Jul 20, 2010

Another Meathead Idea


Sal Panto, Easton's recycled mayor, has another idea. The owners of vacant properties will be fined; The longer the vacancy, the higher the fine. The ordinance will be based on the program from Wilmington, Delaware . All the meatheads borrow idea's from other municipalities; it's how you grow bureaucracies and cultivate mediocrity. Of course the only thing worst than a vacant property, is a property with a bad tenant. With all the bad apples rolling around out there, it takes a conscientious landlord a long time to find a good tenant; now he will be punished for his due diligence. Allentown also has such an ordinance in the works. If you like Allentown now, wait until every apartment unit is filled. We will have to speed up the low income conveyor belt from New York and New Jersey. Love those meatheads.
Each administration passes more and more ordinances. In fact, you cannot legislate pride of ownership. So far we have code inspections, rental inspections, point of sale inspections, and now a proposed vacancy registration; just clueless bureaucrats scanning sister cities for more ordinances, how far this All-American city has fallen.



I have once again removed word verification for comments

19 comments:

monkey momma said...

Just so I understand...what is the city's argument for fining owners of vacant buildings? I honestly don't understand what the fine is good for, other than a money grab by the local govternment.

michael molovinsky said...

they feel that long term vacant buildings are blight, which is true in some cases. however, the idea of forcing a property owner, through fines, to find a tenant for his building will have unintended negative consequences. ironically, the city of allentown recently owned up to 100 unsightly buildings, which were bought by heydt to keep out of the "wrong hands".

gary ledebur said...

"Well, let me tell you one thing about Richard E. Nixon. He knows how to keep his wife, Pat, home. Roosevelt could never do that with Eleanor. She was always out on the loose. Running around with the coloreds. Tellin' 'em they was gettin' the short end of the stick. She was the one who discovered the coloreds in this country; we never knew they was there!" ----------------------- Archie Bunker

Anonymous said...

You're joking, right? What do you mean vacant properties?
Commercial buildings; apartments, houses? What? Allentown has hundreds of vacant properties
including its own one beautiful farm house at Dixon and Mack Blvd now in ruin. And what about the two-story brick office building directly across from American on Wheels
that for years has been vacant?
Isn't that owned by the city? Someone recently wrote that more than 400 vacant properties exist in Allentown. How does someone
find that kind of information?

michael molovinsky said...

anon 12:27. you're correct, some of the worst properties are owned by the city, and have been vacant for over a decade.

Anonymous said...

I should think that there are ENOUGH potential pitfalls for any prospective entrepreneur looking to get into the real estate business to BEGIN WITH.

I can understand levying a fine for a property owner whose vacant property is in disrepair.

However, if all taxes are up to speed and the condition of the property is good --- I see ABSOLUTELY no reason to PUNISH a property owner because he / she might be unlucky finding a suitable and performing tenant.

"a money grab by government" is about right.

END OF DISGUSTING STORY

Rolf Oeler

gary ledebur said...

If the goal is getting rid of blighted empty houses and buildings why doesn't this blog, other blogs, the media or community spirited Allentonions take pictures of the properties and publish them with the names of the owners? Picketing and embarrassing the key offenders would be helpful. Community action is needed and it works. Just complaining about government is all to easy and not terribly helpful.

michael molovinsky said...

gary, they have that program, "landlord hall of shame" and every other program the bureaucrats can find elsewhere. what they don't understand is that you cannot legislate pride of ownership. they don't need more ordinances, they need leadership that understands the apartment business, which allentown considers it's biggest problem.

gary ledebur said...

Michael:

You missed my point completely. I do not believe government is the answer. There are lots of folks in Allentown who care about blight and would be willing to step up and act. Railing against the bureaucrats is not what makes communities thrive. It is common folks, some with blogs, all with voices, that can start a movement. I have seen neighborhoods change in Philly with concerned citizens getting involved. They need a leader. Hold some ralliess, start some meetings, act.

michael molovinsky said...

gary, in the objective sense allentown doesn't really have blight, at least not yet. ironically, many of the distressed properties became that way under city ownership. the current and former mayor haven't followed through on pledges to return property to private ownership. there is public resentment against landlords, who they mistakenly think encouraged the massive low income migration to allentown. this misconception allows the city to enact one failed legislation after another, which fail to identify real solutions.

i have organized a number of public meetings on what i believe are problems facing the city. i also input my suggestions through other various venues.

Anonymous said...

If you have some free time why not do a cross-search on the Mayor's slum landlord award-winners from a year ago and see if even one of those properties has been fixed up. Actually, now that we think about it, has the mayor even awarded one "landlord of the year" presentation to anyone this year? What happened to that program?

Anonymous said...

gary ledebur said...

If the goal is getting rid of blighted empty houses and buildings why doesn't this blog, other blogs, the media or community spirited Allentonions take pictures of the properties and publish them with the names of the owners? Picketing and embarrassing the key offenders would be helpful. Community action is needed and it works. Just complaining about government is all to easy and not terribly helpful.

July 21, 2010 4:42 PM

Gary's right but to publish anything in a newspaper is very expensive. To place such photos on a blog could work but isn't there's a security and safety concern for a blogger if
he/she irritates a particular landlord?

Anonymous said...

Isn't this blog supposed to be about Allentown?

Actually, the idea is a good one. Go, Sal!

michael molovinsky said...

anon 7:17, actually i did do a post on that subject, titled "neglect has it's reward". two of the hall of shame properties were purchased by the city, at more than the landlord ever hoped to receive on the open market.

local said...

Michael,
Where would a list of city owned properties be located?
The list - with pictures - would make a lovely web site.
Title it "Allentown Properties of Distinction".

michael molovinsky said...

anon 7:07, most of the properties were acquired during the heydt administration. many have now been distributed to various other agencies, such as the redevelopment authority.

Anonymous said...

The properties that are owned by the Redevelopment Authority can be found on their website. Also, they tell you what their status is in regards to the property.

Anonymous said...

Some properties are owned by the Allentown Redevelopment Authority and some are owned by ACIDA, the Allentown Commercial Industrial Development Authority, managed by the staff at the Allentown Economic Development Corporation.

These organizations are separate from "The City." Their professional staff answers to separate boards of directors (although their offices are in City Hall).

The meetings of ACIDA and the Allentown Housing Authority are public meetings held in City Hall. Any member of the public can attend them and have their questions answered.

My understanding is that these organizations work hard with limited staff and resources to find higher and better uses for the properties they hold. They are actively looking for people to invest in and improve these properties.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 3:10, as you may well know, the board of directors are chosen by the mayor, making these organizations less "separate" than your comment implies.