May 27, 2010

A Failure Called Allentown

My last letter to the editor, (Morning Call) explained how Mayor Pawlowski's one hand didn't know what the other

hand was doing, thus the bunny hop for Allentown, instead of progress.
The letter, short to begin with, had several key sentences and its meaning deleted out, so now I blog. I don't know

what Pawlowski's strong suit is, but it's not business (or housing). In the early fall, in a blotched attempt at improving the street scene, the bus riders where relocated to the former Morning Call parking lot, now known as the Lanta Terminal. The consequence is a virtual empty Hamilton Street with merchants suffering revenue reductions up to 40%. While the city on one hand offers grants, other starting food businesses are submitted to a bureaucracy exceeding hospital operating room standards.
What's probably most pathetic, is someone can push a hot dog cart up to the side of the Lanta Terminal Fiasco, and do more business than either someone put through the city hall inspection wringer or those receiving taxpayer funded grants.


reprinted from April 1, 2008, it was no joke then or now

Although I'm glad that City Council is beginning to question the distribution and value of grants in Allentown, this blog has been ringing that bell for years. Today's Morning Call Story.

Related Posts from this blog
Pawlowski's Magic Hat, May 11, 2008
Jerry and the Cookie Lady
Penny Wise, Grant Foolish
Reality In Short Supply
Tip for Snooks
for more posts on the failed grants of Allentown, use my search engine on upper right of page; there are over 40 posts on this subject


Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky,
Since you are addressing city funded grants, perhaps one of your readers can bring us up-to-date on the Bennett Toyota redevelopment of the former Exide brownfield on Lehigh at Vultee. Wasn't this car dealership slated to open this fall?

Anonymous said...

Oh, Mr. M., Housing...the mayor's a skilled housing executive--we can't wait for the new low income highrise about 50 feet from the Soldiers Monument at 7th.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 7:31, please keep in mind that this is a reprint of a post from two years ago. i suppose i'm too egoistical to not credit myself for items now being "discovered" by the MSM and City Council

actually pawlowski is experienced in housing, however, unfortunately, his expertise is in the low income section

Anonymous said...

Bureau of Planning and Zoning

The Bureau of Planning and Zoning is responsible for a variety of activities as it carries out its mission of providing direction for the future growth and development of the city. On any given day, staff in the bureau can be working with a neighborhood group to resolve a particular issue or can be involved in the review of a major development proposal. In between those activities is time to do the analytical work that is generally associated with Planning, work that involves the collection and analysis of data that help tell the story about the current condition of the city and its people, and what challenges may lie ahead.

Well managed and healthy cities are the result of effective planning and decision making that takes into account the long term effects of those decisions and their potential impact on other aspects of the city. For example, a decision to build a new park or other community facility should consider not only the cost or the public's desire for the facility, but should also take into account the specific needs of the community it is intended to serve; its impact on the surrounding neighborhood; and the ability to provide for its upkeep and maintenance. Zoning and land use decisions must take into consideration the impact that certain land uses will have on the city's tax base as well as their impact on traffic, compatibility with surrounding areas and their impact on municipal services. The staff of the Bureau of Planning and Zoning, often working closely with other city bureaus help to make those determinations. All of the bureau's activities can be grouped into the following program categories:
Courtesy of
City of Allentown Web site:

Does the city follow its own regulations in terms of LANTA
empowerment over others? Comments welcomed.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:54, in this morning's Morning Call story by jarrett renshaw, link provided in post, the administration conceded that they had no guidelines or followup on the grants they disbursed. the community development director at the time, joyce marin, seemed to concentrate on the little weekly 2 hour, 4 vendor, summertime farmers market.

Anonymous said...

I am curious...

What was the first-ever business opened in Allentown (which would have been known as Northampton Town back then)?

Did it get a government grant to get started?

Keep paying its rent?

Maintain its payroll?

It is amazing these days that anybody actually makes it out of bed in the morning without the assistance of government (tax-payer provided) funding.

Anonymous said...

The sweet day is coming when Ed will get his fair rewards. He had many chances to support the hard working people who were putting their own money into projects throughout the city but instead he chose to line up with the big shots. He helped PPL steal millions from the citizens of Allentown when he was directly involved in the charade that placed PPL Energy Plus in a KOZ. That move alone cost the city between $150-500 million in business privilege taxes. He stood by while his minions destroyed the hard work and investment of anyone who dared to develop outside of his golden rectangle (basically the weed and seed area). He had many chances to really improve Allentown but, I truly believe, he did not and does not possess the talent. I'll be clapping with both hands Ed when you finally fall - all 4.5 feet of you. Yours truly, BlueMayorSmurf.

michael molovinsky said...

dear blue mayor, i believe the site was put into KOZ by heydt

Jim Golds said...

I researched it myself, Eddie's hands are deep in that one. Heydt once publicly stated that PPl gave more to musicfest that to the City of HamiltonStreet (aka, sometime, Allentown). Heydt wouldn't have given the store away like Ed. If you have access to TMC's online archives, just search for PPL Energy Plus and KOZ. You'll find the proof, it's well documented. Ed Pawlowski was directly involved.

michael molovinsky said...

jim, the following from the archives:

Now, the city is looking at having that block's development complement PPL's plans. [William L. Heydt] said the city wanted to wait until after PPL's announcement to begin the bidding.

Indeed, PPL Chairman William F. Hecht said the new office building for PPL Energy Resources, the corporation's energy trading subsidiary, would have been built in the suburbs if not for the KOZ.

PHOTO by FRANK WIESE, The Morning Call; [Sam McCullough] (right), state secretary of economic and community development, tours downtown Allentown Thursday with City Councilwoman Pam Varkony and other city leaders. McCullough had a look at the old [Hess]'s site, where + PPL plans to construct an eight-story building.

article from nov. 16, 2001. heydt was still mayor, the site was already KOZ through heydt.