I attended part of this meeting, held ironically on Earth Day, but left feeling depressed because I could see which way the wind was blowing.. Drinking water is as important as the air we breathe and Allentown is rushing to hand over its best asset to a known violator of DEP standards... As of now, I think they are set to vote 6-1 in favor on Thursday night with only one day to read the report they commissioned! I respect anyone who runs for office and serves the public, however, 3 of our 7 councilpersons were appointed, not elected.... However, this is not just about numbers. It is also about service, control of clean and adequate drinking water, sewage and water main maintenance and repairs, the loss of many good city workers, union bumping, etc. etc.. And lookout- if we get a huge snowstorm- be prepared to wait a much longer time for a snow plow to come down your street because there will be many fewer plow operators. I spent 18 years as a manager for the City of Allentown and I can say that there was no better managed or sophisticated operation than our Water and Sewer departments. I believe that City Council should understand what they are voting on and that there are cheaper and more effective ways to solve Allentown's budget woes. If you lived here in Allentown around 1998-2002 when our trash contractor violated our contract, almost on a daily basis, by not picking up the trash, etc., you might imagine what a nightmare it might be if our water sources become contaminated or diminish or the private companies want to take more of our drinking water to sell or decide to divert the best drinking water elsewhere and leave Allentown drinking Lehigh River water.....As one of our best former Councilman said- 'You sell the milk-NOT the cow'. This deal may look good on paper for 10-20 years but after that, God only knows... With global climate change drinking water is going to be more valuable than oil in some places. Please Ask them to slow down the process, and truly consider the alternatives. I think each councilperson should be asked to explain WHAT IS THE RUSH and WHY THIS DEAL IS THE BEST SOLUTION. And maybe it is. I don't really know but I would rather not break something that is not broken to solve the city budget problems. ... OK I need to get off the soapbox now...
Betsy Morris Levin
The above comment, which I condensed, was written by Betsy Morris Levin, and appeared on an article by Randy Kraft on the WFMZ website.