Oct 23, 2011

Future Downtown Arena Attendee

Regular readers of this blog are familiar with the commentator who identifies himself as Future Downtown Arena Attendee. He first appeared months ago, when I began posting about this misguided project and it's mistreatment of our long standing merchants. He is a staunch defender of the project, with no use for the current merchants or their clientele. Beyond being an apologists for the Administration, some readers have speculated that he actually works for the City or has another interest in the project. I generally appreciated his participation in the dialogue; It provided an insight into the arrogance by those who govern us. On my recent post, questioning which branch of our local government considered us dumber, Future made this comment.
Why do you think that you are entitled to public comment on this? The people elected the officials to speak on their behalf. The officials are speaking. If you don't like what they are saying do not vote for them in their reelection bids.
The blogger known as LVCI made an excellent reply. Below are excerpts from his comment.
Voting for a public official is nothing more then hiring someone to do a job on our behalf. We are the owners and city hall officials are our employees, we aren't theirs. Not one official running for office mentioned in their campaign they were going to seize over 30 private properties downtown, bulldoze an entire square block and risk advancing over $160 million of the taxpayers' dollars to do it. They didn't mention the new, sometimes expen$ive, pre-sale inspections before one sells their home. Nor was there any mention in their campaigns while they were running for office that they were going to put in miles of bike trails, a playground or install asphalt roadways in a park either. A lot of changes affect us for many years long after their time in office. The police & fire pensions are a fine example of that. According to your way of thinking why bother having public meetings after elections. Our civic responsibilities are completely done after we elect them, right? Citizens should only concern themselves every 4 years after the $'s are spent and the changes are already done that affect them. Is that the way you want it?
Come to think of it, that pretty much seems the way we're being dealt with already.
I suppose that Future Attendee and LVCI both have a point. As voters we don't seem to learn from our mistakes. Although a previous City Council lamented about the Police Pension they approved, many of the lamenters were re-elected. Currently, members are awaking to the lack of public and Council input concerning the Transformational arena. Will there be consequences come election day next month? Last night I drove past the Sangria Restaurant. Although I wish this business and all others well, I must report that they were virtually empty. This attempt at a restaurant row was subsidized by the Administration to the tune of half a $million of taxpayer dollars. If the new restaurants are struggling with easy available parking, how will they fare with congestion caused by the hockey fans? After two hotdogs and a beer, will the hockey fans patronize Sangria after the game? A failure of the arena and adjoining event center will put the taxpayers on the hook for over $200 million; Now that's a transformation! I hope that Future Downtown Arena Attendee at least actually attends.


Bill said...

A really excellent post, particularly the words of LVCI. This pretty much sums things up. And incidentally, I am a Dem. living in the city. Although not a happy one in respect to how our local leaders (or should I say employees) are doing.

binzley said...

This posting by MM raises two important issues. The first is how we elect our officials and the second is who influences them once elected.

A long time ago the sainted Alton Frey got elected to the school board with a promise to move the Allen-Deiruff football game to Thanksgiving Day. He made this happen although is has since reverted back to pre-Frey days. Today candidates are financed by the rich and powerful and they very adroitly gear their campaigns to the prejudices of the voters e.g., no new taxes, safer streets, less government spending, tough on crime, etc. We as voters don't want to analyze any deeper. It is even easier when the politicians attack their opponents with silly and misleading commercials. Shame on us for falling for such shit.

Second, once elected, officials respond primarily to the interests of those who helped elect them. Having worked for two mayors and two governors I can tell you that when a major campaign contributor calls, they take the call. Try to get a mayor of any city on the line today. It does not take much of a genius to realize that the smart, affluent, and powerful have access and consequently more power. The small businessmen who lost their businesses are not rich, smart or powerful thus they get the shaft.

The lesson here is not to whine and complain. The lesson here is to organize, raise money, speak out, get involved and make Allentown a better place. Absent that, the moneyed interests will have their way and we all have to learn the rules of hockey.

Anonymous said...

Absent that, the moneyed interests will have their way and we all have to learn the rules of hockey.
Or we rats will merely evacuate the sinking ship.
Lvci: excellent response.

ironpigpen said...

This native American citizen, complete with teeth and all, already knows the rules of hockey (ever since I was a little kid, actually) ...

... Since I pay very close attention to the proceedings here regularly so I must ask, does Mr. Binzley actually have an honest-to-goodness clue about ANYTHING in that Progressive Libveral Democrat world of his, Mr. Molovinsky?

Scary to think two real, live Mayors and Governors would even begin to listen to this guy, ever!

I could not be any more serious with this statement, either.

At the end of the day, "the monied interests" (who will be more than happy to 'share' some of their loot with Chairman Pawlowski, the rest of the Rubber Stamp City Council and some of their other Democrat Party friends) will be needing a gun to separate me from my money --- and I love hockey.

The way this whole thing has gone down has stunk to high heaven --- and will never be forgotten. I will respond in the time-honored American way = with my wallet and my vote at the ballot box.


P.S. --- Pat Browne can forget about ever receiving my vote again, I don't care WHAT he does from he on out.

Anonymous said...

Can anybody explain the real reason for the proposed Hockey Arena? I understand that it is an effort to "renew" Allentown. Why does Allentown need a renewal? For what reason? What condition are the city fathers trying to correct? What "improvements" are they trying to make? Is it for the purpose of lining their pockets with tax payers money? If that's all they want, isn't there a simpler way to do that without destroying local business?
I'll bet that some of the people that comment here, voted for the persons that they now complain about! But alas, the people that caused most of the problems in the valley, (indirectly by their votes), would rather blame others than to accept responsibility for their action or inaction. Ultimately, we will all pay for the free handouts we thought we voted for! Just keep drinking the Socialist cool aid and things just might improve in fifty years or so. Aaaahhh, maybe that's why so many people don't care! It will affect their children, not them!

Anonymous said...

Yea, noticed that poster too. Wondered who he/she is.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell us if the new city community economic development officer is a college graduate? The question still has not been answered.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky,
If you have time, perhaps you might contact the current council candidates and ask their comments.

"Not one official running for office mentioned in their campaign they were going to seize over 30 private properties downtown, bulldoze an entire square block and risk advancing over $160 million of the taxpayers' dollars to do it."

Anonymous said...

Sangria Restaurant on the Saturday following a nearby shooting empty?

Anonymous said...

Have city fathers even begun to discuss the large group of fire fighters ready to retire as recently mentioned in local news.

Anonymous said...

Some very good and accurate responses. The only way to halt the political nonsense are major campaign contribution reforms, which almost would certainly require a Constitutional ammendment with regards to freedom of speech. Problem is the two parties in power are the ones needed to make these changes, so don't hold your breath.
To maintain their power the Mega-rich from both parties bamboozle ignorant masses with catch phrases and false promises.
My advice? Canned goods and ammo folks, canned goods and ammo.
Third World USA is on the way.

binzley said...

Ironpigpen attacks me personally (as he likes to do regularly) and today seems to have no specifics to complain about other than I don't like hockey. Interesting guy.

P.S. I think the hockey arena is a waste of taxpayers' money and will further darken downtown Allentown.

Anonymous said...

anyone who does not like hockey probably fails to see why we to end the poverty magnet in our city.

Monkey Momma said...

As usual, LVCI's comments are right on the money. He applies common sense like a weapon!

As for this question from anonymous 10:29: "Can anybody explain the real reason for the proposed Hockey Arena?" I would just suggest that the answer to that is revealed by following the dollar. Mayor Pawlowski was reported to have been down in Philly at least once since the hockey deal was revealed, accepting campaign donations from the very same folks who hope to make money by building this arena. Isn't that convenient? And apparently, it's totally normal.

Really, that is all we need to know to understand WHY this arena is being built. It's nothing more than a bullet point on a resume and a pawn in the game to win DOLLARS. Very sad.

lady Macbeth said...

money and power--perhaps those stupid hippy occupiers know something we don't

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

Ah my very own dedicated blog post! I am so honored..

In regards to people voicing their opinions to the current administration and elected officials there is a period during each city council meeting where the courtesy of the floor is given to the public to speak. I am at every single meeting and there are few people outside Lou Hershman who stand up and speak. Matter of fact it is actually a shame that a city if 118,000 has maybe 20 people at the most in attendance for most meetings. Most of the bitching, and yes I said bitching comes from people who post on blogs and the comment sections of the mcall. If you dont like something, stand up and say something and if you dont like what is being told to you by the officials dont vote for them. That is our system of government "...government of the people, by the people, for the people..."

Also, MM of course I will be attendance.... Do you want me to save you a seat?

Anonymous said...

Just what makes the occupiers "stupid"?
And is "hippy" some sort of derogatory snipe?
It don't take a weather man to know which way the wind blows.BD

LVCI said...

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said... "there is a period during each city council meeting where the courtesy of the floor is given to the public to speak.. I am at every single meeting and there are few people outside Lou Hershman who stand up and speak... Most of the bitching, and yes I said bitching comes from people who post on blogs and the comment sections of the mcall

Was that the also the case on May 18th when council rammed through R28 on it's 1st reading despite taxpaying merchant's objections?

"If you dont like something, stand up and say something"
Let's see how your theory holds up. Just to refresh everyone's memories--

Here are the videos from that council meeting
Here are council's minutes

Yes the city charter requires council let citizens speak at "Courtesy of the Floor"

BUT.. the same city charter DOES NOT require council to listen to anything they have to say.

If you attend meetings as you say you do, then you already know that few important pieces of legislation get rammed through on their first readings.

If you think anyone there that night was going to sway council into holding off another month for a 2nd reading of R28, you chances would have been better that night of spotting leprechauns and unicorns.

I'd further add, if council (like they claim) can do little under the 'strong mayor' form of government.. what chance have you, I or anyone else? Why address council in the 1st place if they cannot control the budget approval process, union contracts, various appointments and a whole host of other things?

You might as well "bitch" here. For all the good it does, saves a trip downtown to waste an evening. Maybe even ending up with your name on the Sh**list with the powers that be. That's not some place you want to be.

And you wonder why "maybe 20 people at the most in attendance for most meetings"

Anonymous said...

I suggest that wanting an arena is an attempt to correct a problem that the dem politicians helped to create! What is that you ask? They created a huge poverty magnet by creating "victim" groups for the purpose of getting votes. Now that the area is full of poverty and crime, they want you to think they are correcting things by a "renewal" project of building a Hockey arena. Of course, if they make a bit of money in the bargain, that isn't bad, is it? Their solution won't work but they don't care, the victim groups will vote them right back in! Amazing how stealing from Peter to pay Paul works, isn't it? Isn't that what many of us have learned? Poor people are victims of those making money? Thank you, public schools! What a country!

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

I can accept FDAA's enthusiasm for the project, I just believe the project, as designed, is doomed to be under-utilized.

The size of financial obligation given to taxpayers for a facility of such marginal benefit is stunning.

Where are the marketing studies that indicate a need for a building like this one? Beyond minor league hockey, is this building being coveted by music promoters, other sports attractions, convention planners, and industrial exhibitors?

"Build it, and they will come," is NOT a given.

I continue to believe, spectators tend to fear deck parking, particularly at the conclusion of events. Spending 40 minutes with an elevator, climbing cramped stairways, difficulty backing the car out, and a spiral drive down, wears thin quickly.

Plenty of surface lot parking is necessary. What are those numbers?

More land acquisition is needed. Where will that be?

Anonymous said...


The first time I heard the description "restaurant row" was in Harrisburg. Bethlehem has since endeavored to create a similar environment, and Easton is actually also somewhat successful in doing this. In Harrisburg, there are untold thousands of state workers in the downtown and the main hope is to "capture" them before they head home at five. In Bethlehem, the city is perceived as safe and accommodating, so the restaurant business flourishes. People even come specifically to the city to dine. In Easton, the city is working hard to turn the corner, plus it has the wonderful State Theater as an ultimate night time destination and folks combine "dinner & a show". Now- Allentown is envious, and for good reason. Does Atown have the workforce, the destination or the positive image of the other cities? I suppose that's what the arena is really all about; someone really thinks that by building the arena "they will come", to paraphrase. Like Easton's State Theater, people will combine dinner & an event. Like Harrisburg, workers will be compelled to stick around for dinner/drinks before heading back home to the suburbs. Or like Bethlehem, Allentown will be transformed into a kinder, gentler place where people are unafraid to stroll the streets after dark. It's a costly roll of the dice to expect an arean to transform a troubled city...