Pravda reference, you might think I consider Allentown a new Soviet satellite. That's untrue. Allentown is actually a monarchy under the smiling leadership of its Mayor for Life, King Edwin. His consort, Lady MacBeth, likes to be called the First Lady, although she's actually the 215th lady since Allentown is only the 215th largest City in the country, according to the latest census.
Wait a tic, you say! People vote for King Edwin, damn it, so knock it off.
Actually, they don't. In the most recent election, Democratic turnout in Queen City was an abysmal 12%, according to figures in the Lehigh County elections office. Republicans did a little better, at 20%, but that's meaningless because there's so damn few of them.
On election day, the King just sends his court jester, Mike Fleck, to march up and down the streets with a small army of door knockers pulled out of homeless shelters. That's how someone like soon-to-be 89 Frank Concannon can get elected without campaigning or spending a nickel. Blogger Michael Molovinsky observes that Allentown is either completely free of ageism, or is a one-party town.
Obviously, it's the latter.
But now, Allentown is about to do away with the voter completely. It starts in January, when Council Prez Mike D'Amore ascends to the judicial heavens and is crowned a mini-judge. His slot on Council will be filled ... by appointment. Then either Mike Schlossberg or Julio Guridy - two other Council members - will get themselves elected in a special election to fill State Rep. Jenn Mann's seat. So another slot on Council will be filled ... by appointment. Finally, Council member Pete Schweyer intends to run in a newly created district for Latinos who like to vote for Anglos. That means a third slot will have to be filled ... by appointment.
What this, of course, means is that Allentown's seven-member City Council will soon be comprised of three appointees. If Concannon has to step down for any reason, a majority of the board will be appointed.
Not that it matters. Although they will each privately state they detest King Edwin, not one of them, except for Jeanette Eichenwald, has ever stood up to him.
So you might as well eliminate the middleman completely in Allentown.