Sep 20, 2012

The Politics of Allentown's Water Sellout

According to The Morning Call article by Emily Opilo, former Councilman Michael Donovan's effort to establish a citizen committee to study the water sale issue has been rebuffed by Julio Guridy and Company. Before we get too far into the political shenanigans, let me explain that apparently Opilo replaced Devon Lash, following a long standing Morning Call tradition of assigning a new reporter to the Allentown beat. Devon replaced Renshaw, but there were a few in between I can't recall. I'm sure Emily's a good reporter, but it would be nice to have someone covering the Big Sellout who knows the characters. Actually, I know the dope, but The Morning Call altered my recent editorial to protect Michael Schlossberg. I wrote that Mike's retiring early to avoid the political baggage of the water sale vote. They changed the sentence to Mike's retiring. Emily, their new reporter, wrote a story earlier this week on the sale. She allowed Schlossberg, who will be our new unopposed State Representative, to praise the sale concept without having to endure the political damage of actually voting for it. How nice for Mike, he gets to kiss the ring of Pawlowski and Company, with no consequence from the voters. Talking of no consequence, apparently Peter Schweyer skipped last night's meeting, which denied the Citizen Group input. Gotta love the Cabal.

UPDATE:  Click Here For Coalition To Save Allentown Water

UPDATE: BY DENNIS PEARSON: Eichenwalds motion should have been seconded so Council could formally vote on the motion. So what if the vote perhaps would have been 4 to 1 against the proposal . At least Council would have formally answed the petition. But Council last night chose the cowhardly way to vote it down.
Such action to me demonstrated that all is not good with Allentown's appointed Council. Davis and Mota would not buck Guridy and Pawlowsky. And the elected O'Connell normally an ally of Eichenwald left her hanging.
Guridy chided the crowd for not showing respect, not hanging on his every word. Guridy for public purposes says to be an open mind. But in reality it would be very surprizing if he voted against the Mayor's plan. Guridy must remember that his leadership position in Allentown government does not require free citizens to bow down at his presence and pamper him with adolation.
Indeed I had thoughts of sitting on Council myself. On Council I would not be concerned about longevity on Council but doing the right and honorable thing. The issues that are coming before Council are issues I have deep understanding of. But because I would never automatically vote the Mayor's way or Guridy's way I would never be appointed to Council by this Council. That is why I will not apply for this third appointment on Council within a year.
Democracy is dead in Allentown. But Tammany Hall is alive.           BY DENNIS PEARSON

postcard shows the water works in 1905


Anonymous said...


And what party do all of the actors belong to? I can't seem to remember.And who elected and re-elected them into office? And what was their intention in doing so?

I hope someone can explain it all to me.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

How many months has the Allentown daily pro-actively reported the praises of this water sell? Now, an article reveals it may become big trouble for city taxpayers. Wonder if residents understand what's in store for them.

Anonymous said...

What page was yesterday's Call water story on? Anyone?

Anonymous said...

Allentowns political bull is not only undemocratic and bordering on criminal, it is a poor attemped on capitolism?
Why, first of all if allentown is a democratic government body people would have a say.

Than we come to the poor attempt at another nations political government capitolism. That body has a few guys with white wigs on and they never come in contact with the commoners. MORE TO COME!


michael molovinsky said...

redd, more to come? i think perhaps you don't fully understand my comment policy, it's stated above the comment box. for those who desire to express themselves beyond the posted topic, may i suggest starting your own blog.


Deja Vu'like a motha! They LISTEN and HEAR, but don't ACT Would a committee and further investigation really have been so bad ? How do you chastise your constituents ? The people who PAY your salary ? When all they want is you to do further due diligence on THEIR part ??? SMH


ironpigpen said...

Perhaps you should not be so hard on Emily, Mr. Molovinsky.

I have every confidence the poor girl is just doing what she is told to!



Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

It appears that this gentleman, Mr Armstrong,has put forward an ironclad analysis. It's the Democrats, at least a significant group of them, who run Allentown and want to sell off its water system. A very poor plan indeed.
It's Democrats. Hard to dispute this, but if you still don't get it I'm sure Mr Armstrong will remind you again shortly.
And how is the local Rebublican Party responding to this unfortunate plan? Republicans have a golden opportunity here to show up with attractive alternatives and leadership to derail this travesty. Whining and screeching alone are an insufficient and uninspiring response.

michael molovinsky said...

@4:53, i agree with you that mr. armstrong has a tendency to overplay the partisan angle, however, there is no opportunity for republicans, or even democrats, to derail this travesty. the rejection of mr. donovan's modest proposal demonstrates that city council seeks no outside advise. it would probably require a court injunction to halt the sale.

Anonymous said...

I think you will disagree with me but I think there is one person who could turn this water sale around and that person is Allen Jennings.
I have heard him speak and he is passionate about the environment. I also know he stands up for middle class families and selling the water hurts the environment and the middle class. Allen Jennings believes in organizing people plus he has important friends who might help him.
If anyone can stop this thing I think it is him.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky, Can you imagine how dirty this water plant deal is if the Mayor won't appoint a committee packed with useful idiots to have a look at it

Anonymous said...

Schweyer at least has the decency to be ashamed.

Ray__ what the hay is the matter with you? Come on Ray,we expect more from you.

Anonymous said...

Mike, thanks for bringing up this issue. It is highly important to the people of Allentown and the region. Some would say more important than the NIZ and the arena deal.

There is a public meeting next Thursday at 7 p.m. in council chambers of City Hall in which City Council will have a meeting on this topic. Call every single person you know and invite them to this meeting.

Every citizen of Allentown should plan on attending, that's how important this topic is.

If too many people show up, they should protest in the street. Many communities have fought these water privatization deals. Allentown needs to be next.

Anonymous said...

Come to the meeting at City Hall next Thursday on the topic of the water lease at 7 p.m.

Move your speaking out from the blogosphere to a public forum and participate in local government.

This ill-conceived idea will pass unless people get themselves educated and speak out.

If so many people show up that they do not fit in council's chambers, it will send a message that this deal will not be rubber stamped. That is Allentown's only hope.

Anonymous said...

Yes, come to the council session this coming thurs. Sept. 27, 7:00. The importance of getting citizens out to stop this catastrophic water sell out cant be overstated. Bring your friends. But-----------

This awful privitatization of our grandchildren's water will not be stopped just by showing up at a few meetings. The behind the scenes lobbying and organizing MUST BE HAPPENING RIGHT NOW! Guridy voted for the pension pig out that put Allentown in this situation. An honorable man would resign. He isn't and he won't. The Mayor has promised to make him the next mayor. Mota's an incompetent and a dupe.

The pressure is being applied to the other council members by the Mayor big time, but they could vote NO to the water scam and do the right thing. They all know this is a short term gain and long term train wreck. WE KNOW THIS IS WRONG, AND YOU COUNCIL MEMBERS KNOW IT. The votes of the other council members will not be gained by simply attending a meeting.

If this disaster will be stopped it will happen now, not at the last city council vote. By then all the deals will be done.

Anonymous said...

Alan Jennings has a good heart and a lifetime legacy of good works, but he is on the NIZ board and may be too beholden to the Mayor and the corporate guys with the Lehigh Valley Partnership to organize a popular revolt on this topic. Let's see, but it's unlikely that he will say a peep against water privatization.

Anonymous said...

From the website, they recommend the following:

What you can do:
Call Your City Council members:
Joe Davis 610.437.7556
Peter G. Schweyer 484.550.9881
Cynthia Mota 484.225.9969
Julio Guridy - President 610.906.7955

City Council Meetings
Council Chambers, 435 Hamilton St
Committee of the Whole, Thursday Sept 29th at 7 PM

For more information contact Food & Water Watch Organizer
Sam Bernhard at 267-428-1903 or email your comments to be posted at

Also, the city website says that you can email the Mayor at:

Can't attend the meeting? Send a letter to the Mayor and Council with your thoughts at City Hall, 435 Hamilton St., Allentown, PA 18101.

Don't have time to write? Call (610) 437-7616 and leave a message for the Mayor or Council.

Anonymous said...

Alan Jennings:
"...... too beholden to the Mayor and Corporate guys with the Lehigh Valley Partnership....."

Right then. That would take of the man of the people and the defender of the poor and middle class, wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

One is left to wonder why Ray O'Connell left the courageous Eichenwald hung out to dry on the motion in question.
Is it certain that Davis is a sycophantic tool like Mota?
I'd like to think he may be a man of character. Lord knows Davis has the chance of a lifetime to demonstrate decency and courage and do the right thing.
I'd also like to think that Schweyer will find a way to show real leadership. It's a long shot, but he has it in him. He could be a real mensch on this one.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who votes for this ill-fated idea should consider that their political life is over. The people of Allentown will remember.