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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Why Council Had Exec Session Before Controller Appointment

Solicitor Susan Wild
Before Allentown City Council voted unanimously to appoint one of their own - Council member Jeff Glazier - as the City's new Controller last night, they went into executive session. This was actually at the request of Solicitor Susan Wild. When they returned, President Ray O'Connell stated the backroom meeting was "to discuss the provisions of the Home Rule Charter, which relates to the interim appointment of the City Controller."

The Sunshine Act exists to promote open government. The legislation specifically provides that "secrecy in public affairs undermines the faith of the public in government and the public's effectiveness in fulfilling its role in a democratic society." Council should be very reticent to meet behind closed doors, especially when appointing a successor to an official who was forced to resign as a result of political corruption.

Under the open meetings law, Council can only meet in the back room (1) to discuss an employment matter; (2) for collective bargaining; (3) to consider the purchase or lease of real estate; (4) to consult with their attorney on a legal matter that involves an "identifiable complaint;" and (5) for privileged matters.

Looking at each of these, you might think this is a personnel matter, but you'd be wrong. If Council were hiring a new Clerk, they could meet in executive session, but not to fill a vacancy in an elected office.

Susan Wild previously previously explained her interpretation of the Home Rule Charter during an open meeting. I believe it's dead wrong, and that a person from either party could be appointed to this vacancy since no one was ever in the Controller's office. But Council has an obligation to listen to their lawyer, not a bottom-feeding blogger. Since she's already discussed this publicly once, why did she request an executive session?

I believe she wanted to make Council aware that her opinion could be challenged in court. There is an "identifiable complaint" in that Steve Ramos or some other Republican could challenge this appointment in court. Because there is a possibility of litigation, she was correct to seek an executive session.

She is doing her job.

Whether I agree or disagree with her on this or that, I must say Susan Wild has been a breath of very fresh air in Allentown. She was put into a nearly impossible situation, and has reacted with integrity and honor. People with my history tend to bring the profession down, but someone like Wild can rescue a democracy in peril.

So some lawyers are good guys. Even if they're not guys.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Glaiser was a sycophant and a hack when he was on the school board, and he was the perfect yes-man on city council. His contempt for the public is quite obvious. Allentown is in deep deep trouble.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't much care for Glazier, and believe he has been condescending. Whether that is his intention is unclear, but that is the perception.

Anonymous said...

Council voted to cover their ass.
Fuck the people.

Democracy is dead in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

Having thrown the captain of their pathetic ship overboard, Council struggles to sail a rudderless ship.

Anonymous said...

Well of course they did.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor has not been charged with any crimes. People are innocent until proven guilty. In this case he has not even been charged.

Bill said...

The best democracy that money can buy in the city without limits (in shame).

Dennis P said...

My reaction to the recent speech that Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski made at the Renaissance Hotel before the Rotary Club is simply to show a broken car key and say ... Pawlowsski says that his leadership did many good things and was essential in the attempt to form a Perfect City ... Well I say the means he used to achieve these ends resulted in him presenting us a broken key to the City ... And I am reminded that when a member of the US Cavalry dishonors himself in service , he his drummed out of the service with a broken sword ... So the broken key to the City is also symbolic of the scandal in government he brought before us and is a sign of his coming fall.... As far as Jeff Glazier is concerned, who will manage his furniture store when he takes over the Office of City Controller which supposedly is a full time job entitling him to become part of the City Pension system with credit for his part time City Council position as far as time and receiving health care privileges ... Despite saying that , I wish Jeff well in this office and that he minds is p's and q's about contracts ... The question now who will now be selected to fill Glazier's vacated City Council position ...

Anonymous said...

The sun has not shined in Allenswamp in over a decade.

Anonymous said...

Allentown never stops deceiving.

Anonymous said...

Council looks out for their own interests.
They all must go.
They are a public disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
There were two human props for this circus both stating there occupations in two different failing entities¿!)$ The first being the ASD local entity that has been part of the soul sale sectors subdiVIZIONAL tools perpatrating to be helpping allentowns childrens children only to truely be robbing educational funds with the higharchey administrationally as a HOLE¿!)$ Than we have the other that has claim to fames working for SUMMIT that is yet another entity robbing not only locally but abroad and has ties to the real property deels floppable of the commercial style¿!)$
There are no coflicts of intrests in this local home school circus law charter that have ties to this criminal enterprise located epicentral in the public and private sectors subdiVISIONal tools implimented in this massive maddoff scheem from my perception in this deception of theft of services as public servants to do there diservice to allentowns public as a hole¿!)$
The circus props continue there back midway illusional dillusional trix allowably employed to decieve, they need to get with the times instead of this lilly white has been opperator shows¡?)$
nosigNUTureneeded

Anonymous said...

If you want someone to do nothing Jeff is just the person to do it. A very C Y A appointment here. Some people have no shame.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Sounds like just the position for Sleepy Jeff.
Maybe now he will be known as Blind Boy Jeff.

Anonymous said...

I may have been out of the room when the city controller position job description was explained. Does the controller in fact control anything? How much power does this position really hold ? How many people are we paying, secretaries ,assistants , you know the usual baggage that goes with a public office.

Anonymous said...

I believe the controller's office has a very small staff and not much direct power. They probably can delay payments that they believe are questionable. They mainly are supposed to serve as an overseer, auditor, and checks and balances.

Anonymous said...

Council circles their wagons.
Fucking pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Who is the next scumbag in line for the council seat? This really is unreal. Someting from the lizard-American community perhaps.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the Lizard-American community already represented?

Anonymous said...

I would love to hear the interview for the council seat. What is your five year goal, are you currently under indictment or have you had any paper laid on you. Can you beat the rap? Does a person have to be a citizen to be on city council?

Anonymous said...

@11:48

Lets not forget......can you get my son/daughter/family member a job?

Anonymous said...

I wonder how Ms. Wild feels when she arrives at City Hall each morning?

Joyce Moore said...

I agree that Susan Wild is a good person, competent lawyer and an ethical person.

Anonymous said...

You lay down with dirty dogs, you come up with fleas.

Anonymous said...

If someone gets a recommendation from J. Moore you can be quite certain that the individual in question is a certified 100% registered prime Pennsylvania Democratic Party hack of the highest order.