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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, April 06, 2009

A Salute to Two Donovans

Over the past two weeks, I've been pretty tough on Allentown City Council member Michael "Muzzles" Donovan. We had a pretty serious disagreement on a fairly important issue - citizen participation in local government. Allentown City Council Prez Mike D'Amore, following a clearly illegal rule, refused to permit Lou Hershman address them because he is a candidate for council.

Last week, Allentown City Council overruled D'Amore. Morning Call reporter Jarrett Renshaw, at Queen City Daily, has posted a video montage of the initial bum's rush, my objection, a discussion and vote by council members and Lou's eventual speech. (Boy, that camera sure makes me look fat!)

At one point in our debate here in Blogistan, I mentioned that Donovan had abandoned the very "inclusiveness" he promised when he first assumed office. But if truth be told, I doubt that this public and sometimes tense exchange between elected official and citizen would have occurred with anyone else. For that reason alone, Donovan deserves some credit. I was wrong to say he had lost my support, for whatever that is worth.

Donovan's arguments actually persuaded a friend, an Express Times reporter no less. I snared Donovan's son, Ned, a student at Ithaca College. He publishes an interesting essay to note there were actually two debates taking place. The first was the exchange between Donovan and me. It certainly became heated but we remained respectful. The second dialogue was with a group of "political knee-breakers plain and simple," people who attack the person instead of what is being said.

Ned has this piece of advice for the political hacks, and you know who you are. "If you find it necessary to berate someone based on their beliefs. The most important thing to remember is don’t. No one will take you seriously later."

Michael, you have a pretty smart son. He must get that from his mom.


michael molovinsky said...

ned gives the villa's way too much credit, for instance the attacks against me are not based on my beliefs, they're mad because i declined to get involved in an accusation that they made an anonymous comment, imagine the villa's making an anonymous comment. for this crime i'm called 3%, kravitz, stooge, and etc. all day long, all over the internet. fortunately for me, the villa's are artists and educators interested in promoting the humanities, or else their taunts might be rude and crude.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, you're going to have to take my word on this, and i emphasize MY, because i'm less partisan than many of the other commenters. michael donovan is the most accessible city councilman in allentown's history, and jarrett renshaw is the most objective city reporter in the morning call's history., in other words, from a citizen's information viewpoint, this is as good as it's ever been. before the donovan's invite me to dinner, let me elaborate. i don't find michael's positions and votes particularly independent, but between his blog and his willingness to listen, the citizens have an opportunity to input with someone who has an inside track. emma was open and available, but she was always an outsider to whoever was the mayor and on council. kraus and muschick also were objective, but it appears that at this point in time, the editors are allowing reporters to be more independent and controversial. bernie, had you been here years ago, as prepackaged boloney sandwiches were served as news

LVCI said...

I couldn't agree more. Between M. Donovan & J. Renshaw there has been more disclosure then ever before.

Does that open up the door for debate? YES Debate is a good thing, even if it gets a bit less touchy & feely then it sometimes should. Now if the other 6 council members, the new study committee and this Mayor would come forth in this kind of openness maybe Allentown could get back on the rails. Yeah it wouldn't be pretty. But it sure would help people understand the why's and wherefores things happen down in the hallowed halls of city hall.

COMMUNICATION: The way city hall has done business in the past needs to be changed. Too much has been done behind closed veils and with very little public input or public explanation resulting in more rumor and speculation then fact. In lieu of ALL the information we are left with little more then speculate reasoning's. Which benefits neither the public, their elected representatives, nor the City Of Allentown.

So while we may not always agree KUDOS to Michael and Jarrett in both their efforts.

Anonymous said...

Permission to Change Subject:

Mr. O'Hare:
For those of us away this past weekend. We did not get to read your hard-hitting golf
investigative reporting,
thank you for this information.

Too many Allentonians for months have been telling others about the golf course restaurant scandal. Did the Call report on this issue? Maybe we missed it.

Did Wetzel state why the city
has not fined the ABW? That would be interesting to find out.
Did Wetzel admit city officials gave inside information to ABW?
How Wetzel could allow himself to be involved in this type of conduct is disheartening. He came to Allentown a few years back with all sorts of promise. He's lost creditability. He's lost a lot of respect.

Keep up the good work!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I visited the golf course on Saturday. An unused drill was sitting outside. The restaurant is not open. I found the coke wagon. It was closed at 2 PM on a Saturday. Plenty of golfers. In the pro shop, I was told the new ABW will open 5/1.

Anonymous said...

Keep pressing Allentown officials as to why no fine. Two months @ $500.00 per day. That could go towards budget woes.

Anonymous said...

Permission to Change Subject:

Several days ago:
Anonymous wrote:
direct quote
"I don't know the Fegleys either, but I am sure they know they didn't win the bid fair and square, so by that alone, I have no respect in their business ethics. If you are happy stealing a bid, you have no respect for yourself or can you be trusted in my book. Sorry all you ABW and Fegley's fans, they made the decision and now they must reap the heat that will be on them. Pay your fines and move on."

Must agree. Wetzel has a lot of explaining to do.

4:11 PM

Bunker Boy said...

Everybody knew that ABW was going to get the bid, even the former owner. The bid process was just a formality. Wetzel and the 5 mutes on the committee, who didn't say a word and didn't take a note, somehow came up with a numerical score for each. Complete farce.

ABW, be careful what you wish(pay) for. You had better cultivate a whole new crowd of non-glofers because they all have made plans to go elsewhere after their rounds, including the leagues. You have a high-priced sports bar in the West End of Allentown. That's a novel idea. There is only about ten of them already within a two mile radius of the course.
I forgot about the weddings and corporate outings. How about your tournament business, I know of four annual events that already have gone elsewhere.
A word to the wise: Believe only about 10% of what the "Messiah"
Wanbold tells you.

Anonymous said...

Donovan is only doing it because he wants to bid for the mayoral position at the next election.

Personally I think it is against his inherent "nature" to be so "open".

Will Donovan said...

at least your allentown elections and politics don't involve ak-47's lol - just remember, you guys are certainly not the first folks to have touched off with my father, but watch out - he's a tough negotiator and he usually gets the last word