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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Donovan: People Who Live in the 'Burbs are Selfish

Allentown City Council VP Michael Donovan has condemned Northampton County Executive John Stoffa, the classiest person I've ever met, for expressing an opinion that "Allentown is not safe."

"Mr. Stoffa’s statement just might be the most unprofessional statement I have heard from an elected official, and I have heard a lot of them," keens Donovan.

Perhaps Donovan should listen to himself more often.

"I DO NOT run away to the suburbs and enjoy a selfish life."

That's a statement he made, on this very blog, just yesterday. In his world, it it very unprofessional to claim Allentown is unsafe, but perfectly appropriate to suggest people in the 'burbs are selfish and ran from urban life. One of my readers said it better than I ever could.

"The arrogance and elitism in that one sentence is startling.

"So everyone who moves to or lives in the suburbs is selfish? How asinine!

"How about recognizing that the individuals who have CHOSEN to move to or live in the suburbs have made a decision that they believe is best for themselves and/or their families? Choosing where one wants to live is still (at least for now) the right of every American in this country.

"I, like Mr. Donovan, have chosen to live in the city. Others have chosen differently, for a multitude of reasons that could only be known (and should only be known) to those individuals.

"I don't expect someone to assign motives to ANYONE's personal decision about where to live. That the statement comes from an elected official is even more appalling.

"Also revealing is the assumption in the statement that moving to the suburbs is selfish. This seems to be an admission that things outside the city are better than in the city. We can argue that all day, but isn't Donovan contradicting his own statements about the superiority of the conditions in Allentown?"


Just Another Vixen said...

Mike seems very bitter and intolerant of differing opinions. He's rather closed-minded for a purported academic.

Bitchy Vixen said...

And John Stoffa is right, by the way.

Anonymous said...

I love the picture from Ron Angles annual picnic on his "farm".

Bernie O'Hare said...

Good times.

Anonymous said...

"trying to be nice" and being nice are two different things. Time to get off your high horse.

Anonymous said...

I think the point is missed here. I don't think anyone faults citizens for moving to the suburbs. That's a personal decision and besides, some people have been there all along, like farmers. However, there are Allentownians who have abandoned Allentown out of fear of falling housing values in the last thirty years and have moved to the "Villes" (Schnecksville, Meyersville, Breinigsville, etc...) but still insist that they are in Allentown and/or still lecture everyone else on the virtues of living in the city. If I'm going to be lectured on the advantages of the once great city where I was born, I will respectfully listen to it from Mayor Ed (who for all his faults, does still live there), the Muhlenburg students who every weekend park in a desolate Hamilton St. and run screaming bloody murder until they're safe inside the BrewWorks, the West End "Ladies who Lunch" who still support the Baum School of Art and the Museum by actually going there, and the gay people who still keep Stonewall open even though there were two murders on the front steps of the club during club hours. I don't think it's a question of racism either. I have occasion to visit Hazleton for work. Hazelton is EXTREMELY Hispanic now. But I don't feel unsafe there like I do in Allentown. So, if you're going to lecture the public on why Allentown is still a pearl, you'd better have a doctor's excuse for why you left. I think that's what people are saying.

Anonymous said...

Donovan's egotistical elitism stems from his status as a lecturer at Cedar Crest College. Colleges provide an alternative reality for liberal instructors. A virtual utopia where instuctors get to promote their enlightened viewpoints to young, impressionable students who want good grades from the instructor.

When Donovan has to interact with people in the "real world" he gets sucker punched or accused of harrassment by neighbors.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Rather than recognizing how foolish and pompous he sounds, Donovan has reacted to this criticism of his own words by attempting to marginalize me, comparing me to Villa.

I accept responsibility for my words, and he needs to accept responsibility for his. When he makes elitist remarks like the one featured here, he should expect to be called on it, no matter how nice he has tried to be.

He is VP of A-town City Council. Do the people of A-town want their VP of city council pitting them against people who live outside the city? Are farmers selfish? Donovan owns his words.

Chris Casey said...

I would like to say that I think MM, Mr. Donovan, Pam Varkony, and you Bernie, all offer something that is positive into the Blogosphere. It took me several years to learn not to take each and every comment as a possible insult. Yes, we own our words. I regret many of mine. I'm sure that MM, Mr. Donovan, Pam, and you Bernie, have some regrets as well.
I'm not saying we should have a kumbaya moment, but I wonder sometimes if we aren't all guilty of occasionally getting caught up in the moment and seeing insult where none was really intended.
That's my two cents, if it is worth that much.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sure, that's true. I also happen to believe that when the VP of Allentown City Council calls people who live in the 'burbs selfish, they should know exactly what he is saying. They can judge it for what it is worth.

Those are the same selfish people who have funded a grant adding community police in downtown Allentown. Their tax money helps pay for all those blue lights as well as the cameras in police cruisers.

Anonymous said...

Just Another Vixen said...

"Mike seems very bitter and intolerant of differing opinions. He's rather closed-minded for a purported academic."

That is the nature of an academic.

In their delusional minds, their "opinions" are actually grand gifts of fact bestowed upon the unwashed.

They don't need to respect other opinions, because they already know what is right and what is wrong. The Truth originates in their ginormous, enlightened heads.

From Obama to the lefties at Berkeley who shut down the ROTC, to our own little example here, the preachers of tolerance are eventually exposed as the hypocrites they are.

Anonymous said...

I agree, it is selfish. Drill baby drill.

None of us like the consequeces of our fossil fuel use but nobody is willing to give anything up.


Anonymous said...

Living in the suburbs IS selfish. It's a zero sum game that sticks it to the cities and the boroughs.

There are at least some people in the region who understand the deeper issues and choose to live in Allentown because it is the responsible thing to do (from a land use perspective, from an environmental perspective).

We love you Bernie, but your blog is better when you avoid personal attacks.

I know Donovan. I know his heart is in the right place. As someone who actually lives in the city, he has more credibility to speak on this issue than anyone who lives in the suburbs.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I know Donovan, too. His comment about the selfishness of people who live in the suburbs is in itself a personal attack against every one of them. That's a personal decision. People in Lower Macungie should know that the VP of A-town City Council thinks they are selfish. I also think people who live in the suburbs have as much credibility in speaking about why they live there as anyone else.

Guy Williams said...

boy this is a good one,it seems the bar has been raised around here. I would like to add that i was thrown for a loop by Donovans remark.Just didnt sound like him from the many times i chatted with him but oh well some people have their moments and some people change.Havent chatted lately so i dont know,People have left the city for many reasons some im sure will use crime,blight,and change as an excuse.Lets look at human nature, many spout venoum to please their fans or what they THINK people want to hear.As far as Stoffa,his statement is a half truth.Hell probably tell ya its also unsafe to smoke cigs,swim along the barrier reef with stingrays,keep your doors unlocked,wearing long hair by animal trainers,sell drugs,argue with your drunken boyfriends at 3 am.Have a good life

Anonymous said...

WOW, All those scared of their own shadow raise your hand.

lighthouse said...

Donovan: "I DO NOT run away to the suburbs and enjoy a selfish life."

Nathaniel Branden: "Selfishness entails: (a) a hierarchy of values set by the standard of one's self-interest, and (b) the refusal to sacrifice a higher value for a lower one or to a nonvalue..... A genuine selfishness--that is: a genuine concern with discovering what is to one's self-interest, an acceptance of the responsibility of achieving it, a refusal ever to betray it by acting on the blind whim, mood, impulse or feeling of the moment, an uncompromising loyalty to one's judgement, convictions and values--represent a profound moral achievement."

Barack Obama said...

Just last week (and much to the chagrin of the sniveling one-square ass wipers who voted for me):

Drill baby! Drill!

Anonymous said...

Lots of vixens in the suburbs.

monkey momma said...

I moved to the suburbs because of my kids. No way would I put them in the ASD, simply because the ASD is an underperforming school district, and I have the means to give my kids better. It doesn't guarantee my brood will be successful, but it does give them better odds.

Does that make me selfish? No - I'd argue it's the opposite. And, I don't think Donovan would label me as selfish, either.

I could be wrong, but I think Donovan's point was more about folks who live outside of the city (in the suburbs) who continue to trash talk it, despite the fact that they no longer have a vested interest in seeing the city succeed. We have all witnessed comments from folks who do not live in Allentown, do not work in Allentown, yet they feel compelled to continually trash talk the city they love to hate. That's just not productive, and I can see why it irks the councilman.

Also, Stoffa's comments were out of line. How can Stoffa claim to be working for the betterment (if that's a word) of the entire valley, yet completely rule out any hands-on involvment with Allentown itself?? We may disagree about the relative safety of Allentown, but Stoffa went much further and essentially said he cannot conduct any kind of business in this town. That is ridiculous, and makes me question the nature of any economic development Stoffa may champion.

I'm much more concerned about Stoffa's comment than I am about Donovan's.

Finally, I want to apologize to Scott Armstrong - I made a comment a few days ago here regarding crime, and I did not realize his family had been the victims of criminal activity. I am sorry to hear of his troubles, and I did not mean to imply I knew better than him what his day-to-day life was like in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

Typical Liberal, hate on the people who work hard and make a good living. Donovan got in a argument with me on Facebook and made fun of me for living in Fogelsville. Plus he cursed me out, I am 19 he is well passed middle age. He is showing his class again isnt he. Allentown City Council sucks!!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Donovan has been here for 6 years and is in no position to judge people who live outside of the urban core bc he has no real understanding of the history of the LV. The real urban core here, for many years, was Easton. Another outsider, Mayor Pawlowski, publically referred to Nazareth as the "boonies" of Northampton County. Nazareth was founded in 1740, 22 year before Allentown. They have no understanding of the rich historical traditions here and in other parts of the LV.

I hope your problem with Michael was more of a misunderstanding than anything else. He's been taken to task for some elitist and condescending behavior, but I've never noticed him roll around in the gutter. Are you sure that wasn't Ron Angle?

Anonymous said...

Stoffa thought he was being witty. he thinks he is a modern Will Rogers and often makes these stupid statements.

He is well known for his gaffs and actually makes Joe Biden sound like Shakespeare.

Stoffa is just a wanna be comedian who is just not funny.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa was accurate. If he was a female, he's be just another vixen bitch for his uppity disagreeable attitude. As it stands, HE's just selfish.

Anonymous said...

Donovan is in self-destruct mode.

Allentown is a tough town and he is learning that, often the hard way. I think he wants out of the Valley but doesn't want to resign at the same time.

From his point of view, he has nothing to loose so why not act out.

Anonymous said...

I feel safer living in Baghdad than downtown Allentown.

Lee Cronin.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dono, people in the Burbs pay for your grants.

If my neighborhood turned into a shooting gallery, I would move too.