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?