Sep 11, 2015

She's Not Here Mr. Molovinsky

I don't understand it, every time I stop in to see an Allentown public official, they're not there. Is there something about me? Up to this past July and the FBI Raid At City Hall, I suppose it was my blunt questions and subsequent blunt treatment on this blog that made them hid under the desk, whenever they saw me coming through the door. After the Raid, management was nervous. They knew that they served at the pleasure of a vindictive mayor, but now he was wounded, to boot. Some were afraid that they would end up being scapegoats for whatever accusations were coming down the pike. I can only imagine that yesterday's fear is today's terror. Now there are times, places and their signatures on reports, being used as evidence in a criminal investigation.

Although this blog has pointed out policy flaws since 2007, I never indulged in pay to play speculation. Frankly, despite the current meltdown at city hall, those specifics still don't interest me. I remain focused on policy, and it's effect on the city. Unfortunately, I realize that in this current climate, the bureaucrats could care less about better policy, and will be looking for life preservers. Never the less, I will still be coming through their doors.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

You don't usually post compliments.
Just the same, good work, and thanks.

Anonymous said...

The City of Allentowns Building Standards & Safety officials have been used as the current administrations bully boys for quite some time now.
Let's hope it's the beginning of the end for that thug operation.

michael molovinsky said...

@6:41, that is a complex issue. several years ago, I opposed the point of sale inspections, because i felt it was a reductant service easily available to home buyers, by private contractors. on another note, several years i wrote about the city tagging so many buildings, that they were actually creating blight. at that time, there were several accusations of inspector abuse submitted to this blog. recently, tenant rights advocates have been clamoring for more inspections. i think it would be safe to say that now is not the time to further empower that department.

Anonymous said...

Empower them to the House of Corrections.

Anonymous said...

"I never indulged in pay to play speculation. Frankly, despite the current meltdown at city hall, those specifics still don't interest me."

I love your blog, but I'm honestly baffled by your statements about pay-to-play.

As you note, rumors about pay-to-play started very early in the Pawlowski administration. Had more attention been paid to addressing those rumors early on, particularly by our local press and city council, we might not be where we are today.

If you want to know how public officials can become so detached from the real needs of the city they serve, it's by becoming beholden to the money train of pay-to-play.

If you want to understand how an iconic park system can be neglected to the point it might not be able to be repaired, it's because of politicians that can afford to neglect the will of the people because they are propped up by those profiting from government.

michael molovinsky said...

@8:53, understand that i have written over 2000 blog posts, and never shy away from any issue or impropriety. also understand that although i'm a landlord, subject to regulation and inspection, i have scrutinized every aspect of city government, criticizing officials by name and incident. my posts on this blog ,although not given attribution, had resulted in several exposés by the morning call. what i don't do is speculate on criminality. understand, that unlike your anonymous comment, every thing i write is signed with my name.

michael molovinsky said...

@8:53, i believe that some more elaboration is in order. although i have posted about the unequal and unfair application of code enforcement, i had never received reports of, or observed bribes. had i heard reliable reports of such, or had knowledge of it, i would have posted about it. although, i did considered pawlowski heavy handed and vindictive, I'm somewhat surprised by the investigation.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Corruption is the cause of many problems and frankly was an impediment to Allentown's hope for a better tomorrow. How will we ever know how many good people refused to involve themselves in Allentown projects because they didn't want to subject themselves and their interests to the crass and shady environment of city hall.
Perhaps the machine that has been controlling the city, deciding everything, and picking winners and losers, will now be swept aside. That will be a brand new day for the city, I for welcome it.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

The question remains: what will follow in the wake of this sewage?

michael molovinsky said...

scott@11:03 and anon11:09, scott, hopefully the voters will have the wisdom to elect you again for the independent voice that you are on the school board, but generally, i don't have faith in greater allentown changing that much politically.

Julian Kern said...

I have spoke to someone who was Joe Clark's right hand person years ago and this person told me how Joe Clark would pay off inspectors to overlook code violations for his properties. This person doesn't want to talk to the Feds though because this person was involved with handing over the money to the inspectors and this person is afraid to speak unfortunately.

Code enforcement is understaffed and apparently wasn't doing their job properly due to the mayor telling them to back off for at least one property owner.

If the city doesn't inspect the rental properties there will be more neglected properties in the city which brings down neighborhoods. The city right now has the most blighted properties it ever did. Neglected and blighted properties not only hurt neighborhoods but hurt property values and the tax base.

I do think some city staff need to be replaced though.

michael molovinsky said...

julian@7:44, i have no knowledge, and i've been around a long time, of inspectors taking bribes from joe clark or any other landlord. unfortunately, you cannot legislate pride of ownership. i believe that joe crosses the T's and dot the i's, but as cheaply as he can. i can tell you that back in 98 when the rental inspection program began, clark was the first landlord to have his buildings inspected. you may or may not know that there is a lawsuit currently happening , where a group of landlords are suing the city over the 250% unit registration fee increase. for your information, i am not a party to that legal action. likewise, i do not advocate for landlords, nor for your tenant association group. i do however, try to be honest source of information on the apartment business in allentown, in which i'm well experienced.

Anonymous said...

From my perspective, it isn't inspectors taking bribes, but inspectors sent to make your life hell because you weren't a "team player".

Julian Kern said...

Yes I am aware there are landlords suing the city regarding the unit registration fee. I have heard about that for years. I wonder what's going on with that though.

michael molovinsky said...

@9:43, in allentown any living unit not owner occupied is considered a rental. by that definition there's probably over 7,000 landlords. the vast majority are non-political.

julian@9:49, i'm not in that loop, but i heard that they may split the difference.

i'm very skeptical about changing or adding new regulations, if it's rental inspections or pay to play. my preference would be enforcing existing ordinances in an equitable way.