Nov 9, 2010

The Nickel and Diming of Allentown

Everybody keeps telling the Allentown taxpayer that their increase is only twenty five cents a day, two thin dimes and a nickel. Two thin dimes and a nickel for Cunningham, because when times are tough, the demand on county service is higher. Mayor Pawlowski will have your employer deduct his dimes at work, with an increase in the Earned Income Tax. New school superintendent Zahorchak supports the new city taxing plan, guess why? Yesterday he announced a new position, Chief Turnaround Officer; “The creation of the chief turnaround officer position is another step in our goal of ensuring that every student is prepared to go to college or successfully complete post-secondary schooling,” explains Superintendent Gerald L. Zahorchak, D.Ed.
Silly me, I thought that was his job! He's creating about a dozen new administrative jobs, how many nickels and dimes will that cost? The real estate boom in Pennsylvania was largely caused by excessive taxation in New Jersey; where are you going to move to now?
related articles:
The Morning CallPPL Opposes Mayor's Tax Hike
Ramblings by O'HarePaCan Condemns Pawlowksi's 40% Tax Hike
Inclusion by DonovanChief Turnaround Officer?????


Anonymous said...

Shouldn't there be a new administrator to make sure everyone gets up on time?

Scott Armstrong

monkey momma said...

"Silly me, I thought that was his job!"


What the kids need is NOT a bunch of new administrators. Unless, of course, they hire a Chief Parenting Officer. Or a Chief Celibacy Officer.

gary ledebur said...

It is always easy to go for the low hanging fruit, MM. It is always easy to say what shouldn't happen. Everyone says "fix the schools" but not one serious idea. Give the new super the time and talent he needs to improve the schools. He even hired a local person who knows the city. No credits there. Complain, complain, criticize----that seems to be all that the current group of tea baggers and bloggers can do.

michael molovinsky said...

gary, actually i noticed that it was a local person, and one i like, who got that position. never the less, i'm finding his approach way too bureaucratic, with way too many new positions. on the other side, a school director whom I admire, endorses these changes.

your tea-bagger comment reflects on your disappointment on nov. 3, too bad, realize that there are many people who don't appreciate paying for unproductive "hope and change"

Anonymous said...

the federal grants the district accepted have funds that are to be used to hire folks like this. I suppose the Feds feel the change needs to be managed if it is to be successful. As I understand it, these grants are for 3 to five years, by that time the "transformation" should be in place and these positions no longer needed. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

Mmm Mmm Mmm

Go Big Government

Wha Hoo

Down With Teabaggers

Defeat Racism

Yes We Can!

Four More Years, Four More Years!!!

Jon Geeting said...

Turning around the city's schools is a bigger job than one administrator can handle. Some people like MM think administration is useless, and will complain no matter what any time the government needs more people to carry out policy. More reasonable people will judge new positions based on the value they add, not the standalone price of adding them. If the guy can help turn around the schools, it's worth paying for it.

As to the EIT increase, one of the main reasons Allentown's budget gets worse every year is that wealthy individuals who live in the city's suburbs don't pay any taxes to the city. The city is forced to rely on property taxes from low-income people, and doesn't have access to the earned income taxes that are the main source of revenue for suburban budgets. Second class townships get the bulk of their revenue from earned income taxes, while core cities depend on property taxes - an entirely different and less stable source of revenue.

It's a sad fact about PA's fractured system of local government that rich people are allowed to self-segregate and not contribute anything to older core cities, leaving those places to rot. The right thing to do is set up a county-wide tax base, with tax dollars allocated to the places where they are needed most. This is unquestionably a step in the right direction. Allentown needs a new source of revenue, and they should take it from where the money actually is.

Anonymous said...


Me Progressive Liberal Democrat.

Must hate "rich".


Now, stop all this whining and complaining and kindly just hand over all your money to the wise and benevolent governemnt, please.

Anonymous said...

"Allentown needs a new source of revenue and they should TAKE it"

Classic authoritarian Progressive Liberal philosophy on display yet once again.


What, the super-smart, all-knowing Administrators could not come up with a fancier sounding title than that?

Frankly, I expect more flash and pizzazz from the title, period, point blank and simple.

ironpigpen said...

Mr. Molovinsky,

Too many Chiefs, not enough Intelligence?

Patrick McHenry said...

MM -

A few points:

1) I guess the Superintendent can support the tax increase without worrying about the consequences. After all, the EIT increase the teachers will be paying can be worked into the next contract. That way, Allentown school district taxpayers can pay for the EIT increase on district employees as well.

2) Why is it the same people that are failing our kids are always asking for more money? I find it hard to believe that more money - or more administrators - is the answer.

I know, I know - it's the parents' fault, or a bad home situation. Anybody except the school district.

Anonymous said...

Jon, please please please do some research on how stable property taxes are. Your comment that they are not stable is 100% wrong.

Oh, and the "guy" that was hired by Zahorchak is a woman - Deana Zosky. Another example of not doing research.

michael molovinsky said...

patrick, i'm not sure that i agree that our kids are failing. i know that the district didn't do well in the standardized tests, but i think that's more of an issue of english as a second language and transiency. i believe that motivated students can find a quality education in allentown. the key word is motivated, and i'm not sure that any of the proposed changes address that complex problem.

michael molovinsky said...

jon, allentown actually has a very large west end, on both sides of hamilton street, with many high wage earners. Pawlowski has added about 40 white collar positions since 2006, all of which we could do without.

Anonymous said...

Why not just give the tests in Spanish for the ESOL students?

I mean, hey, diversity is SOOOOOO special and wonderful, after all.


Diversify the tests.

For how long and exactly how much money have we been throwing at education all these years?

And how much progress has been made for all that money spent?

Sooner or later, at the current rate of increased funding for, literally, everything - there will be nothing left to tax someday.

So, start giving the damn tests in Spanish and be happy for once in your lives, Progressive Liberal Democrats.

This way, the PLD (not to be confused with, but very sympathetic to, the PLO) will have more time to figure out how to strong-arm the "rich" into paying for everyone's college education - to follow the lead of California's new old Governor, Moonbeam Brown, and achieve true social justice and equality for all.

(including the "undocumented", naturally)

Chris Casey said...

Jon, when I was in my late 20's I thought I knew it all too. Can't wait to see if when you hit the big 5 - 0 you realize like many of us how much more there was you didn't know.
It comes from life experience, and you really don't have it.

Looking To Escape said...

Jon Geeting said...
The right thing to do is set up a county-wide tax base, with tax dollars allocated to the places where they are needed most.

Subsidies to cities only allow those cities to continue poor management, poor social attitudes and increase the sense of entitlement. Allentown's problems were in part of it's own making.

Anonymous said...


Socialism works great until you run out of other people's money.