Feb 7, 2013
Don Cunningham the Second
I always had an affinity for older objects and construction, they tended to be overbuilt. They were built to last, and past the test of time. New things are engineered for cost and landfills. Allentown will never again see the likes of the former multiple stone arch bridge which spanned the Jordan Creek on Linden Street. When Don Cunningham ran for County Executive in 2005, eight county bridges were deemed unsound by state inspectors, including the Linden Street Bridge. I learned from a source, high up in the new bridge project, that the historic bridge could have been repaired at a fraction of the cost of the new concrete slab monstrosity now in it's place. However, that would have interfered with Cunningham's plan for a ribbon cutting. Cunningham, and his project manager, Glenn Solt, went into the bridge business. They have already replaced fifteen bridges, seven of which didn't need replacing. They also want to replace the historic stone arch Reading Road (Walnut Street) Bridge by Union Terrace (Daddona Park). Yesterday, flanked by Ed Pawlowski and other members of the local Democratic Machine, Tom Muller announced his candidacy for County Executive. Muller was Cunningham's top administrator, and architect of the reassessment. Problem with the reassessment is that real estate prices have dropped so dramatically in the last seven years, that the values are very close to the 1990 previous assessments. Muller didn't have the flexibility to realize that market changes made the new assessments unnecessary. Yesterday, he also praised the unnecessary bridge replacement business. He's a bureaucrat straight through, apparently void of creative thought. Muller thinks that if something has been planned for years, you do it, even if circumstances change. He thinks that if the money worked it way down the tubes through the years, you spend it, even if the project is no longer relevant. Now, if only he had Cunningham's smile and played the guitar. UPDATE: I did not attend Muller's press conference yesterday, but Bernie O'Hare did. Bernie thought that Cunningham could walk on water, and will also try and sell you on Cunningham the Second. Today Bernie reports on Muller's speech, video records Muller's speech and prints Muller's speech.