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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, February 11, 2008

Allentown Councilor Donovan Has a Blog

When Jenn Mann lackey and LANTA board member Pete Schweyer was pandering votes for Allentown's city council, he started a campaign blog. In his very first post, he explained, "This E-Public Forum is an intrigal [sic] part of my desire to receive feedback directly from you the voters about how we can move Allentown foward [sic]."

It was all a crock.

Now that he's been elected, his "desire to receive feedback directly from you the voter," has vanished.

That's in vast contrast to one of his fellow Democrats, Michael Donovan, whose Inclusion blog appeared in the Allentown blogosphere after his election. He's the only Lehigh Valley legislator to take the risk of trying to learn what people actually think about different issues.

I first met Michael at the "Allentown Speak Out Forum" just two weeks ago. His very presence hinted to me that he is interested in different points of view.

His blog removes all doubt. From Allentown's serious crime problem to its rose garden, Donovan is interested in making informed decisions and actively seeks input. His Allentown Calendar, an innovative and informative use of the Internet, is a public service that many Lehigh Valley municipalities do on a lesser scale on their own web sites.

In the real world, Michael is a college professor. Frankly, I don't know where he finds the time to teach, govern, blog and raise a family.

I'll be happy to refer his wife to a few good divorce lawyers.

That's one difference between Mike and other bloggers. No wisecracks. He's big on "respect" and "civility," very different from most Donovans I know. He explained a bit of his philosophy over the weekend. "I am in the public sphere now. Blogs are a good way to hear from people around the region, and I will interact. Nonetheless, I will not change my professional perspective about conversation, civil dialogue, and mutual respect. Solutions to problems are more likely to occur using these approaches. Somehow, deep within me, it feels the right thing to do."

Michael, thank you for your courage in being an elected official who is actually willing to interact within the blogosphere. For that alone, I deeply respect you. But I have to warn you, bucko, that I'm a miserable bastard. Since my back went out, I'm a miserable bastard on drugs.

Good luck to you, Michael. Go n-eiri an bothar leat. (For those of you in "English only" Allentown, that's "May the road rise to meet you.")


A.J. Cordi said...

Pawlowski will LOVE that!

Pamela Varkony said...


I add my sentiments to Bernie's...
your participation in the blogosphere is a good thing for the public discourse, and a positive indication of how you intend to govern.

I not only appreciate that you have your own blog, I appreciate that you contribute comments to others.

Tuesday Night Dates said...

What? How Mayoral! Leadership emerges from the vacuum.

Anonymous said...

Tuesday Night Dates said... 7:33 AM

It's still in a vacuum!