Hyman has sent me an email outlining his concerns, which he has given me permission to share.
I recently had an extensive poll conducted to gauge the likely results of the upcoming Allentown Democratic Mayoral primary. I found the results very disturbing.
It is abundantly clear that only one of three people will win this upcoming primary and, as a result, likely be Allentown’s next Mayor..... Ce Ce Gerlach, Ray O’Connell or me. All of those who have declared their candidacy or have been rumored to be considering running were included in the poll and polled at less than 5% and have no real possibility of winning.
The disturbing aspect is that there is a scenario under which Ray O’Connell and I could split the same voter base, allowing Ce Ce to win. I believe that would be catastrophic for Allentown! Far more important to me than my being Mayor is ensuring that Ce Ce Gerlach is NOT the Mayor.
As a result, Mr. O’Connell and I have agreed to meet next week to try to come to an agreement as to only one of us running and which one of us that will be, while vocally supporting the other’s candidacy.
To be clear, my only interest has been, and is, to see Allentown prosper and blossom like every one of our neighboring cities and towns, ensure that every citizen is safe, every child has a quality education and a bright future and to take good care of the neediest among us. Accordingly, I am more than willing to stand aside and support Ray for Mayor if we both determine that is the best course. I still believe it is possible to return Allentown to those qualities and values which made it an All American City, the wholesome city I remember from my youth. But we need the right leadership to do that.....and Ce Ce definitely is NOT it!
I believe there is no elected position which affects people’s day to day lives more than Mayor. While Ms. Gerlach did her fair share of damage as a member of the School Board and City Council (in less than one year!), she would destroy this city as Mayor. Being Mayor may not be exactly like running a large multi-faceted business with many constituencies, but it is very similar. It requires a deep knowledge of finance, business management skills, prioritizing the needs of the citizens (not your needs, wants or agenda) and experience in making tough decisions. None of the 3 declared candidates have any of these.
Regrettably, The Morning Call has long ago relinquished its role as the fourth estate. Accordingly, it will be up to the candidate running against her to inform the public about the true Ce Ce Gerlach and that will take money, a lot of it. That will involve television ads, radio blitzes, mailers and robo calls.
Can you imagine Ce Ce Gerlach sitting down with Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan and discussing the securitization of our debt, bond offerings, interest rate swaps, CDO’s, collars or our Moody’s ratings ?! It would be a joke if not so critically important.
Some people who run for Mayor of our City seem to have a fundamental disrespect for Allentown. This is the third largest city in Pennsylvania. Many who run for Mayor of our City, including Ms. Gerlach, would never dream of running for Mayor of Philadelphia or Pittsburgh because they know it would be absurd. If they submitted their resume for the CEO position of a $110,000,000 company with 800 employees, they would be laughed out of the room. Ex: A 26 year old boy named Josh Siegel is already running for a SECOND time with absolutely no experience or background necessary to do the job. Matt Tuerk, whose only experience has been working for The Allentown Economic Development Council, and we see how well he did at that, also has absolutely no business, management or leadership experience. Yet, they think so little of Allentown that they run for Mayor knowing full well that they are wholly unqualified in aforementioned areas, yet hoping the citizens are foolish enough to vote them in.
I know that some people will say that you can’t trust polls and point to Trump. First, I think Trump is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to polls. Second, I used one of the most highly respected firms which ensured that the people polled reflected precisely the demographics and percentages of Allentown democratic primary voters in age, area of the city, religion, education, etc. Finally, ask yourself one question.... what if the poll is correct and Ce Ce Gerlach is Allentown’s next Mayor?
It is appalling that a poorly-educated,self-serving nitwit like Gerlach could even be considered as a candidate for mayor of the third largest city in Pennsylvania! As a resident of the city, I am nauseated with how far we have sunk to have such an unqualified, disgusting person seriously being considered for mayor. She must be defeated in the primary by either Hyman or O'Donnell, or any other candidate with half a brain.
Ray promised the voters when he ran last time that he would not run again. If he goes back on that promise he will lose badly. He should do what is best for Allentown and step aside and support Hyman. Hyman is a qualified, intelligent businessman who would be an excellent mayor.
so, don't hold back Nat...tell us how you really feel?
I care about Ray O’Connell, but I urge him not to run. Defeating Ce-Ce will mean holding her 100% accountable for every lie she’s ever told, and every false promise she’s ever made. Matt Tuerk does not understand the threat Ce-Ce represents, and as a result, he is unwilling and unable to convey that threat to the people of Allentown. CeCe is a liar without a fact-checker. The Morning Call has given her total impunity to deceive and manipulate the people of Allentown. We need a candidate willing to call out every lie she’s told, every heinous act she’s committed, every terrible policy she’s put fourth, every every disgusting word she’s uttered. Ray O’Connell is not that man, he’s too gentle, and he’s kind to a fault. That’s why we love him, but that’s also why he will ultimately lose. Please Ray, please Leonard, please Julio, please Darryl and Matt. Please endorse Nat Hyman, and save our city.
Ray raised taxes 27% and lied about not running for re-election. He can't win. Nat is our only hope to save this city from Ce Ce . Ray needs to bow out. Ray do the right thing.
Allentown is addicted to bad government and its addiction is getting worse. Many though the Pawlowski chapter was rock bottom. Others warned that Allentown wasn't better at all and that Ray O'Connell was not serious rehab. Addicts can't get up until they've been knocked all the way down. Gerlach is going to win - easily over the old white guys who are guilty of being old white guys. Hopefully, her chapter is finally rock bottom and the addict survives to recover. That doesn't always happen, though.
Who the heck is Matt Turek?
Allentown missed their chance to have an extremely competent mayor when they didn't vote Hyman in the first time. Lets hope O'Connell does the right thing and supports Hyman for mayor and Allentown doesn't mess up their second chance.
Can we please stop with the myth that (fiscally speaking) O'Connell is any worse than Gerlach?
The reality is that Allentown hasn't had a fiscally competent Mayor since Bill Heydt. Afflerbach was a disaster with his pension deal. Pawlowski was corrupt, AND gave the city three earned income tax hikes, a new "stormwater" tax, and numerous other tax and fee hikes.
While on Council, O'Connell voted for all of Pawlowski's tax and fee hikes, and then added a whopping 27% property tax hike after he became Mayor. Buried in Mr. Hyman's statement above is the fact that, under MAYOR O'Connell, the city is now facing a $45 million deficit! That's a tax hike to come, we just won't be told about it until after next year's election!
So Allentown is already heading for fiscal ruin, with or without Gerlach. The only, and I emphasize ONLY, hope the city has is that Nat Hyman runs for Mayor and wins.
What I disagree most about is that we're somehow better with O'Connell. If Hyman doesn't run, I'd rather see Gerlach win to make more obvious the decline the city is in. In fact, I'd vote for Gerlach over O'Connell if that's the choice I have. A Mayor Gerlach might get the state to intervene sooner.
Short of state intervention, the only way that Allentown gets better is if Hyman runs. And unless Hyman runs, O'Connell's legacy goes down the same road as Afflerbach - a nice guy who just wasn't up for the job.
So I say run Nat, run.
Thank you for this revealing and troubling essay. Please let us know how we can volunteer to help with your campaign, should the current mayor decide to step aside.
Ray cultivates this image as a nice guy but he's a liar and opportunist. He purposefully derailed Nat's campaign against FedEd when he ran his write in campaign to get Fed Ed reelected after running against him saying we needed him out. He promised the voters that he would not run again and here he is running again. He doesn't care one bit about Allentown, he cares only about himself and his ego. For once Ray, do the right thing and bow out with some dignity and support Nat!
Ray is a caretaker mayor after Pawlowski. It is time for him to go. Hyman is the only who can save our city.
The point here is not to attack Ray or Nat. And by the way, Ray does not need to cultivate an image as a nice guy because he is a nice guy. Perhaps too nice. The point here is that the two will meet and from that meeting, one will emerge with the full-throated support of the other. I believe Nat would do a better job as Mayor precisely because he is a political outsider who really does love the city and who has spent a lifetime making hard financial decisions. This does not make Ray a liar or a jerk. Yes, he promised not to run, but that was before a person who actually does lie decided to run. That was before she and Siegel turned City Council into a circus. That was before he was doxed. I would prefer to see Nat run bc he is simply the better candidate and has the assets to make sure people know all about Ce-Ce. Having said that, I would also support Ray. One needs to run. The other needs to step aside and back his rival. The only purpose the anti-Ray comments serve her are to piss him off enough to make him run.
Back about 6 or 7yrs ago, I watched NYC get taken over by the radical left. Said to myself, “This will show if it works or doesn’t.”
Allentown, please don’t elect anyone of Gerlach’s or Siegel’s ilk. You think things are bad now, they can and will get worse. Just look at NYC to see what can happen.
Hyman or Tuerk.
That was a great letter by Hyman. Not sure he could have been any more honest. That is the kind of person I would like to see be elected, to any position. Wish he would move to my Township.
the question is , Is gerlach or Hyman a representative of the culture of allentown? Not the past but the present.
They can meet all they want. Allentown proved what kind of gumption it had when they turned their backs on Nat and elected Fed Ed.
I agree with 10:08 am. You can tell how smart Mr. Hyman is by how well written this letter is and how logical it is. He has my vote for mayor.
Excellent letter by Nat Hyman. However there is one other factor that could influence Ce-Ce's candidacy. Her base would also be divided with Josh Siegel since they have the same political views. Both were involved in the "f**k the police" protest. Either of these two would have the same result of taking Allentown to rock bottom.
Pathfinder, I had thought that Gerlach and Siegel would cancel each other out, but Siegel is apparently no factor at all. In a crowded race, Gerlach wins.
There are many of us who love Ray, but still want him to do what we feel is the right thing, and rally the troops for Nat. Ray would would be a better advocate for Nat, then Nat would be for him.
Nat's voters are more likely to be fed up with the system in Allentown and therefore less likely to be swayed to vote for an establishment guy like Ray. Ray's voters are probably more optimistic and they're more likely to migrate to a candidate that Ray endorses because they trust him.
Outsider candidates attract outsider supporters. And outsider supporters are extremely hard to convinced that they should vote for an insider.
Bernie, regardless if it pisses Ray off or not, there is no question that Nat Hyman is infinitely more qualified to be Mayor.
Gerlach wants to help the homeless which, as Mr. Hyman said in his letter, is laudable. But how do you think she will pay for that and all the other social programs she will want? She will raise our taxes a lot! How will she pay for the $45m deficit we are facing with no financial knowledge or business background to find alternate sources of revenue? She will raise our taxes a lot. If you vote for Ce Ce Gerlach, you are committing financial suicide and hurting all of those people she claims to want to help who can't afford those taxes.
This is Allentown we are talking about here. No chance of them doing what is best for the City...hence the reason Palowski was re-elected after he was charged with criminal activity.
I see CE-CE winning in a landslide
Nice guys don't raise taxes 27% and lie about running for re-election. His very candidacy demonstrates that Ray is dishonest. Strangely, that's how he got elected in the first place and that's his strongest asset in the world of Allentown politics. When the so-called nice guys are demonstrable liars, they cede any high ground and pave the path for the Gerlach's of the world.
Ray, for once can you do the right thing and not what is in your personal interest? You promised not to run again, so don't! Support Nat, beat Ce Ce and leave the office in good hands with your reputation intact.
This summation by Mr. Hyman is spot on....Gerlach is a political machine, working all parts of the City constantly throughout the year. To the naive person at the door, she is a polite, interesting and agreeable representative of Allentown City government. She will find tell each and every person exactly what they want to hear to win them over. Without some kind of organized effort from establishment Democrats, she will win easily. I'm actually encouraged by this article, maybe the O'Connell/Hyman ticket can put together a professional campaign effort and beat her in the primary. Otherwise, Allentown is in way worse trouble than it already is.
I don't like the way Mr. Hyman is so dismissive of Michael Tuerk, who has many of the qualifications and the temperment needed to be a good Mayor. A big part of the job of a Mayor is to oversee economic development, and Mr. Tuerk has years of professional experience in that area, in addition to private business experience.
Mr. Hyman is well qualified to be Mayor, but I worry about conflicts of interest with the large number of ongoing development projects and existing developments he has in the city.
Hyman does not dismiss Tuerk. The people who were polled dismiss him.
How is a Black Lives Matter protest conveniently renamed an Eff the Police protest?
I apologize if I came across as dismissive of Mr. Tuerk. I don’t know Mr. Tuerk and, frankly, never heard of him prior to his announcement. What I can tell you is that in the poll, Mr. Tuerk received 1% of the vote and, more concerning for his candidacy, 94% of the voters polled never heard of him. That is an astronomical and, most would say, insurmountable number. If Mr. Tuerk genuinely cares about Allentown, he should abandon his candidacy and support someone who can actually beat Ce Ce. Dividing the vote only helps Ce Ce.
As far as my real estate developments , I find it interesting that you highlight Mr. Tuerk’s efforts to bring economic development to our city but have an issue with my actually investing in significant economic development in and for Allentown. That said, If I run, I will put all of my holdings in Allentown in a blind trust and designate the City Solicitor to handle any issue which may arise with any of my properties. I will have no influence in any matter related to my properties .
"I don't like the way Mr. Hyman is so dismissive of Michael Tuerk, who has many of the qualifications and the temperment needed to be a good Mayor. A big part of the job of a Mayor is to oversee economic development, and Mr. Tuerk has years of professional experience in that area, in addition to private business experience."
I hear you 2:37, the bottom line: Gerlach will get 10 to 1 votes or more on Tuerk, he can't win. This article and the polling referenced should be a clarion call to established Democrats and/or regular residents who look to the City for quality delivery of services such as street repair, police and fire, finance, code enforcement, parks, leaf sweeping, yard waste etc. Gerlach is on the verge of becoming Allentown's Mayor and it should scare City residents and especially property owners.
“How is a Black Lives Matter protest conveniently renamed an Eff the Police protest?”
When the participants chant “Fuck the Police,” it is no longer Black Lives Matter but a slur on public safety. Ian unsure whether Gerlach uttered those words, but her actions on council have very much indicated a desire to fuck the police.
she has neither the intellectual capacity, nor the experience, education or ability to run a $110,000,000 city with 800 employees. More importantly, I do not believe she has the moral or ethical fiber to be Mayor of this City. EXACTLY she is a POS !!!!!
Could One could read this as a very racist misogynist trope?
This is why a candidate should have to pre qualify before running for an office. Allentown has a lot of non taxable people that can vote . Some scammer ot deadbeat can run for something.
No. It is an accurate assessment of what Me-Me Gerlach is. She is dishonest, uniformed, opportunistic and manipulative. This has nothing to do with either her sex or or racial composition. This kind of reaction does, however, say something about you.
Vote for Twerk! Bring sexy back to Allentown since Fed Ed got his orange jumper and G string
Joe Hoffman for mayor!
After reading this article and all of the comments I have one conclusion......Hyman For Mayor!
Not to rock the Nat Hyman love boat on this blog but there are a few concerns. Most businessman that do great in the private sector struggle in public office. Especially, in the Executive branch. Where they, admit it or not, run the show in the business. Not like that in government. People know who the boss is in the private sector and know their jobs are dependent on the boss. What the boss sees as agreement, employees see as job security Boss says tell me the truth. Means tell me what I want to hear. I am sure Mr. Hyman would disagree. I don't know Mr. Hyman and I don't doubt his private success but it is not government.
Most government workers are protected in one form or another. Bureaucracy is famously slow and reactionary. You can kick and scream all you want that you are the boss but no one cares. You also have the press commenting on your every move. Not the basic anonymity of private business. You have massive leak's of info and a legislative branch to deal with.
So while he has private success he may find that being the "Boss " of a city is a far different deal, and end up like many past businessmen who lost their minds or were a disaster in the public sector.
Just a consideration and not an endorsement of any other candidate.
If possible, would Mr. Hyman create a webpage with a phone number so volunteers may contact him? Thank you Bernie.
"Not to rock the Nat Hyman love boat on this blog but there are a few concerns. Most businessman that do great in the private sector struggle in public office."
That's not always true, Bill Heydt was perhaps Allentown's best Mayor of the modern era, hiring outstanding department heads, provision of good services to residents and running a very tight ship in which Allentown's finances were rock solid and he came from a business background. Even if there is some validity to your argument, I can assure you that Me-Me Gerlach will be a disaster.
As a City resident, I applaud Mr. Hyman for staying in Allentown and offering an alternative to Gerlach. Unlike her, he doesn't need the job and is becoming a candidate for all the right reasons. Just look at the damage Roy Afflerbach did in 4 years, Gerlach could be far worse.
11:45pm: Like Mike Bloomberg? A 3 term Mayor of NYC and arguably its most effective Mayor ever.
Ray is probably the best "Never Gerlach" candidate.
Nat would do a better job as mayor, but he'll be eviscerated in the Primary as a former Republican & raked over the coals for the mishegas about evicting tenants over the Covid lockdown (I know he intervened to make it right, but the optics of the initial letter will be fertile fodder for an AOC-esque demagogue like Ce-Ce).
Mr.Hyman I guess you forgot about the nasty letter you left to your tenants during a pandemic. You are wealthy man. They need someone who can represent the people who is not wealthy. Mr.Hyman you have conflict of interest with all your real estate properties
Mr. Hyman is really not a former Republican. He was a Democrat his whole life but switched to Republican to try to keep Allentown from shooting itself in the foot and reelecting Pawlowski. Of course, Ray's write in campaign ensured Pawlwoski's victory. When he came to my door while campaigning, I asked him about his Republican credentials and he was very honest with me and said that he only switched to beat Pawlowski. I voted for Mr. Hyman in both the primary and general election because I thought he was the best candidate for Allentown.
I voted for Mr. Hyman the first time and I hope to have the chance to support him again. Having said that, I wish I had higher hopes even if he does run. Watching a federally indicted Ed win because he knew how to the play the Allentown masses with birthday party and church visits showed me the general citizenry of Allentown doesn't pay much attention to facts, figures, or history when voting for a candidate. They vote for who makes them the most grandiose promises telling them whatever they want to hear never asking themselves how the candidate is going to achieve these goals. A smaller example of a Trump audience with a different party label.
So if you want to win in Allentown: Put on the clown outfit and start dancing.
I'll comment though I don't live in Allentown, I'm in rural Lehigh Co. but AM a Dem activist & have been familiar with Allentown since the mid-1970s. I'd support Hyman for certain, obviously caring & well-qualified. My one question for him would be: while the city NEEDS continued economic development & the NIZ has been working well, there are legit complaints that poorer residents aren't being lifted up. The rising tide, so essential for city finances & a more vibrant downtown atmosphere isn't lifting all boats. Does Mr. Hyman have any plans for how to spread job growth, personal econ. growth, and a better quality of life into the city's more downcast neighborhoods?
Ray was a school administrator--look what they did to the schools
Night terrors for a week again, my question would be what party is Nat going to run as in the party favor town?
"I'll comment though I don't live in Allentown, I'm in rural Lehigh Co. but AM a Dem activist & have been familiar with Allentown since the mid-1970s. I'd support Hyman for certain, obviously caring & well-qualified. My one question for him would be: while the city NEEDS continued economic development & the NIZ has been working well, there are legit complaints that poorer residents aren't being lifted up."
This is a common refrain from Democrats who live in the nearly all-white affluent suburban and rural areas of Lehigh County. Here's an idea to lift up the poor: let's build public housing complexes in Parkland, East Penn, N. Lehigh and NW Lehigh School Districts so that poor families can also move out of Allentown and their children can get an equal shot at a quality education. You should take this idea to you local Township officials, as a Democrat activist you can feel good about yourself and I'm sure you will want to pay the increased taxes.
"Ray was a school administrator--look what they did to the schools"
I totally agree with you...Ce Ce will be 10 times worse than Ray
"Night terrors for a week again, my question would be what party is Nat going to run as in the party favor town?"
He can and must run as a Democrat.
"He can and must run as a Democrat."
He IS a Democrat! Hyman changed to Republican momentarily to try to save our city from Fed Ed and then after that election changed back to Democrat. He was such a solid candidate that he won the Republican primary in a landslide after telling all the Republican voters why he switched to the Rep party. I'm a Republican and I voted for him. And if he runs as a Democrat, I will switch my party for the first time in 50 years to vote for him. The other Dems are trying to paint him as a party switcher because they know he is so far above them in ability that is their only hope.
Latest rumor is that Hyman is dropping out in support of O'Connell. I don't live in Allentown but if it's true I'd be now pulling for Matt Tuerk or perhaps Julio Guridy who's a responsible business owner & councilman.
Scott Mccloud : You missed the whole point of Mr. Hyman's letter and this column! Mr. Hyman pulled out so everyone would get behind O'Connell. Tuerk and Giurdy have no chance. So voting for them is a vote for Cece
I have been around the globe and found out that the political leadership is a symptom of those in the region. When candidates such as those on the Allentown ticket step up or more appropriately slide their names in it speaks to the hierarchy of the political establishment and the area. The reality is the crappier the candidates the more downtrodden and abused the region. Hitler, Mussolini, and Castro were historic examples. Putin and Maduro are more modern examples. Trump is a current example. When the populace is abused, lackadaisical, un engaged, and basically lost hope all bets are off. And most of the time there is just a downward spiral into something very scary. To use Tuerk as an example how much do you think Don C and the previously corrupts political structure in and around Allentown come to bare. And dig deeper into all the candidates. Are they doing it because of what they can do? Are they campaigning on a destruction of their opponents? Or are they doing it to make others more powerful or more money? We as a country, region, and locality need to stop the continued promotion and support of F-ups, failures, and fools who are only in it for themselves, their own perceived power or most importantly their bank account.
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