Friday, January 15, 2016

Mayor, DCED Director, Decline Planning Comm'n Invitation

Before he stepped down as Chair of Bethlehem's Planning Commission at their January 14 meeting, Attorney Jim Fiorentino invited Mayor Bob Donchez and Community and Economic Development Director Alicia Karner to appear and explain the "exact nature" of their discussions with Martin Tower developer Lew Ronca. But neither Mayor Donchez nor Karner accepted. In an email, Mayor Donchez said he already disclosed the "exact nature" of that relationship in numerous documents that he previously provided in both a news conference and at a subsequent City Council meeting. Fiorentino, who saw those documents, chided the administration for failing to be completely honest.

Planning Director Darlene Heller, who serves as Secretary to the Planning Commission, defended her role."I don't think we tried in any way to hide the fact that we were talking to developers," she explained. "You could have told us the full story about the developer's intent," responded Fiorentino. In December, he canceled a Planning Commission meeting when The Bethlehem Press revealed that there had been detailed communications between Ronca and City staffers before the City proposed zoning changes at the 52-acre Martin Tower development. This was learned as a result of a Right-to-Know request.

Louis Stellato, a former City Council member who voted for these zoning changes and was appointed to the Planning Commission earlier this month, dismissed Fiorentino's concerns about process. "I don't know how many more times we have to count the chads, the issue is done," he said.

Except it isn't. Bethlehem City Council has been sued in a land use appeal alleging defects in the referrals to the Planning Commission.

After this discussion, Fiorentino nominated Rob Melosky to succeed him. Melosky, a Nazareth teacher has proven himself to be a very attentive Planning Commissioner since his appointment in 2012. He also is offensive coordinator for Central Catholic's football program. Melosky was elected unanimously.

Matthew Malozi, a manager at engineering and planning firm RETTEW, was unanimously elected as Vice Chair.

Heller, despite the earlier squabble, was unanimously retained as the Planning Commission's Secretary.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

booby d is afraid of anyone who will show him to be inept and totally lost in his position. That's why he didn't show. The planning commission was going to ask some tough questions which he has no idea what the answers are to. He probably took the advice of the shoved down his throat by a certain state senator dced, who is also in way over her head. Her apparent not even answering the request shows her arrogance and lack of intelligence or transparency. Once again she hides out and make Ms. Heller carry the dirty bucket of water that this so called administration has created.

It's called leadership, booby. Something you sorely lack.

Anonymous said...

Stellato voted just the way willie and bobby wanted him to on this issue. His reward? A seat on the planning commission so he can be another inbred puppet. Nothing but a bought and paid for stooge. This administration and council have no credibility at all.

Anonymous said...

This Bethlehem dced is hiding under the cover of the super stink in Allentown. It helps Bethlehem dced get a way with incompetence and arrogance.

Anonymous said...

This shows what I've said from the beginning- Donchez may be a nice guy, but is a terrible mayor. He lacks leadership!

Anonymous said...

This mess is a long way from resolution.

Anonymous said...

I thought Ms. Heller was better than this.

Anonymous said...

Well of course Bob didn't show. The guy is really looking bad on this sorry deal.
God bless Ms.Heller, she must really hate this misadventure.

Anonymous said...

7:08,
Help us make him a one term mayor which will also rid us of the back door dced.

Anonymous said...

Renovations are ongoing on the second floor offices and council chambers. The new motif is called political smoke and mirrors.

Anonymous said...

This exposes Willie as a real Dickie.

Anonymous said...

Fiorentino nominated Melosky because Fiorentino didn't have the votes or confidence of the planning commission anymore due to his lack of communication with other members on the commission and Fiorentino's cancellation of the planning commission meeting that was to review the Marting Tower plan.

Anonymous said...

8:59,
Donchez will be a one term mayor and willie may very well go down over this also. Martin tower is too big a thing to screw up. They can't hide this as much as they try.

Anonymous said...

9:06
Nice spin.
Completely inaccurate, but nice spin.

It's good to see Bob has a least one loyal supporter who can be counted on to make regular comments on LVRambling.

Do you carry water for Fed Ed also, or do you work exclusively in Bethlehem?

Anonymous said...

10:31 is Fiorentino.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Really? He historically is one of the very few who signs his comments. Who are you?

Anonymous said...

9:06 is dead on. I know a member on the planning commission and he and several members on the PC were livid that Fiorentino cancelled the meeting on Martin Tower without even consulting with them. The result was that the majority of the PC lost all confidence in Fiorentino and would not elect him to lead the PC.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Bernie some people don't have all day to gaze at a screen with there tinfoil cap wearing crew of court jesters siberstalking and threatening the lives of people¿!($ Maybe it is a figment of my imagination that I have post on your blog only to be ommitted as an actual human being with knowledge of those supposidly in the no¿!($

Most that have and continued attacking me are as my descriptive yet undescriptive words put to print¿!($ Most are the green snot dribbling from there nose , than there are those that have speicial places where the soul sale sector belongs locally¿!($ Hence, " in the anal canal with spinkter wrapped around there neck surrounded by the boil cyst, and zit all letting lose the juice at the same time upon these perpatrators or ringmasyers¿!($
redd for Republican
patent pending

Anonymous said...

12:51@
Agreed. The toadys on the commission were really bent outa' shape.
Hey, if you're an honest man you better have thick skin.

Anonymous said...

12:51 and 9:06 are one and the same.
Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Just saw the Morning Call.
Bob sure threw Dharlene under the bus didn't he?
Shameful.

Anonymous said...

Fiortentino looking to extend his 15 minutes of fame. Last month he had the chance to provide meaningful discussion...and he cancelled - a showboat move. Now that it's over (except for a frivolous lawsuit) he wants to keep talking about it. He wants to move Bethlehem backward. Donchez has better things to do than answer to 1 member of a 5 member board that wants to rehash the past.

Anonymous said...

Fiorentino for Mayor.

Anonymous said...

12:51-Your one member of the Planning Commission who said several members of the PC were upset about the meeting cancellation is hogwash. There were only 4 members of the planning commission at that time and one member wrote a letter supporting Fiorentino. Another member was in Florida and not going to the meeting anyway so he doesn't count. So that means only Melosky was upset and that is because he is a Callahan/Reynolds/Developer rubber stamp washed up football coach--what does he know about planning!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

There was a time when I might have shared your dim view of Melosky. I panned his appointment pretty much for those reasons. And then he proved me completely full of shit. He has proven to be a very careful Planning Commissioner who does not rubber stamp anything. That is thanks in large part to able tutelage by his fellow Commissioners. Now he and Jim Fiorentino may disagree from time to time, but that's what happens in good government. He was a good pick.

Anonymous said...

Good, open, government seems to be the issue
on the table.

Patriot2 said...

At the end the end of the day Melosky always votes for whatever Reynolds/Callahan want but he asks questions to make you think he is deliberating. That is the only difference between him & Barker who never utters one word at any meeting but votes party line for developer like Melosky--don't think they have ever voted independently.

Bernie O'Hare said...

What is party line voting in planning? Those developers are all Rs. Are you suggesting he is an R? Or are you recognizing that there really is an urban growth regime in which Dems and the GOP are actually allied in the quest to make wealthy people more wealthy?