Sep 27, 2010

In Praise of Panto

Easton's Mayor Sal Panto has proposed something I have advocated in Allentown for years; Using the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) strictly for city purposes. Politically, it's tough love. The Minsi Trail Scouting Program was requesting $15,000, and Girl Scouts, especially Brownies, know how to cry. In Easton the total CDBG is $990,000, and there is a $2.6 million city budget gap for 2011. In Allentown, the multi million dollar grant feeds the poverty magnet; it finances the social agencies who rely on fresh low income clients. In addition to lowering the burden on taxpayers, city use of the grant money would gradually reduce the workload created by a transient population.

Shown in the photo is Mayor Panto with the Brownies and Cub Scouts, before he announced the cutback.


gary ledebur said...

Ronald Reagan taught us that whatever we subsidize, we get more of. The CDBG should be used for economic development not social services. As the former Director of Social Services for the City of Philadelphia, I always resisted this temptation.

Patrick McHenry said...

MM -

I've often wondered if CDBG funds could be used to pay HIGH income people to move into the city.

I think that would do more to change the targeted areas than the usual government approaches.

Anonymous said...

This weekend John Stossel hosted a TV special on welfare in America. Many of the guests said they were encouraged to stay on welfare, enticed by attractive free housing and lots of available free money.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mayor Panto is the ONLY LV city mayr to finish 2009 with a surplus. It appears that he'll be finishing 2010 with a surplus, too, and is doing his best to avoid a tax hike in 2011. He ran on 2 platforms - clean and safe. He has increased the size of both police and fire departnments and I now see streetsweepers on side streets, something unheard of in aston for decades. I am pleased to see you praise him despite your differences with him concerning the LANTA station in Easton.

michael molovinsky said...

the following comment was submitted by an anonymous, but never appeared;Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "In Praise of Panto":

A lot to be said here. Maybe people from Allentown should visit, to learn from, the people from Easton.

While I believe that allowances should be made for individuals depending on the economy, Allentown has far surpassed the limit on being prudent in this area.

It does, however, ensure a committed electorate for those handing out the cash. Isn't that what Pawloski community building is all about?

People need to work for what they earn or feel entitled to.

If they don't, the marginal utility of employment will have no meaning and fewer and fewer individuals will seek education or meaningful jobs.

I agree with the comment above. I would love to see some of our strategic foundation based philan"throw"pists move into Allentown and learn what life in the city is really like.

Do they have the stomach for it, I doubt it? The pioneer spirit left many of them long ago.

They prefer to treat Allentown as a lab from which they can do their research and write their scholarly musing, much of which turns out to be nothingness anyway.

It is always easier to point to the "best practices" of others instead of developing your own.

Anonymous said...

It does, however, ensure a committed electorate for those handing out the cash. Isn't that what Pawloski community building is all about?

What has Pawlowski's hall of shame landlord program done to correct any of the chronic downtown housing issues?

Anonymous said...

Enroute to work in Allentown today one sees mattresses on sidewalks and garbage blowing in the wind.

Anonymous said...

Pawlowski in Washington to accept small business grant funds but it seems as if he ignores the safety of his city residents as it continues to decline. We wish the new Sixth St. elegant restaurant the very best for success, but who will dine there remains to be seen.

How many deaths is this latest stabbing? Didn't another resident die over the weekend or is this that stabbing?

"A man found shot in Allentown in the area of Fountain and Walnut streets Monday night has died, Allentown police said.

Police were dispatched to the area at 10:08 p.m. and found the man lying in the road in the 100 block of S. Fountain Street. City paramedics transported him to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, where he was pronounced dead at 12:09 a.m. Tuesday, police said."

Anonymous said...

Hall of Shame - In other words let's make life unbearable for the property owner and maybe he/she will sell to the city at a bargain price just to escape their wrath.

In some circles they might call that extortion.

How many of these properties are in or near The Zone.