May 7, 2010

Poverty Square


City Council Wednesday evening continued supplying currency to the poverty magnet. If things go according to plan, there will be a new low income tower at center square. The new building would be directly across the street from the existing Pennrose project, another income restricted, tax free project. First let me correct some misconceptions, such as appears on Pam Varkony's blog today. City Council approved the plan 6 to 0, not 5 to 1; had Julio been present, the vote would have been unanimous.(there was an amendment to separate the funding for the Corporate Plaza low income housing project from the other development grants, it failed 5 to 1. In the final vote to approve the overall funding the vote was 6-0) Charlie Versaggi's suggestions, not unlike Michael Schlossberg's sentiments, are the problem, certainly not solutions or" voices in the wilderness." Allentown doesn't need better housing stock for the low income, apparently they find the existing stock attractive enough to keep moving here. I'm glad that the Versaggi's and Varkony's of Allentown are finally realizing that we have too many low income, now let me suggest some solutions. We must stop building shiny new low income projects; "Build it and they will come." City Council felt it had to approve the plan because it was tied to the other Community Development Federal Funds, and how can we, in these tough times, turn down funds? We should turn down these funds because each year the community keeps becoming poorer and poorer with them. Some CDBG, if the community qualifies through an overall poverty level, can be used for infrastructure; we qualify. We should not have built Overlook Park (former Hanover Acres and Riverview Terrace). The current funds are designated to acquire and improve existing housing stock. Federal renovation funds require too many income restrictions for the community's best interest. Even the current Stimulus Money to prevent evictions and homelessness is a problem; too often eviction prevention funds are used as" move in" money for more new arrivals. In 2007 I wrote;
According to The Morning Call, Federal grants for affordable housing are a windfall with no downside; nothing could be further from the truth. In the first place they promote the area's biggest myth, that there is a shortage of low-income housing. The constant migration of poor people to the Valley should convince any objective person that in reality we must have a surplus of cheap housing. What we do have, is highly successful professional advocates for the poor, funded by such grants, who have created a poverty magnet. At some point we must ask ourselves, is it possible to attract more low-income people than we have the capacity to support? Can our economic demographics become so bottom heavy that we decrease the quality of life for the overall community? If we ever truly wish to restore Allentown, the Lehigh Valley must learn to say no thank you to those funds that perpetuate  our demise

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mike,

While the rest of the nation has demolished their failed high rise low income residences Allentown moves forward with one. The stupidity knows no limit here.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

MM said-

"...they promote the area's biggest myth, that there is a shortage of low-income housing. The constant migration of poor people to the Valley should convince any objective person that in reality we must have a surplus of cheap housing."

Beauty's in the eye of the beholder, and so is the perception of "affordable housing." Problem seems to be that Allentown (and L.V.) sure look affordable, compared with NYC, NJ. Just like drugs I'm afraid. If a dealer can sell an ounce for twice the amount here, he sets up shop here. In real estate, we have inadvertantly drawn the persons looking to flee the metro areas. "Discover Allentown" should be the mayor's catch phrase because (for good or bad) that's what has happened to the city. So far, Allentown's gotten the very worst of this deal.


Voice of reason (VOR)

Michael Donovan said...

Hi Michael:

I posted the following at Pam Varkony's blog and will do so at mine.

Hi Pam,

The newspaper wrote an ambiguous story that I'll clarify here and at my blog.

1) I spent considerable time asking questions about the entire CDBG bill because I questioned, among other concerns:
a. Why so much of the funds are used for general fund expenditures "linked" to community development? About $1,500,000 out of $3,500,000 (There are other CDBG funds. However, those are associated with construction projects -- like the 7th street housing/retail.
b. The correlation between an agency's request, the grant score, and the final grant recommendation.
c. Why is that the Allentown Health Department can run a summer program for 250 to 300 children at a cost of about $46,000, and we cannot find more money for such programs?


2) After this, I tried to separate the project from the entire CDBG bill. The solicitor said that was not possible. I withdrew that request.

3) I moved to strike the project from the bill. I gave my reasons:
a. I had voted for the cell phone bill when I really did not want to and woke up the next day regretting my vote because it was inconsistent with the criteria I use to handle city/state jurisdiction.

b. My economic development experience said that this project did not fit the location and I wanted to keep the city's options open as the economy returns, energy prices increase, and a "logical" economic/development strategy is developed.

c. The project was not placed within the context of an overall city plan, which needs to include socio and economic strategies.

d. I did not want to wake up on Thursday and say that I did not try to get my message across.

4) The vote on the amendment was 1 (yes) and 5 (no). I was the yes vote.

5) There was an additional $234,000 added to the bill labled as "Economic Development Program." However, the administration could not yet say how that money was to be used. Council added an amendment noting that council musst be involved in the decision process for that money. As usual, the administration, while accepting the amendment, noted that the Mayor has disbursement and control responsibility.

It was a long night. Hope the above clarifies.

michael molovinsky said...

mr. donovan, thank you for your comment. i must however add that the final vote on the whole CDBG bill, which included the Corporate Plaza Grant, was 6 to 0.

Michael Donovan said...

Woops! Michael, you are right, and I planned on having that as one of the points. I got wrapped up in the other details and added the information about the $234,000

I sincerely apologize, and will not the fact at Pam's and my blog.

Michael Donovan said...

Here is what I added at my blog:

6) I DID NOT INCLUDE THIS IN THE ORIGINAL POST because I forgot to. My apologies. I was wrapped up in explaining my reasons for the amendment. I voted for the entire CDBG bill because I felt the other programs (or at least most) were ok. I know some people will not like that I did, but I felt it was needed. This the problem with the charter and the strong Mayor form of government. We often are put into a squeeze play. There are a variety of edicts on how the CDBG plan is estabish that come from the administration and beyond our control. The CDBG plan had to be submitted to the Federal Government by 5/14. In other words, if we did not vote for the plan, many deserving community agencies would have lost funding.

Anonymous said...

Well, Mr. Molovinsky, What was the actual vote? Are we to believe Councilman Donovan didn't even know what he voted? You mean...like I voted for it before I voted against? Where have we heard that before.

Are these units going to permit children? If so, might you know how many per unit? The reason we ask if it this high rise brings several hundred new school age students to the city, the call for a new elementary school is not far fetched. We can only imagine the "real" costs to taxpayers for this project. What happens if this high rise results in Allentown taxpayers eventually paying annual sums of more than the initial funding?

michael molovinsky said...

mr. donovan, city council always votes yes, so as not to penalize a certain good cause or comply with some time line for grants. until which time the council decides to exert themselves and vote no, the weakness exists with them, not with the form of government. unfortunately, we have reached the poverty level where CDBG funds could be used for infrastructure; HUD states that if the town is poor enough, capital improvements benefit everybody (i.e. the poor). all those worthy groups which are funded would simply have to resort to donations. likewise, allentown should get out of the real estate business, which they were never very good at in the first place. although some members of OAPA may appreciate the city buying a two unit for 130k, then spending another 150k to deconvert it, then selling it for 120k and losing 160k plus 20k more of administrative costs, i'd pass on that plan. we cannot afford to upgrade center city with that formula.

michael molovinsky said...

one time reply to private comment, but please, no more such questions or comments. the answer is no- both the accusations and the comments are fabricated.

Anonymous said...

MM & Michael Donovan -

I can't agree more with MM's comment that the vote on Wednesday is not a problem with our charter or form of government. It is a problem with City Council.

If the administration knows that council will continue to vote "yes" (in this case because the administration brought something to council close to a deadline), what motivation does the administration have to change?

When a councilman believes he has no power, it is time for that councilman to leave office and pass the torch to someone willing to fight for the taxpayers.

By the way, I find it appalling that - while the city continues to slide deeper into poverty - members of city council are willing to continually vote for more of the same funding that is funding the decline.

I'm reminded of the definition of insanity, and can't help but wonder if the ideology of our council members is blinding them to the fact that what the city is currently doing is not working.

The city sorely needs a new approach, and all I see in our elected officials are people who are making the city's slide into poverty more rapid.

Michael Donovan said...

Look, I first called for the offending project to be deleted. I lost.

However, I would not take away much needed funding to projects that in my book are ok. Could I have voted no? Of course.

I do not like at all how this works. But I resent the accusation that several of you have made. You may think I kow tow to the Mayor. Thank what you want.

Want a better government -- go to a council/manager form.

michael molovinsky said...

mr. donovan, first off let me publicly state that i consider you the city's most independent council person. also, you are by far, the most accessible. the irony is that pawlowski hired a manager anyway. that position costs the tax payers about $200 thousand a year, with secretary and benefits.

over on varkony's blog, she and versaggi are promoting this absurd idea that the problem with allentown is the slumlords and that two hundred buildings should be torn down. i don't know any slumlords who litter, double park, blast stereo's, or stab people. i do know politically correct people who are afraid to identify the real problem, the scumbags this city attracts through all the programs. programs administered through well intentioned people causing bad results. I would stop funding the programs. there was nothing in that CDBG that really benefits allentown. every-year the programs get funded, and every year the city gets worse. the scumbags are not here because they like the cold weather, or the yocco hotdogs, they are here because of the gravy train these programs provide- PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

Michael Donovan said...

Thank you, Michael, for the complement.

You know that you and I can disagree in a very respectful manner. While I agree that just saying no, might be appropriate, I feel that important activities end up being caught in the middle.

Instead, what is needed, and I have demanded repeatedly, is an actual, modern, productive community development strategy. I have often noted just how much such an item is missing.

Best regards,

Michael

michael molovinsky said...

i wrote;

" there was nothing in that CDBG that really benefits allentown."

some clarification is in order, although not all the organizations and programs are that beneficial, some are worthwhile. however, i believe the city would be better off putting the funds into capital improvements benefiting the taxpayers as a whole, rather than end up funding projects such as more low income housing and activities that end up attracting more low income to the area. even the most worthwhile organizations get peanuts compared to the real estate expenditures.

michael molovinsky said...

although the CDBG totals almost $5million, only $445 thousand goes to social organizations, the remainder funds problematic low income real estate problems and questionable solutions.

Anonymous said...

Recent Census Bureau findings indicate the average household size is increasing at a "significant" rate.

This means the number of individual and families in a home is increasing, probably due to the recession (depression).

This can be devestating on the housing market.

More houses unsold and vacant and more apartments vacant.

Those that are occupied are increasing in size.

Not good all around. So lets ad some more housing to the mix. Sounds reasonable to me.

Anonymous said...

One more reason for me not to go into downtown Allentown, as if I needed another. wearing a bullet proof vest is not my thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff --- call our neighbors with brown skin what they truly are,--- scumbags! I'm ready to defend the true America. No fags, niggers and jews!

michael molovinsky said...

anon 6:51, you should go over to villa's site, i suspect you know how to get there. yes, there are numerous scumbags in allentown, of all colors, including white. funny thing is that politically correct people have no problem calling a landlord a slumlord, but wouldn't call any of the tenants scumbags; simply because they fear the type of racist accusation you just made. they will come up with any alternative to avoid that reality, even proposing to tear down 200 buildings. who will make up the lost taxes? as i said before, it's neither the buildings or the landlords who litter, abandon pit bulls, double park, or lower the quality of life. now please go back to the real hate blog from which you came.

Anonymous said...

great point on the "slumlord" - "scumbag" analogy. I say let's get rid of them both---while we are at it, let's tear down all rental property. I believe this would return Allentown to the way is was. Home ownership is the way to go. I think we should offer sub-prime mortgages to the hard working low income people of the valley.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:41, fyi, most of the center city apartments, from converted row houses, were originally created after WW2, when the trend was small single houses, i.e, alton park. from the 50's through the 80's most of the tenants were either single or childless couples. the added density from the apartments allowed downtown allentown to thrive as a business district long pass most sister cities. the apartments were not a liability in any fashion, allentown was designated as an all american city during this period. now that the tenant base has changed dramatically, the public scapegoats the landlords as slumlords. of course the landlords would much prefer the old tenant base, as would the homeowners, and were not responsible for the demographic changes.

Anonymous said...

I did not realize this was going to be a tower.

I think some of our city councilors, or whatever the name is they call themselves, should look at the history of Chicago and it's PH tower debacle.

Isn't the mayor from Chicago?

So what was all the noise about The Traylor? Was Pawlowski just getting rid of any potential competition for his vertical slum?

Anonymous said...

Mr.Donovan, if council had the resolve to vote NO when presented with such bundled bills, the Mayor would be forced to resubmit the bills in a more specific maner. Or not. It's political chicken and council blinks every single time. Every time. Gridlock can sometimes be helpful as a short time strategy. As it is, Allentown has no system of checks and balances. For better or worse, the Mayor always wins. Why have a council at all? This city does not work, and it is running out of time. The citys own very able 7th St manager has said the idea of low income housing at this site is counter productive. Tick-tock,tick-tock.

Anonymous said...

Does the O.A,P.A. have a position on this new housing? Be interesting to hear what it is.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 10:01, i have not seen plans for the building or number of stories, however, to accommodate 53 apartments starting on the second floor, it will require a number of stories.


anon 10:27, from the same package bill passed wednesday evening, O.A.P.A. receives $35,000 cash, plus properties are being purchased with funds from the same package which serves their agenda. Pawlowski has been very helpful in many ways to that organization. although I have some issues with them, i.e. being too politically correct and some lack of candor, center city is certainly much better off because of them.

Michael Donovan said...

If many of you who complain would come to city council you would see that

I do fight.

Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

city council gets an important bill that it has no time to review and has to consider it on the spot, and vote then and there. council looks like silly, powerless fools. the administration makes a monkey of them again and again. council keeps comming back for more. this happens again and again and again and again. spineless, powerless, gutless, reckless. can council stand up to this even one time? this is a bad joke. where is democracy? who represemts the people?

michael molovinsky said...

anon 6:38, i too have been advocating for council to use their no vote as leverage. perhaps they could have anticipated the timing better, and insisted that the CDBG Bill be presented several weeks ago. the process is no surprise, every year the city must apply for the funds.

that said, i must concur with donovan that he and others have been vocalizing their displeasure with the administration at recent meetings. here in the blogosphere, where almost everyone comments anonymously, it's very easy to call council gutless. please remember that these are people who put themselves on the line, using their name, and giving their time to serve the city.

Anonymous said...

All Council does is kow tow. The best people have moved out or given up. To be crude but blunt, council eats the administrations shit. Why come to a meeting? To see it stacked with the Mayors church people? To see Council roll over? To watch the farce? To see good people and groups sell out for a few bucks? To see how little information Council has or how unprepaired they are? Ask friends or family who live elsewhere in the Lehigh Valley what they think of Allentown. Lots of people thought this Mayor was the last best chance. Look what has happrned. Wake up! Its bleak. So long downtown. So long ASD. So long parks. So long safty. So long council, thanks for nothing. So long "Queen City". It pains me to write this, I'm getting out. I used to eat at the "Brass Rail", don't tell me how safe the city is!

michael molovinsky said...

pawlowski, by background, is an advocate for the low income. he came to allentown as director for the alliance for building communities. he has no institutional memory of allentown, or how it was years ago. he never ate at the brass rail.

although i agree with you that council has enabled the mayor, why the surprise? all the current council members are of the same party, and were endorsed by the mayor.

Anonymous said...

MM:

Have never gotten anything out of a CC meeting other than frustration.

Anonymity - believe me when I say the inquisition is alive and well.

When the time comes I will ask you to publish the expose.

Anonymous said...

Pawlowski is an advocate for the poor to the extent it will bring him votes.

Same with his faith based community involvement.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 10:06, i do not share pawlowski's views, as a matter of fact i don't think they're in allentown's best interests, however, i have no basis to doubt his sincerity.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Allentown's mayor is from
Chicago where the sterling example of low income housing, Cabrini-Green, was built by the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) (wonder if Pawlowski ever worked there) "public housing development on Chicago's North Side. At its peak, Cabrini-Green was home to 15,000 people,[1] living in mid- and high-rise apartment buildings. Over the years, gang violence and neglect created terrible conditions for the residents, and the name "Cabrini-Green" became synonymous with the problems associated with public housing in the United States."

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky wrote: although i agree with you that council has enabled the mayor, why the surprise? all the current council members are of the same party, and were endorsed by the mayor.
May 8, 2010 7:24 PM

Please correct us if we're wrong, but didn't Pawlowski actually donate money to some of these council members election campaigns?

Michael Donovan said...

I do not Kow Tow.

Yes, Pawlowski did donate to my campaign. He actually promised more, but never lived up to his promise.

I ended up with $1,200 in debt for running.

One of my first actions was to question the pre-sale ordinance and he got mad at me. The committee that was formed helped to improve the communication about the the procedures, and I do think that the ordinance has its merits.

And quite frankly, I would urge you to be on a council. There are at least two perspectives in governing.....

One, pursue your own ideological agenda that would normally exclude all whom disagree with you

Two, work at being a professional whose job it is to decipher the good ideas that are out there and find common ground that ethically works for as many as possible.

I prefer the latter.

Unfortunately, it means pissing some people off, such as those who are spineless, powerless, gutless, reckless anonymous commentators.

Best regards,

Michael Donovan

Anonymous said...

michael molovinsky said...

"...that said, i must concur with donovan that he and others have been vocalizing their displeasure with the administration at recent meetings...."

********************************

MM -

Donovan - like Schweyer and Eichenwald - will be the next up for re-election (in 2011). It is their turn to voice displeasure and vote occasionally against the administration in order to appear independent. After the 2011 election, they can fall back in line and let the next group up for re-election voice THEIR displeasure in order to appear independent.

Donovan is particularly good at appearing "concerned" about all sides of an issue and "understanding" to everyone. It is an act. He is the new Marty Velasquez.

In the end, the democrats on council make sure the mayor gets what he (and council) wants. They are all in collusion. The sooner the voters realize this, the sooner we might get improvement.

Anonymous said...

Michael Donovan said...

"One of my first actions was to question the pre-sale ordinance and he got mad at me."

*********************************

Mr. Donovan -

Didn't you vote in favor fo the "pre-sale ordinance"?

Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately, it means pissing some people off, such as those who are spineless, powerless, gutless, reckless anonymous commentators."

And the point of this comment is? Perhaps to negate the comments of the Anonymous without any regard to why they might choose anonymity.

Sounds like stereotyping to me. Quickly the councilor is loosing power with the electorate.

Sounds like the typical bullying behavior of the administration.

Michael Donovan said...

Anon 11:29.

You are quite a jerk. And quite frankly, I'll say an asshole.

I haven't decided if I am going to run again. Why? Because of jerks like you. All you can do is bitch, not identify yourself and show no intelligence whatsoever. Yes, I said that.

Anon 11:32

If you had any brains or knowledge of history, you would learn that I was not on council when the presale was approved.

Again, yes I said that. You know I like listening to ideas and discussion, but after a while, you just want say WTF.

Have a good mothers' day people.

MM. I appreciate your putting up that information.

Michael Donovan said...

Anon 1:05.

Bullying? Oh come on....I'm suppose to sit back and be told these things by an anonymous entry.

Quite frankly, some of the stupid stuff here by anonymous entries just sucks.

Come out in the open. I dare you.

At least Michael and I are out in the open and say our piece.

I respect Michael for that, even if we disagree sometimes.

Oh...yes. Some of this stuff, today pisses me off. But I am human.

Guy Williams said...

MM,you took a lotta heat for the poverty magnet tag and all of a sudden I now hear others singing the same tune.This current mistake will only make matters worse.It never ceases to amaze me that we dont learn from past successes or failures.Fact:After the war there was a terrible need for affordable housing.Homes and land were purchased and whole neiborhoods sprang up.Midway manor,alton park.walden terrace,westbrook park,hamilton park and even your neiborhood little lehigh manor[to name a few] provided quality of life{relatively speaking] unmatched in our cities history. Versaggi plan is flawed unless you tear down whole blocks making land developer ready.The 60s brought apartment developments and conversions all over this city.Some were successful long term investments some quick buck. after 20 years were sold off, banqrupt etc.Homes may suffer from neglect but nothing is worse then the abuse of apartments.The city only helped in creating housing after the war.We cant seem to grip the causes and solutions.One may be book smart but what happened to common sense. We have been here before,Leroy Bogert from the 16th ward fought for common sense about housing.We didnt learn a damm thing from him either.

Anonymous said...

Michael Donovan said...
Anon 11:29.

You are quite a jerk. And quite frankly, I'll say an asshole.


Whatever someone says to and about Councilman Donovan, he is also a college professor and using disgusting terminology should have been beneath him.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Saturday at midnight is a perfect time to entertain, outdoors of course, where sound travels through row houses like a hurricane. Not so on Tilghman where some guys decided to not only party, but host a cook-out at midnight.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:46, i can well understand donovan's frustration, people commenting anonymously feel free to say anything, but people who post under their name must be restrained 24/7 regardless of what is said to them?

Anonymous said...

Michael Donovan said...

"...you would learn that I was not on council when the presale was approved."

**********************************

Ah yes, forgive me.

You formed a committee to talk (and talk, and talk) about the ordinance. Not to do anything about it - just to talk (and talk, and talk) about it.

After all, you ARE the new Marty Velasquez on council.

Had you been on council when the "pre-sale ordinance" was introduced, you surely would have approved it. You see, the city needs more money - and it has to be raised any way possible without having it labeled a tax increase.

That's why council has approved increased landlord inspection "fees" (beyond the actual cost of inspections); cell phone bans that violate state law; increases in trash fees; "inspection" fees when you sell your home; etc; etc; etc.

Anything possible to shake the Allentown taxpayer down for their last dime. And then they're jerks when they point it out.

gary ledebur said...

I see the "poverty magnet" issue is popular but if your are serious about improving the city you have to have more to offer. By disparaging the poor (scumbags as you call them) you put off a whole lot of folks, me included, and miss the opportunity to lead the community. You have talent. Start by proposing what you would do with CDBG. That would be interesting.

Anonymous said...

MM, I don't see any anon posters calling Donovan obscene names, only Donovan responding to critics with obsceneties.

michael molovinsky said...

gary, between 1990 and1994 the CDBG was used for sidewalk replacement. Allentown replaced all the sidewalks between 4th and 7th, and they needed it. At the same time they conducted a logical, justified, and fair systematic inspection of all the buildings given these new walks and curbs. Had that program been continued, the entire center city would have benefited by now.

anon 7:00, i will accept no more comments concerning donovan's choice of words on one or two comments out of hundreds he has posted on his blog and elsewhere; as he said, he's just human.

michael molovinsky said...

gary, i don't believe that most or even many poor are "scumbags". however, the quality of life in center city has been reduced because of noise, litter and crime by some low income, who do not value the same life style as many of the more middle class.

gary ledebur said...

Well, if you want to enhance Allentown, it will take more than sidewalks. What investments, allowable under CDBG, will build a middle class which I think is your goal? I think you could lead a movement to reform how Allentown uses CDBG by pushing an alternate agenda. I do not know city council but my experience is that elected officials do not want to build a "poverty class" but a middle class. They need ideas and information. They need an alternative proposal and with compromise all can benefit.

Anonymous said...

nice shooting saturday afternoon on 7th street in broad-daylight during "prime shopping hours"

i'm just sorry i wasn't patronizing a 7th street establishment with my hard-earned money at the time...

...you know, so i could have a neato cultural experience

ROLF OELER

PS - this city was never like this 20 years ago

SORRY, NEWCOMERS and APOLOGISTS WITH FAULTY / CONVENIENT MEMORIES

it just wasn't

Anonymous said...

With respect to Councilman Donovan and M.M., people who work in the City or County system, or the ASD, or their venders, or those people with friends or families members who do, or groups that get modest funding from those systems, are afraid to speak up without the cover of anonaminity. The political environment in Allentown is mean spirited, vindictive, and bullying. There is gentlemen, a climate of fear. Good people are burned out or feel oppertunities for meaningful involvement are not welcomed. Mr. Donovan, you are a student of history, that protection is an American tradition that predates the American Revolution. Courageous? No. A sometimes necessary American tradition ? Yes. Your comittment to Allentown is commendable Mr. Donovan, no less so because this writer will not use her name.

Michael Donovan said...

I respect the need for someone to post anonymously for the reasons cited by 4:12.

However, I do find that those who post anonymously with name calling (yes, I get my share, and I do not like it), can feel my rath, too.

I suppose I could comment anonymously and say things, in particular in support of me, but I don't.

I do care about this city. I do get tired of the naysayers.

Thank you, Michael, for keeping the dialogue open.

Michael

Anonymous said...

Mr. Donovan; yes, you give your time and you speak out. Thank you for that. Council as a whole has been saying for ***AT LEAST 3YEARS*** , that yes, there ARE irregularities with the CDBG process. And yes, Council SHOULD be more involved and provide additional oversight. And yes, we Council, WILL DO THAT. Not everyone is asleep. The people of Allentown have heard this again and again. At least you, Mr. Donovan, listen and respond. The rest of Council should be embarassed and ashamed. The same old tired song over and over. Is it any wonder people don't go to council meetings? There are no checks and balances in this town. People are tired and dispirited. In Bethlehem and Easton people disagree but there is a sense of involvement and hope. You can feel it on the street. Allentown seems hopeless. When the markets breaks, just a little, after 39 years here our home is up for sale and our family is leaving here. No,I'm sorry,I will not use my name.

Michael Donovan said...

Dear 454.

You do not have to use your name for a very well expressed opinion.

I understand your frustration.

I do try, and I am sorry if I disappoint you or others. It is not easy to balance competing interests.

Best regards,

Michael Donovan

Anonymous said...

MM, if you want to stop Allentown from being the "poverty magnet," I suggest that you start attending the Allentown Housing Authority meetings. They are public. You will find more than enough to be outraged about there. They need a watchdog in the worst way.

Anonymous said...

michael molovinsky said...
anon 10:01, i have not seen plans for the building or number of stories, however, to accommodate 53 apartments starting on the second floor, it will require a number of stories.

...count on 5 - 6.

Allentown needs jobs, workers, a middle-class and projects that in the end, produce tax revenues.

Otherwide, Allentown is just fine.


VOR