During Allentown's prime time, it prospered as an enlightened oligarchy. Allentown's leaders would meet for lunch at the Livingston Club on S. 7th Street, and decide what this town needed to do to remain The All-American City. John Leh, Donald Miller and Harvey Farr owned the Park&Shop, and made sure that there was adequate parking for all the merchants. Although an eccentric outsider, Max Hess Jr. did more than his share for Hamilton Street. Not only did Hamilton Street prosper, but so did everyone else, living and working on the side streets leading to Hamilton. Although the oligarchy died off, and the Livingston was torn down, democracy doesn't seem to have served Allentown very well. We now have a strong arm-mayor and a subservient City Council. If the current project, with no cost limits, transforms Allentown remains to be seen. I remain doubtful that any benefits will spread down the side streets.