The following letter was sent to Michael Donovan from a center city resident. Although I am reproducing the letter with permission from the writer, he wishes to remain anonymous. He lives in the roughest part of town, in the belly of the beast.
I am writing to express my surprise and dismay upon receiving yet another citation from the City of Allentown.
This time a street cleaning ticket. THIS ONE IS FOR 50.00!! It states repeat offender.
I have lived in this city for more than twenty years. I pay plenty of taxes.
I also pay a man to sweep the area in front of my house every single day.
This is unbelievable - I work an all night and come home to no available parking on the non-sweeping side of the street.
By the time I get up I have a ticket on each of my vehicles, one labeled repeat offender.
Michael, I believe you are probably the most reasonable and approachable member of our city council as well as being on the board of the APA.
So I am asking you, just who thought this was a good idea?
People get sick, meetings run long, stuff happens.
Is this really how to construct a GOOD neighborhood?
Now I am in the pool for the city to collect fifty dollars at a time?
This policy is unbelievable and unconscionable.
I realize that the city is hurting for money, but this is not the way to raise revenue.
Sweep tickets, APA tickets, all kinds of inspections, fees to visit fish, and what else?
I really wanted to have a good experience living in this city.
I have done my civic duty.
I fought for years to close down Trinkles bar.
The results of that closing were immediate and positive.
We almost have a real neighborhood here now.
You must not allow the city to tax/fine/extort this kind of money from cash strapped intercity residents.
I will not pay 50.00 for a street sweeping ticket.
The insult is further compounded because there is no redress to these matters prior to the escalation of the fine fee.
No good will come from the City of Allentown continually stepping on the very citizens that stabilize our neighborhoods.
You may absolutely use my post.
I would much appreciate this on your blog.
Mr. Donovan also stated that a 10% tax increase would be preferable to the nickel diming that is occurring across the spectrum here in the city.
So far the city has gotten me this year for much more than a 10% tax hike would have cost.
If instead of hiring more people to issue more citations - producing an endlessly growing circle of pain, maybe we should end the sweep program, disband the parking authority, the redevelopment authority - hell, anything ending with the word authority..... and not stop there.