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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Panto Flip Flops on Easton Peace Phallus

In recent weeks, there's been a major argument between Easton Mayor Sal Panto and local merchants over whether the gigantic phallus known as the Easton Peace Candle should be lit up on Black Friday (Panto) or Small Business Saturday (everyone else). Using pseudonyms "roverfan73" and "tom18017," Panto used the comment forum at LehighValleyLive to lobby for Friday.
"IT'S SIMPLE THE CANDLE SHOULD BE LIT ON FRIDAY NIGHT --- PERIOD ----- " ... "I also vote for candle lighting on Friday. Does GEDP run this city or the Mayor and City Council?" ... I like the fact that she and the city aren't closely connected to GEDP anymore. Aren't they the ones that moves the Peace Candle lighting? ... My vote is Friday. The mayor is right. Taxpayers pay the expense of the candle. And I am a loyal downtown shopper. This is a community event. I shopped a lot in town for this holiday season but not on candle lighting night."
Despite what the voices in his head were telling him, Panto reversed course last night and went with Saturday, the date preferred by the merchants.

This about face came after he was exposed by this blog for using LehighValleyLive to manipulate public opinion.

This about face came after Easton activist Dennis Lieb, a former Planning Commissioner, took Panto to task in a meeting attended by about 20 people.
"How are we to believe that tonight's decision is to be handled in an unbiased, fact-based manner when the mayor - who was quoted in Tuesday's Express-Times as not yet having made up his mind which way to vote - has at the same time been commenting anonymously under two online screen names (roverfan73 and tom18017) that "IT'S SIMPLE THE CANDLE SHOULD BE LIT ON FRIDAY NIGHT --- PERIOD ----- " in all caps? Can you address this issue for the public?

"I will sit down while you answer that but before I do I'd also like to say...

"As a 50 year resident of the West Ward it is an insult to me to have the city's mayor hiding behind screen names and using social media to pretend to be a West Ward resident; to prop up his administration; and to propagandize the state of my neighborhood. You are not now nor have you ever been a West Ward citizen and you never will be."
Panto never explained his dishonest behavior, but then went on to claim that he had been persuaded earlier in the day by Easton's Main Street Manager, Kim Kmetz. He then regurgitated arguments that had already been made by merchants.

Sandra Vulcano, who prepared the resolution setting Friday night as the lighting night, had to change it to Saturday, and the rubber stamps on City Council quickly bobbed their heads. She said it made little difference to her whether the lighting was Friday or Saturday, and about 30 seconds later, contradicted herself and claimed, "This is an important issue."

She came to the meeting despite sneezing and hacking all over Panto and then added, "I took a wonderful pill."

After the vote, Easton resident Curt Ehly congratulated Panto and Council, claiming, "This is the way it is supposed to work."

I sure hope not.

We have a Mayor who flip flopped only because he got caught trying to manipulate public opinion, a Council that didn't even blink at changing the resolution completely and clearly were there to do what they were told, and a Council member like Vulcano who is clearly off her rocker, and who went on for several minutes, saying absolutely nothing.

I'd say it was the pill but I've seen her in action before. Rarely have I heard someone use so many words to say so little.

In fact, Vulcano is Exhibit "A" to anyone who wants to abolish democracy. Her husband is Exhibit "B."  But the people of Easton continually re-elect them because there are vowels at the end of their name.


Roverfan73 said...

That's sorta anti-Italian, no?

Bernie O'Hare said...

No. It's reality. I

Anonymous said...

At least no buildings collapsed on Northampton St. in the last few days.
That's progress.

tom18017 said...

This makes me very happy that I managed to sell my home in Easton and move away. These people frighten me.