Jan 5, 2009
Without a doubt, Pawlowski is the most political mayor Allentown has ever had. Although even his own controller, Bill Hoffman, stated there is no uncertainty that taxpayers will have to augment shortfalls in the pension funds, Pawlowski says no one knows for sure that the stock market will not sufficiently rebound. Knowing that the investment market has punished the pension funds by almost 50%, there is no question that Pawlowski is being political in this election year; he has proposed no tax increase or cut backs for 2009. Pawlowski, and his finance director Larry Hilliard, have their fingers crossed that the state will provide aid and also allow municipalities to reimburse the pension shortfall over a longer period of time. On another pension issue, I do support his deferred retirement option plan, which would allow experienced officers to qualify for the lucrative pension under the expiring contract, yet continue working. After losing over 80 officers because of Afflerbach's contract, we must try to retain the senior officers. Although this plan will cost the taxpayers an additional premium, it's value for the money, something not often seen recently in Allentown.