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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, February 11, 2016

LV Mayors' Forum on Sustainability

Fed Ed
The Urban Land Institute was supposed to have a forum yesterday that included the Lehigh Valley's top four Mayors. The topic was "Next Generation Cities and Suburbs," to be discussed over lunch in Iacocca Hall at Lehigh University's Mountaintop Campus. The place was packed with engineers and economic development types in very nice suits. And there was me in jeans and a raggedy shirt. But I did have my new Barmah hat made out of kangaroo leather, so I was the coolest dude in the room. I was looking forward to hearing Mayors Ed Hozza and Bob Donchez discuss the future of their cities. But I was disappointed. Neither of them showed up. The official line was that Mayor Bob had a mega toothache, and was being treated by Dr. Giggles, while Mayor Hozza was assisting a family member who had just undergone major surgery. But I soon discovered the real reason for their absence.

Allentown Mayor Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski.

He was the lead-off hitter, and the organizers made the mistake of letting him use a power point. A presentation that was supposed to last between five and seven minutes stretched to about a half hour. This was following an introduction that he obviously wrote himself and that took nearly a half hour to read.

Along the way, the woman reading off Fed Ed's curriculum vitae also discussed his wife, mentioning that she had once been a "Communist organizer" in Chicago. Funny how the federal investigation or vote of no-confidence was never mentioned.

The ladies just gawked when they saw this. I
think this is more effective than pretending I'm gay!
Allentown Sustainability

Fed Ed said he had a five-year sustainability plan, arrived at through discussions with 50 community and city leaders, addressing the environment, infrastructure, sustainable land use and a sustainable future.

With respect to the environment, he noted that there's been a 40% reduction in residential and commercial waste, made possible in part by a recycling participate rate of over 90%. He noted that over 800 litter baskets have been installed in the City, along with 110 "big belly" trash compactors. He indicated that WPA stone structures are being retored and that he is introducing native species to the parks. But he added that Allentown produces 120 tons of garbage per day, and he still would like to get a trash-to-energy plant going because the landfills will soon be unable to hild all the garbage coming in from New York alone, with amounts to 26,000 tons per day.

Noting that there are several gold and silver LEED-certified buildings in the City, Fed Ed stated that Allentown lends itself to sustainable land use because of its dense street grid, concentration of jobs and proximity to housing. He discussed the adaptive re-use of older buildings and spoke of the Riverfront to be so picuresque that it makes you feel as though you are "in the middle of the poconos."

In the future, he'd like to see rooftop gardens at City hall and at other places.

Panto Stresses Housing For Working Poor

According to Easton Mayor Sal Panto, the biggest challenge facing all communities, both city and suburb, are pensions. Without reform, the game is over. Panto stated that Easton is situated at the meeting place of three revers - Lehigh, Delaware and Bushkill Creek, and the City has had three 100-year floods over the past four years. But the biggest flooding problem is not from the Delaware, said Panto, but flash floods from the Bushkill Creek.

Panto's goal as Mayor has been to buy up older homes, rehab them and sell them to the working poor. He would like everyone in Easton to have a home.

He also reported that the new City Hall has operating costs that are 40% less than the one he left.

Over $480 million has been invested in Easton over the last eight years.

Bethlehem Fire Chief Stresses Emergency Preparedness

Fire Chief Robert Novatnack, who is also the City's EMS coordinator, was Bob Donchez' pinch hitter.He discussed the importance of having plans in place for inevitable emergencies. Noting the City's history with some recent weather events, Chief Novatnack made clear that "[i]f you don't get people back on their feet, you hear about it."

Like Panto, Chief Novatnack discussed flash flooding as a major problem, and produced pictures of the damages caused when the Monocacy Creek spilled over during Musikfest a few short years ago.

"A lot of people don't recover from that,": he said of submerged Musikfest stands calling the flooding damage "a disaster for small business."

He'd like to see children educated sooner, rather than later, a point on which both Fed Ed and Panto agreed.

It cost me $10 to attend this lunch. I got in at a student rate, claiming I had an INCOMPLETE in some previous course work done at Lehigh. Since only half of the Matyors showed, and a third has been asked to resign, the Urban Land Institute owes me $7.50.


Anonymous said...

You jerk Bernie ; you are lucky Ed didn`t steal that hat!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Just to prevent that possibility, I nailed it into my head.

Anonymous said...

You would need concrete nails.

Paul Hogan said...

Yar a filthy bogan O'Hare!

Anonymous said...

Is the Five Year Sustainability Plan Mayor Pawlowski referred to the one Joyce Marin prepared for him a few years back when she was his CED Director?
Did he share credit with her?

Anonymous said...

Donchez seems to cancel more then he shows up for events. What gives with this guy? 6:32 had it right. This was a natural for the DC ED director but Bob is at least smart enough not to have her show up.

Anonymous said...

The hat was a nice touch as fed ed ie humpty dumpty's arch nemisis had perpatrated when it was all just yet another collusional dillusion act of the circus¿!)$ The circus travels together and works on the same old back midway of years past presently trying to relocate downtown with the same old Z twiZtZ only different wording in mommas cigar surpriZe sidways wrap twiZt¿!)$
The road to nowhere hopefully going somewhere somday now across the water at a cost plus unanticipated judgement that was yet another cicus act maddoff manipulation at a cost to the publics trusts that are lieing in wait for the entity that insure itself by tax paying payors as insurable perils have variables in pay out proceedurs¿!)$
redd for Republican
patent pending

Anonymous said...

Not sure that FedEd could share credit with Joyce Marin on the Sustainability Plan. Isn't Ms. Marin's background in Banking?

Most of the department heads hired under Ed's reign were just "yes men" (or women).
The placement of unqualified people in top positions in Allentown and some other places in the Lehigh Valley has been a serious problem.

Shouldn't top positions in any government or governmental agency be filled with individuals educated or highly experienced in the field in which they are expected to operate?

Obviously political leaders get a pass on this, but the people they hire shouldn't. It's time to expect a higher standard, especially if we want our tax dollars to be used wisely in a global economy.

Anonymous said...

Anon 857am, Joyce Marin has no background of substance. To give her credit for anything would be to shortchange the people who actually did the work.

I've talked to a few politicians around here and Bernie is right - they're running from Fed Ed as fast as possible. No one wants to even be in a picture with him lest it be interpreted as tacit support. That's why no one except Mueller showed up at the State of the City, and only Sal Panto at this event.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Mike Schlossberg is still a staunch FedEd supporter, just ask him!

Anonymous said...

Wish we could have attended your “sustainability” pow-wow.


All the trees and dirt scalped off the top of the mountain for the fancy dining room

Anonymous said...

Another useless event attended by useless people.Where can we get an itinerary of the Useless Event Circuit. The accomplishments of this group is astonishing and should be rewarded with yet another awards dinner preceded by a press conference .

Anonymous said...

Wow, that picture of Ed resembles the Penguin from the Batman movie.

Anonymous said...

Ms.Marin did in fact do the "sustainability" work
for Ed Pawlowski just before the hockey plan took off. During that time she was everywhere enlisting everyone in supporting Mayor Pawlowski and a "sustainable Allentown".
It was quite entertaining.

Anonymous said...

There will be no downgrading the penguins sastainabilty in Batman, wamm bamm lightning slamm, or the one soon click click boof bang klank klank as the cage door closes¿!)$
Batman and especially the penguin had there part to play and not twiZt a Z to the same old benifactors benifitZ with different circus props perpatrating to be benifiting, were is the other boy political parasite soul sale sectors apprentece hiding¿!)$
winkwink klinkklink give to get back is comming full circle¿!)$
nosignutureneeded to accomplish a multifaceted malfunction as just one of many tools¿!)$

Anonymous said...

I see a sustainable five to ten in Mr. Pawlowskis future.

Anonymous said...

I dont beleive a word that comes out of the mouths of Atown city council, Mr Ed, LCA, Lehigh County Courthouse, Jim Martin, APD, APA, Poverty Pimps, Lehigh County Commisioners, for profit church groups, State Reps or Harrisburg theives.

Anonymous said...

Judge a man by his deeds; not his words. Panto's vicious commuter tax on county employees and McDonald's workers shows exactly how he feels about the working poor. What a phony piece of shit.

Anonymous said...

Agree about the unqualified Dept heads in the city. Just look at Interim Public Works Director Craig Messinger. Only has a high school diploma and lives outside of city limits. Oh and how long can one be "Interim"??

Anonymous said...

8:30 Which college degree is needed to plow snow?

Anonymous said...

None. But to be a director one should have an MBA or at least a Bachelor's.

Anonymous said...

Messinger is one of Fed Ed's yes men. Fed Ed told him he's bringing him to Harrisburg with him if he won Governor to oversee the state DOT. Once Fed Ed is indicted a lot of Dept heads and a few bureau mgrs and HR personnel will be axed. Can't wait.

Anonymous said...

This town needs and enema.

Anonymous said...

Fed Ed aka The Penguin should relocate to the LV Zoo where he could organize his fellow flightless birds to march on the FBI office in Allentown to protest his unfair prosecution by the feds. FBI agents have some mackeral ready to appease them.