Apr 26, 2013

The Successful Revisionism of Edwin Pawlowski

Last night, City Council took the only option that they and Mayor Ed Pawlowski had to counter bad governance by his predecessor, Roy Afflerbach, so says The Morning Call. Since Ed has been mayor, the paper is on no less than it's sixth reporter, none of which were from the area. This morning, the Call's readers find this; The lease plan is the boldest step taken in Pawlowski's effort to stop Allentown's financial hemorrhaging as a result of several generous pensions for city police and firefighters. Under contracts negotiated under former Mayor Roy Afflerbach.... After taking office, Pawlowski renegotiated contracts with both departments, but the damage was done. Pawlowski did not renegotiate the contracts. They expired, and the new ones negotiated under his watch are supposedly less generous, time will tell. In 2005, Pawlowski the candidate for mayor, had a power point presentation about the future costs of the police pension. He said that if elected, he would make adjustments to meet that cost his number one job. He never said that he would wait 8 years, then propose leasing Allentown's primary asset for 50 years. Last night's lease approval is because of Pawlowski's failure to fulfill his first campaign pledge, and having an actual plan beyond a power point presentation. Eight years and six reporters later, he gets away with this revisionism, but for this post, by a blogger who sat on the podium with him in 2005.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mike,

If then CD Director Ed Pawlowski had spoken up,or for that matter a single prominent city Democrat had joined Republican's in crying the alarm over the budget the city's future would have been brighter.As you said, that was at least five local reporters ago, who could remember back that far?

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Imagine a reporter using the word "boldest" imagine the bias of such a word. For shame. Check the paper out. Some days it's four pages thick and that's mostly syndicated news. Doubt there are three reporters covering anything anymore in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

I suppose the new reporters don't know about Google, or even better, the Morning Call's archives to get a chronology and background on the the story. Roy Afflerbach continues to be the convenient "fool" and scapegoat for this fiscal fiasco, despite Pawlowski's "inaction" when he supposedly "renegotiated" the police pension deals. Certainly, there are enough people to blame, but your post was spot on.
Allentonian With A Long Memory

Anonymous said...

Imagine the newspaper disclosing the fact that it - like many of the business owners cited as supporting the deal - disclosing that it is one of the larger real estate taxpayers in the city and would have been hit hard if the problem wasn't passed on to water and sewer users.

Anonymous said...

What about newly-elected Mayor Pawlowski, who during the campaign had signed on to his opponent's pledge to take the issue to court, quickly settling the promised lawsuit for pennies on the dollar?

That was the first time Pawlowski claimed to have solved the pension crisis, and the settlement guaranteed continued union support for Pawlowski.

What about all the taxes and fees raised by the Mayor and Council over the last eight years, supposedly in response to the pension crisis? Will they now be repealed? Will our property taxes be lowered to offset the tax we'll now be paying through the tap?

Anonymous said...

Shame on Ray O'Connell for selling his vote.

Shame on Peter Schweyer for putting his own political ambitions ahead of the good of the taxpayers (again).

Shame on Julio Guridy for voting for BOTH the pension and the water deals. He should have learned something from the first experience.

Shame on all six (who voted in favor) for voting on something that will affect the city for the next fifty years WITHOUT HAVING ALL THE INFORMATION MADE AVAILABLE TO THEM AND THE PUBLIC.

None of the six deserve the office they hold much less a state office (in the case of Schweyer). Shame on the voters of Allentown if we continue to vote for them.

LVCI said...

The way I see it is... Supporters of the lease are all those who can past water costs along to their tenants and customers.

Those who are against it are the people who actually have to pay the water bill out of their own pockets. Which makes it a doubly bad deal because they not only pay their own water bill but will also pay as customers and tenants.

Another thing that should be mentioned is while there are rate guarantees, there none regarding additional fees. Some of the possible other future fees which could increase a bill... 'water meter base charges', 'reclaimed water', 'storm water run off, 'energy surcharges', 'utility taxes', 'purchased water adjustment', 'increased late fees', 'distribution charges', etc.

I'm not saying this will happen, but there are lots of things other then locking in 'water 'rates' that can increase a water bill.

I looked at a bunch of bills from around the country that included 'tiered water rates', and various 'water zones'. Speaking of 'water zones' I'm expecting to see in the contract a provision that allows for the continuation of LCA bulk rates as opposed to Allentown's metered rates. If this is the case it was a wise move on their part in-so-much as this would mean the LCA customers wouldn't be picking up the tab for Allentown's bad pension deal.

michael molovinsky said...

the moto vote, via telephone from Venezuela, was a circle the wagons plan by pawlowski and fleck, to demonstrate how important this lease and moto are to allentown. it's fairly certain, that as a patient in a hospital there, the call wasn't her initiative.

michael molovinsky said...

lvci @ 8:50, there are no supporters of this, except the few benefactors and beneficiaries of pawlowski who lined up at council meetings, like reilly. landlords don't support it; they know that their taxes will rise anyway. they are ultimately responsible for the water costs when their tenants don't pay the bill. the lien goes against the property, not the tenant.

LVCI said...

"landlords don't support it"

Sorry I should have clarified. What I had in mind were a number of business landlords like the one you mentioned.

michael molovinsky said...

lvci @9:19, there is so much misinformation about landlords, such as your comments, that i don't want to get sidetracked off the water lease issue. in allentown each building is only allowed one water meter, so that in any building with more than one tenant, the landlord pays.

Anonymous said...

Another sad Roy story: Remember when the Morning Call became all giddy and excited that Roy was buying an prominent home at 15th & Chew Sts? The home now has a "room for rent" sign in the front yard. Its so sad that the Morning Call, acted as a cheerleader for Roy Afflerbach. If Roy proposed a skating rink at Cedar Beach, they gushed with enthusiastic coverage and photos, then when the rink failed and the idea ditched, the paper never followed up.

Anonymous said...

Whether it's the lousy Morning Call and its reporters or City Hall, what you see is all possible because the moral hazard has been nearly extinguished. Not just in Allentown, but in all local government from county down to the township.

Morning Call reporters are a dime a dozen. Here today, gone three months later to another paper. Write whatever because you won't be called out for it and you're not a long term resident.

Whether it's arenas, water deals, TIFs for shopping centers in the suburbs, all the elected officials are insulated from the risk and consequences of the decision. They won't be around in positions of power to reap the consequences, so really, how much do they really care?

Anonymous said...

And so it ends. The valiant but incompetent Water Warriors lose every round.

ALFONSO TODD said...

Like many decisions prior - "eminent domain", "city incinerator", etc, last night was an example of how people can galvanize, research, do their due diligence, speak their mind, and still leave feeling like they accomplished nothing. When thousands of people sign a petition (whether declared valid or not), it is the voice of the people speaking; when residents band together and pour over documents and charts that even the members of City Council have yet to fully examine, it is the voice of the people speaking; and when there is only ONE City Council member bold enough to ASK for more TIME so they and the public can fully investigate this decision which will affect our families for generations to come, it is the voice of the people speaking... Last night was not a loss, it was a revelation regarding those who LISTEN and those who HEAR... ACT ACCORDINGLY, because the power has always been in your hands...


Alfonso Todd

Anonymous said...

What a sad commentary on the state of political affairs in Allentown.
Michael, Take us down Memory Lane this weekend, and make us smile in remembrance. Thanks!......PJF

Anonymous said...

It's all BS anyway. Will Moto ever return to Allentown? People believe what is politically expedient for them. The truth is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

While not a supporter of hers and certainly sympathetic to her current health issues, I wanted to point out, Michael, that you and several of your readers, refer to Ms. Mota, as Moto. It's Mota with an a not Moto with an o.

Spell Check

Anonymous said...

Best part...there's no guarantee that the money will be used to take care of the pension deficit. My guess...you'll see that money re-directed towards phase two, the riverfront.