Monday, January 04, 2016

Donchez Taps Stellato For Planning Commission

Up until now, there's been some uncertainty whether Olga Negron ever really resigned from the Bethlehem City Planning Commission. But after she takes the oath as a Council member tonight, she's clearly out. Mayor Bob Donchez has nominated Lou "We gotta' do something" Stellato to replace her.

Stellato proved his value as a Yes Man in voting for everything those in money and power wanted. As an appointed Council member, he repeatedly voted in support of Martin Tower re-zoning, often exclaiming, "We gotta do something!"

He can say that while approving every goofy plan that goes down the pike, too.

Stellato, along with Michael Recchuiti and Cathy Reuscher, will be honored during tonight's reorganization. I understand each will get his and her own rubber stamp.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stellato is probably the least "political" person on that Council. His comment "We gotta do something" isn't that radical a statement. What are we going to do about Martin Tower? The cost of clean-up (asbestos alone)is mind boggling. The fact that someone is going to line their pockets over rezoning that area and tearing down the tower is reality. No matter what you do there, some contractor will make a fortune at the taxpayers expense. The statement "we gotta do something" means picking a project that will be a good fit for the community with a reliable contractor who will guarantee good work. Let's get our heads out of the sand. As for how much money will the contractor make, well "we gotta do something" with that site before the State monies go away and we are on the hook for 100% of the cost. For God's sake man.......we gotta do something.

Anonymous said...

Lou is one of the nicest guys I know. I feel confident in saying he wouldn't do anything dishonest. He may be in over his head, but there is a learning curve with any job. Even the Presidency of the United States. Are you sure you're being fair with him on what appears to be having too much trust in someone rather than he's a yes man for Donchez.

Patriot2 said...

The developer has $9 million of your & my money to sprinkle & remediate the tower so stop saying it is too expensive to do. Secondly, it is apparent that we do not have a responsible developer that owns this property by his actions over the last 10 years. Stellatto had his marching orders to approve this zoning before the first hearing-/He was part of the "done deal" coalition. Donchez missed an opportunity to appoint someone who would represent the people's interest on the planning commission. Instead he chose another Callahan/Reynolds stooge!

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
You obviously don't know Lou Stellato and to attack him just shows that you will attack anyone who doesn't agree with you on every issue. Mr. Stellato is the nicest, most humble person you could ever know. He agreed not to use his appointment to run in the a future election and simply just wanted to serve the City that he grew up in and has lived in for his entire life. Just because you don't agree with his decision on Martin Tower doesn't mean he is wrong or a rubber stamp for anyone.

Anonymous said...

Olga played politics with the Planning Commission seat. Her term was up, but historically the person serves until replaced or until their are reappointed. But she did not want to continuing serving because she did not want to deal with the Martin Tower issue as a planner.

Lou is a great guy and will continue to serve the residents of Bethlehem well as a planning commission member.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You obviously don't know Lou Stellato and to attack him just shows that you will attack anyone who doesn't agree with you on every issue. Mr. Stellato is the nicest, most humble person you could ever know"

And he is a Yes Man who will do as he is told, just as he did on Council. He should not be there, and his appointment indicates only that the City wants someone who will help it with its agenda, not someone who knows the subject and will actually be fair.

Bernie O'Hare said...



No it's not. It is just incredibly stupid. "We gotta' do something" is the mantra that was used to close Broad Street. It's no justification for doing something stupid.

Anonymous said...

What did Melosky, Malozi or Olga Negron know about "the subject" before they were appointed? NOTHING ! You have no reason to attack Stellato other than you don't agree with his Martin Tower vote. You don't live in Bethlehem and obviously don't know it's feelings on the Martin Tower site. The 25 down town merchants are not the City of Bethlehem. They are one very small part of Bethlehem that has been coddled, babied and pampered for far to long.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I spent most of my life in and around Bethlehem, and have lived in the area my entire life. I know Bethlehem quite well, certainly as well as the cabinet officials who do not live in the City. The argument that I have no right to speak on these issues is one that coud also apply to Bill White or any person who does not physically live in the city being discussed. It is nonsense from a person whose real objection is what I am saying. My objection to Stellato's appointment is that it is being made simply to shepherd the Martin Tower plans. He cannot be counted upon for an independent assessment. He will be voting. His "We gotta' do something" argument will be used over and over to support whatever the powers that be want done.

There are far more than 25 downtown merchants. That sounds like a statement from someone who does not live in the city. You also forgot south side merchants. But I'd agree that everyone should be heard, at open houses throughout the city at which the developer is invited, to come up with the best plan possible. That argument was rejected, too, by the powers that be. So you don't want to hear from people who don't live in the city and you don't want to hear from people who do live in the city.

Anonymous said...

BO
how many more meetings can they have on the subject. Three Bethlehem Planning meetings, two Lehigh Valley Planning meetings and three City Council meetings over several months. They had their opportunity to have their views heard over and over and over again. At some point the city has to vote. The vote didn't go your way . Move on! Martin Tower is a disgrace to all the blue collared workers who worked in the plants. It is a symbol of corporate greed and mismanagement. Tear the thing down!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Oh I see. Let's tear down all the symbols of corporate mismanagement and greed, starting with the Steel Stacks. Let's suspend all reviews of whatever plan Ronca proposes. "We gotta' do something."

Patriot2 said...

Bernie is right on target here & those that think Martin Tower property got a fair hearing weren't at any of the meetings. When 2 planning commission & 4 city council people already have their minds made up before the first meeting & state as much then this is a sham. It was clearly a setup with political payoffs playing a role. This issue is a long way from being over & heads will fall before this is done.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Mr. Stellato is a very nice person. However as an Independent thinker he may be out of his league when dealing with the developer community and their philosophy of trying to get away with as much as possible in order to make a profit. I know of two other candidates with some experience in planning and neither one was even given the courtesy of an interview. We gotta do something speaks volumes about the mind set in city hall. Both Mayor and council should be held accountable.

Anonymous said...

So Malozi had experience how ? And Fiortino had very little experience in planning and doesn't do his job! Fiortino is supposed to give his opinion on plans presented to the planning commission. Yet when the biggest development plan in years comes before the commission , he refuses to hold a meeting to allow everyone on the commission to give their opinion. What a piece of work.LOL. It's not your job to decide what plans to review and not to review. Your job is to give a thumbs up or a thumbs down on the plans presented to your commission. If you want the final say then run for Mayor. Other wise get off of the planning commission.

Patriot2 said...

Fiorentino is an experienced atty who runs a great meeting providing everyone an opportunity to speak & asks tough questions. Mallozi is an engineer planner by profession & offers good insights. Compare those 2 to the Callahan appointed football coach & paving contractor who may as well be cardboard cutouts mumbling "yes"as their only utterances. Fiorentino did the right thing in refusing to hold the short notice December meeting after lies revealed in Bernie's RTK request came out. The whole rices should have been halted by Council since City lied to them as well .

Anonymous said...

Fiorentino has one job. Review plans sent to him. Thats it ! He doesn't get to decide which plans he wants to review and which ones he doesn't. He failed to do his job and showed his bias against the site plane without consulting his fellow commission members. If he didn't like the plan, he should have stated that in his review. But to cancel a meeting and not even hold a hearing on it was a political decision that he made on his own. Wrong move!

Anonymous said...

Thank God for the principaled and competent
Fiorentino!
Stellato may be a nice guy---he is most certainly a yes man.

Anonymous said...

city Council is corrupt! I voted for Bob because the alternative was worse IMO. Im really regretting all of it!!!! I cannot believe we are ok with bobble heads, Yes-men/woman and so on. Lets get people in there with real thoughts and ideas who are not part of the OL BOYZ club! Look around you...they are all friends or have dealings together. Lets start to CLEAN HOUSE!

Tracy from Bethlehem

Gene A. Mater said...

For three and a half years, I was part of No-Mall, fighting the plans to rezone the Durkee Spice Plant site (remember that one?)from Light Industrial, to Commercial. The developers in that case and the City Council in that case acted in the same charming manner, as they recently did. Oh, you want to speak? Well, first we are going to BORE THE C*** out of you with hours of rambling talks about this and that, and THEN, if you haven't given up and gone home, we will give you your five minutes. Etc.,etc. And that's onyl what the public got to see... :-P

Anonymous said...

I'm quite sure Bob will be removing Chairman Fiorentino at the first opportunity and replacing him with another YES man.
No doubt a Yes man who's a thoroughly nice fella.

Patriot2 said...

Bob is a one term mayor & removing Fiorentino will further bring his demise. Willie is worse & he will not prevail either. Cleaning house is needed & in 2 years you will see community action campaign like never seen before in Bethlehem politics.

Anonymous said...

bedlum - one word - inbreeding. As long as donchez hangs on to the inept dced, because he is ordered to do so by his puppet masters, he will not be reelected. People will not forget $6,000 pay raises, continued taxation and raising of fees. His hand picked director of admin is floundering as he studies his thesaurus for the word of the day. Maybe he should try finance.

Anonymous said...

3:10 I agree that Stellato is probably a nice guy but Fiorentino should be fired for refusing to have the commission meeting. The Lehigh Valley Planning commission had no issues with the plan. Bethlehem Planning actually approved a plan that was less restrictive than the final plan.

Anonymous said...

Now tell us how great a "man , Donchez is? I remember an article touting the fact he was a nice guy. Sure he is a nice guy but he acts like a ball less leader, who refuses to act in any way shape or form as a leader should project themselves.

He is complacent with what appears to be a very suspicious agenda , one or two moves away from NIZ issues.

Now tell us how great a guy Willie is and what a great guy Callahan is. I know, "they only want what is good for the city as long as their is no public opposition".

If there is public opposition , they will conspire to do everything possible to silence , ridicule and belittle the detractors, just like all good tyrants like to do. This is one party rule out of control with no checks and balances, just like Allentown. One party rule is fine, as long as there is an honest system of checks and balances.

This move demonstrates how corrupt the mayor, his admin and city council happen to be. this is nothing but another hack to say yes to the entire agenda coming from council and the mayors office.

Bobby D has had way too many opportunities to live up to the crown of "Mr. good guy". He has failed to act as a solid leader should each and every time. Instead he delegates(passes the buck) and surrounds himself with puppets who get paid to follow orders and not question anything coming out of city hall / city council.

Is this what people want and expect, in terms of a govt working, when they vote for some of these people? I am not sure if it matters any more.

Bernie O'Hare said...

11:05, You are talking out your ass. First, there is NO plan. What was before the LVPC was a zoning ordinance. Second, there was considerable opposition. Far from having "no problem," 7 of 16 members voted against it.

Anonymous said...

Somebody buy this Fiorentino guy a beer for me.
I can't wait to meet him and buy the man and shake his hand.

Anonymous said...

What I'm saying is the fella is a freaking local hero.
Hat's off!!!

Patriot2 said...

Agree that Fiorentino is the only check & balance this city has & should be encouraged to run for mayor. Waldron voted in as VP over Evans is just another way of Reynolds assuring he keeps control of council. He fundraised for Martell getting the same tainted money from Martin Tower developers & other CRIZ property owners for Martell who appears compromised now. Waldron needs to become more independent in his new role & stand up against the Reynolds/Callahan machine once in a while.

Anonymous said...

Fiorentino is out in May from Planning Commission, and won't even be Chairman when they reorganize. Stellato's appointment assured that.
Reynolds had control of council with or without Waldron as VP. VP has no real power, other than to run meetings in the absence of the President.
The interesting thing will be to see who takes over for Rechutti as Finance Chair. That is the 2nd best position on Council.

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see who takes over for Recchiuti on the Finance Committee. Mike did an outstanding job!! He had the interest of the citizens of Bethlehem.

Anonymous said...

Fiorentino will be out in May. There is no way Donchez is keeping someone on that commission who cancels a planning meeting without discussing it with the other members of the planning commission because he didn't like how the Mayor had discussions with the Martin Tower developers. LOL. Out with NO SHOW Fiortentino! Melosky as Chairman!

Anonymous said...

Apparently there is no way that Bob is going to keep a chairman with that degree of integrity. Agreed.

Anonymous said...

10:01 According to Commission members Melosky and Barker, Fiorentino never consulted or even discussed with any of the other members on canceling the planning meeting. He did it on his own. Now thats Integrity!! LOL

Bernie O'Hare said...

People who do not sighn their comments are in no position to talk about integrity.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Fiorentino will be out in May."

Likely, but standing up for what you believe in is always a good thing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" He fundraised for Martell getting the same tainted money"

Although Martell took a great deal of CRIZ money, too much in my view, I understand he turned down money from Willie.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Make everyone sign their names and be accountable for what they post. That way everyone is accountable!

Anonymous said...

Molosky is a hacks hack.
A perfect yes man.

Anonymous said...

Well alrighty then.....

Baker vacation November and December in Florida, which was why there was no Quan in November.

Matt Malozi was consulted before the December meeting was canceled.
Oh yeah, you can bet Mayor Bob was unhappy that he is appointees went against his plans, all right.

Matt was NOT present at the lame-duck session this city decided to go ahead with at 4 PM under the guise that "the people were expecting it!"
Only Rob Melosky showed up for that performance.

......and there's the facts, Jack.

Anonymous said...

....no quorum....
Apologies, friends.

Anonymous said...

Every city administration needs YES MEN,
Melosky and Stelleto will fit the bill quite nicely,
thanks.

Anonymous said...

DUMP WILLIE!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

7:08 So Fiorentino only told Malozi about cancelling the most important Planning meeting in the last 10 years? Seems to me as a leader and Chairman of the Planning Commission , he should have discussed it with the other members before he decided to make such a political move. The bottom line is, in your eyes anyone who was for the zoning change is a hack, being bought, corrupt, and a YES man. But the truth is some of you just can't handle or deal with the fact that many other people in Bethlehem were in favor of the rezoning and want some nice places to shop and eat on the West Side that don't cost an arm and a leg to eat or get a drink with your family. But here's the facts Jack, it wasn't your decision to make, Thank God!

Anonymous said...

.....with a deluxe full service gas station as the jewel in the crown.
This plan is the kiss of death for our fair city.

Anonymous said...

As near as I can follow the story, Matt Malozi consented to cancel the meeting.
Olga knew, but was a lame duck on the committee. Mr. Baker was vacationing for two months 1,000 miles to the south, and Melosky?
Why in the world would anyone in their right mind bring that proven tool into the loop?
By all outward appearances the guy appears to be an administration yes man, regardless of ones position on this specific issue.
He does what Ed...I'm sorry, Bob, tells him to do.

Anonymous said...

Why would a Chairman of a committee or any group for that matter cancel a meeting, that is their only job, and not inform/consult the other members of the committee? Because the leader of the group is a poor leader and derelict of his duties. Fiorentino has one job, to review plans submitted to the Planning Commission. That's it!!!! If you like it, vote for it and state your opinion why you like it. If you don't, vote against it and state your opinion why. Because he didn't agree with the plan and the Mayor, he unilaterally cancelled the meeting and in turn did not allow the other members of the planning commission to be heard. Remove him NOW for refusing to do his one and only job!!

Anonymous said...

REMOVE HIM NOW!!!
Guarantee Bob is a one term Mayor.
Historic Bethlehem thanks you.

Anonymous said...

8:18 What planet do you live on? Donchez is so strong in the City right now even Reynolds isn't even going to run against him in two years. In your little world Donchez is probably done, but your little world is not the entire City of Bethlehem. I hope and pray Fiorentino runs against Donchez. The results will bring you back to reality.

Anonymous said...

9:09, If Donchez is so strong in the City, why would Fiorentino even run against him?
Reality is Bob is strong in the 14th Ward, and Reynolds is strong on the west side. Right now, neither would win in the downtown wards. If they ran against each next year, as it was in the last election, the South Side's 200 voters would decide it.

Fiorentino would be better off running for Council. Waldron and Callahan are vulnerable, and Olga Negron won't win in a real election against real competition. She did not even get the majority of the votes in the special election. More people voted for the other two guys combined than her.

Anonymous said...

However you slice it, Jim Fiorentino is the people's hero.
Ya' gotta admit it.

Anonymous said...

No one is beating Donchez in the next election. He has enough money already to run a dozen negative ads on whoever runs against him and he still has another two years to add to his coffers. Morganelli ran all those negative ads against Willie two years ago and if you think they are going to sit there and not beat anyone over the head with another dozen or so negative attack ads, you are crazy. Donchez is doing a nice job and deserves another four years!

Anonymous said...

Well, we know Bob has a least one loyal fan.
Is there another one out there somewhere?

Stephen Antalics said...

The best choice in terms of qualifications for the position on the Planning Commission would have been Steve Melnick or Bill Scheirer. Why then Stellato, simply because he's safe, as he has exhibited in his comments and voting on the Martin Tower rezoning. Prior to being appointed to fill the vacant council seat he was an unknown quantity at almost, if not all, council and commission meetings. He is a good person but lacking well behind Scheirer and Melnick in qualifications. The question which must be answered is: The original agendas sent to the public as emails had the nomination listed on the agenda of the old council. A revised agenda for the new council later submitted now reflected the nomination of Stellato. The agenda at the actual meeting had the nomination on the old council agenda. Why?? There he is still safe one of the "Old Boys". Also, legally, can a sitting member of council also be voted in as a member of a city commission? Before the new council he is a private citizen, but, but is he safe before 3 new council members with Councilwoman Negron and councilman Colon voting? Ethically, the nomination should have been on the new council agenda. Think about it!!

Anonymous said...

Hey! Look!!!
If there is one thing we learned from this whole affair it's how much damage people with integrity can do to block up a smooth running system.
That's a mistake Bob won't be making again.

Anonymous said...

Boy oh boy has Bob fucked this up.