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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A-town Commentator: City Council May Defund Green Team

About a year ago, I spent over an hour with Executive Director Gary Millspaugh at The Allentown Rescue Mission. It's basic purpose is to help people in crisis, whether because of drugs, alcohol or other poor choices. Gary gave me the grand tour through a deceptively big complex, and I dutifully took notes as he explained how someone makes his way through the facility, both physically and emotionally. At that time, he was very proud of his Green Team, a group of residents who clean up the Queen City's litter.

I was never able to write about Gary's work. I now think I know why. I'm an alcoholic, just like many of the people who live there. I could easily be one of them. One slip is all it would take. I'd be lucky to land there, but it's still a depressing thought. So I put off writing about Gary and his Green Team until I conveniently forgot about him.

Wasn't that Christian of me? I spared you from being forced to read about poor people.

Yesterday, at Allentown Commentator, Kay Pickel describes the Green Team. "[T]they clean our city neighborhoods, dumps and the jobs give the men a means to get themselves together again.

"Cannot think of a more worthy cause."

Then she reveals this little tidbit:

"FYI:::: Did you know that City Council is trying to take away the $40, 000 already budgeted for next year's GREEN Team. Come to City Council on May 5th and support this worthy operation of the Allentown Rescue Mission. You never know when you might be in those circumstances."

These people make no campaign contributions and have no powerful union to lobby for them. They only have us.


Anonymous said...

Aren't the men forced to participate in sinister activities like prayer? Shame on Allentown council.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, Any of us in a moment could take a wrong turn. Life brings sorrow without asking. We admire your willingness to be so honest with your illness.

Anonymous said...

Not a core function of government.

Anonymous said...

"Not a core function of government."

Using your logic, neither is street sweeping or snow removal.

Ensuring the quality of life and cleanliness of community most certainly IS a core function of government.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Clean & Safe" was Panto's campaign platform and it has been his mantra as Mayor. I saw it last week when I had lunch in the circle for the first time in years. At least in that part of the city, which at one time was full of debris, it is clean. That's thanks to the Good Will ambassadors.

A-town's program is slightly different, but should be encouraged.

If Pawlowski really wants to reduce the negative percepetion, he needs to hire cops and keep the city clean.

Anonymous said...

Most of Allentown is pretty darn clean 90% of the time thanks to numerous community groups and seasonal street sweeping.

But it really doesn't matter from out of town when the local paper's business model depends on everyone believing the exact opposite.

That said, the Green Team does a good job after events in Allentown but their services are paid for by event organizers in those cases.

This is being presented as some entitlement here. Isn't the purpose of their existence the exact opposite? I don't think complaining on a blog is the best sales strategy to get a new contract.

jim said...

I can tell you the green team did great work all over allentown in the neiborhoods picking up trash on the streets and alleys. I lead a group that partnered with them. They deserve to continue their work, its good for them and the city as well.For once can we all agree on the need for them to continue.

Anonymous said...

If Pawlowski wanted to help reduce negative perception...

...he'd resign.

Anonymous said...

This is a Bush-like handout to a religiously-based program. Did you hear that the starving are required to listen to a subversive Christian sermon before getting a sandwich? Oh the horror! That's really why Pawlowski wants it stopped. His phony Christian bullshit background disappears when politics rears its ugly head. He's a typical, Godless political phony.

And yes, cleaning streets is a core function of government. And any pretend libertarian who can perform basic math knows it's cheaper to clean streets this way than it is to pay some SEIU goldbrick who sleeps on the job and will collect his pension long before you finish working to pay for it.

It's the God thing.

Anonymous said...

Its well known that the mayor was part of creating the green team by providing initial funding.I am going to assume there are some out there that want cuts no matter what and whos affected.

Anonymous said...

How do the great guys do me a favor by me paying them $40K to pick up trash.

What, do they share some Thunderbird with you with the cash. They want to learn to live as men. do the work for the bed they sleep in, no more subsidies.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, thanks for your honesty about your illness. Are you in a program of recovery?

It seems to me that communities are like people. They can sink into cyclical negative thinking and choices. Allentown is the community in the LV that is most down on its luck right now. However, as with individuals, one must never give up hope.

Allentown, like many of it's citizens, has hit rock bottom, has made an honest assessment of it's situation and is working, a day at a time, to improve itself with limited resources.

In these difficult financial times difficult financial decisions need to be made. The Green Team has done a good job for the City. It would be a shame to have it go away.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, I have been sober since 1985 and do participate in a recovery program.