She likes to call herself Allentown's First Lady, but I prefer to call her Lady MacBeth. Last Summer, she blamed "inner city" (black) volunteers every time something went wrong at her husband's campaign headquarters, like dirty bathrooms or overloaded trashcans. When somebody wrote "SKATE OR DIE" on a restroom wall, that was the final straw. Inner city campaign manager Jude Denis was dumped, although she was offered a job as a cleaning lady.
Lady MacBeth and her husband, King Edwin, were punished by God on June 1, when he inflicted a flood on them. Fortunately, it was restricted to their basement. No locusts.
Apparently, this was just the excuse Lady MacBeth needed for major renovations to the family's basement. On her Facebook page, she chirps that finally, she can build a real "mancave" for the King. But this is no ordinary mancave. It required several visits from contractors armed with hammers and drills, instead of spears and knives. Throughout June and July, she kept them busy.
Here are a few excerpts of her ordeal.
June 25: "Next week my basement is going to be full of contractors again. I dread it, but am looking forward to the work getting done and getting my basement back. Also, no air conditioning once the work starts on Tuesday."
July 8: "We had a very busy June, as you can see by all the posted pictures and video on my profile. The month began with my basement flooding on the 1st. Then travel to the shore ... and now construction on the basement. Whew, no wonder I'm glad July is slower for us."
July 9: "I thought my contractors were coming at 7:30 am... I hate when I get up earlier than I had to on a summer day."
Lady MacBeth and King Edwin forgot just one thing. Building permits. Even mancaves must have them.
Yesterday, I asked City Hall to produce the building permits, and was told I had to first complete a "Right to Know" request and take it to the Solicitor's office. Now this is kinda' like being asked to fill out a "Right to Know" request every time I look at a Will or Deed, other public records that are routinely examined by members of the public. But I did it, and took it up to the 5th Floor, where the Solicitor is protected from the unwashed masses by double locked doors. You have to ring a speaker phone and state your business.
Instead of allowing me into this inner sanctum, a scared secretary came out to accept my request.
"This is kinda' routine, can't you just get this approved now," I asked.
Nope. They have five business days and will use every one of them as she described a process consisting of emails, committees, reviews, etc. The secretary did say she was sorry.
As I left City Hall empty-handed, it suddenly dawned on me that Lehigh County assessors would know if there were any recent permits. After all, that's what triggers their visits for possible re-assessment.
At Lehigh County's Assessment office, the last thing they had for King Edwin's property was a re-roofing job in 1997. I then spoke to an assessor, who told me the types of improvements being done should trigger a visit, but "we have not seen any permits for that property." I was also told that for work that started in June, the County should have had the permits by now. The County also has access to a City database listing permits, and there are none for King Edwin's castle.
I then visited King Edwin's nice home, making sure to stay on the public right of way. I saw no permit signs anywhere, either at his front door or the rear of his property.
Apparently, Allentown's laws have no application to the King or Lady MacBeth.