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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Michael Donovan Remembered

I mussed last night's Allentown City Council meeting because I was watching Central Catholic High School's Varsity Boys' basketball team clinch a league playoff berth with a much-needed win over Northampton. But I watched the video, and was moved by the kind words spoken about Michael Donovan, who passed away on Wednesday.

Alan Jennings recently called people who are spending the public's money "heroic," but if anyone really deserves that title, it is Donovan. City Council President Ray O'Connell had some very heartfelt words. And Rich Fegley, who is usually locking horns with Council, was having trouble staying composed as he read the remarks of Michael's son, Ned Donovan, into the record.

Allentown City Council President Ray O'Connell: "Mr. Donovan passed away this morning after a courageous battle with cancer. I served on Council with Michael when i first started Council. Michael was an extremely passionate man, a very caring man. I would say Michael was ahead of his times on many items and many thoughts.

"I had a few ... cokes ... pepsis ... [laughter] with Mike over the years, and I learned a lot from Michael. Michael did not have a mean bone in his body. Michael was not mean-spirited at all. Michael looked out for the little guy out there. He really did. Today, we truly lost one of the good guys. May his family be at peace and may Michael Donovan rest in peace."

Rich Fegley (with statement from Michael's son, Ned): "Earlier today, as you've no doubt heard by now, my father, former Councilman William Michael Donovan, passed away after a long battle with cancer. I wanted to extend my thanks and the thanks of my family to this institution. My father always wanted to get involved in politics, and this body allowed him to truly find his voice as a politician. Serving on this Council was one of the highlights of my father's life, something he spoke of with great pride, as I am sure you all feel.

"I'm aware that there are many challenges facing Allentown, and that this group of men and women will make many decisions regarding those issues. I hope that in honor of my father's memory, you will remember his priorities as you look at these issues.

"My father stressed the community over the individual, and he made sure to treat the janitor the same as the CEO. He was adamant that the rights of the little guy must be protected in order to better society. When there are two options, take the one towards love and compassion. And always strive for a more inclusive, respectful and caring community.

"There are no groups more important than any other, and to solve the problems facing a city, engaging the entire community is important. But especially the under-represented and unappreciated voices. I thank you for all your service to the City, as my father served in the past. I hope to meet all of you one day."


Anonymous said...

A bright and shining candle has just been extinguished in these dark times.
I have no other words to express my grief.

Doc Rock said...

Though Michael and I frequently had different views on policy, he was a principled man with a conscience - two qualities sorely lacking in The City Without Limits.

Anonymous said...

Whenever it counted in Allentown civic/political policy Michael was correct,
Every time, and recent events have certainly proved that.
A hero for our time.

Anonymous said...

An honorable man. He had few peers.

Anonymous said...


Bernie's post was to honor a man who many respected, you chose to dishonor it and do so anonymously. Does your partisan hatred know any bounds?

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Mike had his opinions and loved to discuss them with those who had opposing points of view. He respected disagreement, but would not abide self service and corruption. These were markers of his intellect and integrity.

Scott Armstrong

alfonso todd said...

Amen, Scott Armstrong, Amen....

Anonymous said...

Scott you said it perfectly. I always enjoyed speaking with Mike as well, the entire Lehigh Valley will miss him.

The Banker

Bernie O'Hare said...

Scott, Deleted the reference to you, which was posted by a sick person. I'd say more, but this is about Michael, not others.