...

@6:45 Good question. Council shit on the Mayor and then Council did...nothing?

Who's in charge? Why didn't Council take over managing the City more closely? Council is allowing the Mayor to run the City the way the Mayor wants it run. Council could step up more.

Bernie O'Hare said...

1:15, I dod not know, but A-Town Pawn on Hamilton Street is apparently a corporation presided over by David Mann, who contributes to Geoff Brace.

Anonymous said...

Two shot in Allentown -More lead poisoning. White paper in process.

Anonymous said...

1:16 and Bernie - David Mann is Jenn Mann's father. He is also a former UAW big-wig from Mack.

Chris Cocca said...

If your concern is that Geoff shouldn't leave his current office to be appointed to another, that's a fair point. But the idea that Geoff takes marching orders from Ed, or that Ed, especially in this weakened state, would try or succeed in influencing him is wrong. Behind the scenes, it makes even less sense. Respectfully.

Rich Fegley said...

Where do Schweyer and Schlossberg stand with Pawlowski now?

I feel that people at high levels are still feeding the propaganda to citizens.

The City and Health Bureau did not even sign the white paper. Very professional.

"No lead issues in Allentown."

"There was no need to call a snow emergency."

"The homeless are being cared for by the Pawlowskis and the Lehigh County Conference of Churches."

I'd like to hear candidates speak about Pawlowski and his future.

Anonymous said...

And along with what Chris says... I don't think it's a fair point. I voted for Geoff for his current position and if he is more useful and needed in city government vs. county - I am perfectly okay with that change. I think that his lateral move (happens all the time in the real world) is a good move for him career wise and it will also help the city. He has strong roots here. I am still concerned that this was the plan all along but that doesn't mean he's in Ed's pocket just that he had good advisors.

~Gina B

Bernie O'Hare said...

There is no doubt in my mind that Geoff would not even be considering this but for behind the scenes pressure from Fed Ed. Anyone who fails to recognize this connection is living in la la land.

Charlie Sch said...

It is disturbing to see attempts to tar everyone involved in local politics with the same broad brush.

I'm glad Geoff is on Lehigh County Commissioners, but if he decides to switch to Council, I'm sure he would do a great job there also.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I do not trust any of the King's men so long as he is in office. If they want to pursue a career, the King must go.

Chris Cocca said...

Bernie, I've known Geoff since we were freshman and sophomore political science majors together at Ursinus. I worship with him at Zion's. I eat at his table. I was in his wedding.

I cannot speak for him, so I'll just speak for myself. There is no Pawlowski/Brace nexus. There just isn't. That's all I'll say.

Geoff aside, why would anyone, at this stage of the game, feel pressured in any way, shape, or form, by Ed?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris, Geoff has NEVER publicly condemned any of Fed Ed's excesses. He certainly is no Jeanette Eichenwald. I don't much care whether he is your pal. When His Goner wanted someone on the ZHB to do his bidding, it was Brace. Had he spoken out against the corruption, I might feel differently.

Chris Cocca said...

I'm not asking you to stop this line of criticism because Geoff is my friend. I'm saying that because I'm Geoff's friend, I know there's no relationship between him and the Mayor. I know that the idea that Geoff wouldn't consider this move without pressure from Ed is dead wrong.

Now, if you want to criticize him for not publicly condemning the Mayor, that's fine. Go for it. But these are two separate issues.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, as a blogger, we may be missing the gene that prevents normal people from speaking out, and have other deficiencies in regard to diplomacy. i was amazed that not one person from OAPA (which includes Brace) spoke out against the arena traffic plan, which would have had 8th street bumper to bumper for hours several nights each week. thank goodness for the historic district yuppies that the arena has grossly underperformed.

Charlie Sch said...

I've lived in Old Allentown for 29 years. Old Allentown residents realized that Center City needed a major boost. People were willing to return to traffic congestion that used to exist when Center City was full of business activity, in order to achieve that revitalization.

I haven't seen any significant new traffic congestion problems in the center of Allentown or adjacent neighborhoods, particularly since the American Parkway Bridge opened.

Anonymous said...

Bernie - MM is coming close to the bullseye...In all fairness, not condemning someone or something is NOT condoning it either... not everyone wants to be in the limelight all the time... sometimes people just stay out of the fray. I went through Geoff's campaign finance reports from 2013 myself and I see no connection at all. The only thing I do see as that he supported Wild - but so did many others. Again, lack of condemnation isn't approval... maybe because of his role in the county he thought it best to fly under the radar and not be vocal about the mayor/federal investigation. You can't possibly know what or why he didn't speak out. But I can't support that his non condemnation is incrimination on his part.

We all have our own opinions, there are two sides to every story and sometimes more than that.

I've been pissing people off all day though so ignore me if you want LOL!

Gina B.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris, being someone's friend is a good thing, but I will suggest to you that you do not know this friend as well as you think you do. Geoff does have many good qualities, which I mentioned, but I know for a fact he is closely tied to Fed Ed. I cannot say more without betraying some confidences. You should by all means follow your own observations, not mine. And I respect your loyalty.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Gina, I love to argue and feel free to tell me when you think I'm full of it. Same for Chris.

michael molovinsky said...

charlie sch?, charlie thiel i presume. as i said, the congestion never materialized because the arena is a failure, but it was only meant as a pretext for reillyville anyway. the american parkway bridge has no effect what so ever, except to deny the businesses of union blvd previous patrons. the entire american parkway was a joke from when it was first conceived, and only in allentown would continue, administration after administration. if you're not thiel, excuse me for confusing apologists.

Anonymous said...

MM5:37. I timed it twice and it is still safer and quicker to use 22 and 7th Street to get to Center City. It is more of a direct route to Airport Center which hurts downtown business. It will benefit the river front if ever developed and parcels near the baseball stadium.

Chris Casey said...

Okay, I am going to step into this fray. I have known Geoff about ten years now, since I ran for State rep a decade ago. I don't know who is feeding this stuff about Geoff be a pawpuppet, but it is just not true. I believe that if Geoff had his druthers he would serve out his term on the County Commissioners and then run for City Council in 2017. I think he would rather win by asking the public to support him than be appointed. Yes, he works in Mike's office. Can't damn him for that, you can't blame him for the stupid things his boss might have done. He didn't do them, and for all we know, he could be a voice of reason in there. For the record, I don't know, I haven't been listening to the FBI taps lately! Anyway, For the same reason that I don't damn City Hall employees for King Ed's erratic rule, I don't blame Geoff for Mike's missteps.

Geoff spent several years directing economic development in Kutztown, and did a pretty good job downtown there. I know Allentown is a big leap, but still, that is more experience than many who would rule. I am no apologist for Pawlowski, and I criticize bad government regardless of party designation. I criticized Atown Council for enabling Pawlowski, they have a track record of following him blindly. Geoff has no such public record of doing that, for Mike, or on the County Commissioners. I like Mike as a person, but as a legislator, he is making boneheaded ill thought mistakes, the kind of mistakes you see from a young man just past thirty. Now he has to deal with them. I believe it is patently unfair to paint Geoff with that brush.
I believe Geoff will take the lead in introducing further campaign finance reform at the County level. He is that kind of man, and he is a local born and bred, unlike THE ED. When he speaks, the local Dutch are willing to listen. That is something to consider.

But it is just my point of view.

Charlie Sch said...

The American Parkway bridge has resulted in a tremendous reduction in traffic congestion along the approaches to the Tilghman St. bridge and adjacent parts of Sumner Av. That is speaking as someone who has driven that route for 30 years.

The Tighlman St. bridge is scheduled for a major overhaul. I believe the turn lanes will be shut down for some time while that work is underway, and they were heavily used. The availability of the American Parkway bridge will be a critical alternative for that traffic.

No I am not Charlie Thiel.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I apologize and should have noted Charlie Sch. Is NOT Charlie Thiel. He also comments on Facebook under his full name. I have been using the bridge to get into downtown and like being able to get off 22 sooner.