I have been a school board director for 12 years. President of the board the last 4 years. And I have always worked hard for the tax payers of Allentown. Today I had a meeting with the mayor, city solicitor, assistant chief, city council president ,superintendent of Asd and school solicitor. The mayor wanted the school district to take over crossing guards and pay half the costs. They showed a statute that says school district must pay half if no other agreement could be reached. I heard too much talk about the school district taking over and said the school district will not take this over as this is public safety. This should be handled by the city not the school district. We would contribute toward costs but we do not know what we are getting from the state and I would need to talk to the whole board as well. Not to mention we already voted on our current budget. Mayor wanted us to open our budget. Then it happened, everything about pay to play came to my mind but in this case pay or lose your SRO officers in our school buildings. The mayor said if we did not pay he would pull all Sro officers from our school buildings. I blew my top and said do not threaten me or the school district. This was blackmail, a threat, strong arming and bullying. I will not be blackmailed, strong armed or bullied into making any deal that hurts our taxpayers, students or our staff. We offered 100,000. To start work on a plan to help hire crossing guards. We would need to wait and see what our state funding is and time to talk to the whole board on this.The mayor rejected this good faith offer, I'm very disappointed in him today. Now I see what contractors must have gone through. The mayor also threatened to sue us. We will continue to work with the city and help where we can but if the mayor wants to fight and blackmail us on the safety of our students and staff that is a fight I will gladly take defending with all my being to protect our students, teachers and all our taxpayers. I think we need to ask where all that money for water went that the city budget is so tight. I do not work for the mayor and he threatened the wrong person today. I will continue to defend the taxpayers and will not be bullied, blackmailed or threatened by him or anybody else. I post this so the public knows the truth. The school district will work together with the city despite what happened today but will not take over the crossing guards and will pay something we can afford not what the mayor demands.I have no issue with Bob's reaction to the bully tactic by Pawlowski, but must note that other school board members were asked not to go public with this development. Another layer on this story is Pawlowski's attempt last spring to load the school board with his chosen picks, through the Citizens For A Better Allentown PAC. After the FBI raid, those endorsed tried to separate themselves from the taint, but that dye still sticks. Another layer is that the Allentown budget supposedly has a $9 million dollar fund gap, which precipitated Pawlowski's strong arming of the school board. So much for the water and sewage lease being a silver bullet.
This story is also being covered by Bernie O'Hare at Ramblings.