Jan 24, 2016

Pawlowski Scandal Rough On Bill White

Bill White, the Morning Call's long time columnist, sat in council chambers last week with a heavy heart.  He's been a staunch supporter of Mayor Pawlowski for all his three terms, and it was painful for him to see one naysayer after another criticize his man.  In White's mind, Pawlowski is the architect of the new Atlantis, aka Allentown's NIZ. He writes in his Sunday column, undeliverable because of snow, the following;
In most respects, this city is much better off than it was when Pawlowski took office. I'm not sure I'd mount his image on a horse next to Gen. Trexler, but perhaps his accomplishments ought to buy him some extra consideration.
 I have thought this over, and think I have a solution for both Ed and Bill.  Perhaps, the General's horse could be named Mayor Ed,  sorta like Roy Rogers' horse had a name.  A plaque could be added to the statue in Trexler Park.

photo attribution: Mr. Ed The Talking Horse


Anonymous said...

Mike, Bill White continues to ignore the obvious when he writes Allentown is better off now then when Ed took office. Bill gave a blind eye to what was readily apparent to anyone who cared to see. Ed Pawlowski brought rampant corruption to city hall. The image of Allentown is smeared,many good people were fired or fled important city positions,only to be replaced by incompetent cronies. Meanwhile poverty has increased every year and neighborhood blight spreads. Shiny new buildings apparently are enough to fool Bill White. He continues to be part of the problem. Scott Armstrong

Monkey Momma said...

"I'm not sure I'd mount his image on a horse next to Gen. Trexler..."

I don't know about anyone else, but that line had me laughing out loud...

Anonymous said...

I'd say he is the latest in a fairly long line of unfortunate/unlucky/incompetent mayors following Daddona--though the overtly criminal element appears to be new.

Even the occasionally sainted Bill Heydt provided Allentown with a "transformational" hole in the ground to bring in a hockey team in a league that doesn't even exist anymore.

What they all struggle with is that the business activity (manufacturing and headquarters) that stabilized the city's tax base for so many years is gone and not replaced. This results in many places in a half-hidden struggle to divide up the seed corn before anyone really notices. The struggles over the NIZ, police pensions, etc. reflect that fact.

Without a real regional/state effort to stabilize the tax base (i.e., not the NIZ), I don't think there is much any Mayor can really do, unfortunately.

Dreaming of Justice said...

You're showing the wrong end of the horse.

Anonymous said...

This time next year the Mayor will be in a Federal Penitentiary. He's been playing fast and loose since his days at ABC.
Lots of good people have been hurt and the taxpayers have been fleeced.
The city is now, officially, a national joke, again.
Hundreds of talented people have removed themselves from civic or volunteer engagement
due to frustration or disgust.
Our elected representatives and the city's standing committees are held in contempt.

What's not to like?

Dave said...

Mr White is a very partisan Democrat. It is reflected in his column routinely when he's not doing his little puff pieces about dogs and cats.

Unsurprising what he wrote about Ed. Not that it means much

Anonymous said...

The problems in Allentown are identical to the problems across America. Instead of serious dealings with serious issues, it is nothing more than smoke and mirrors and high gloss. The city is NOT off better today. Yes, perhaps downtown looks nicer, but does anyone outside those city blocks see a better city. Not really. Unfortunately, the problems this city and this country have are the direct result of phony politicians who use crony capitalism to support one another while leaving the rest of us behind. It is neither a Democratic nor a Republican issue. Both sides are equally guilty. Not one candidate running for president (nor any according to rumor mill running to be the next mayor) have real and sustainable ideas on how to combat the very real issues this city faces. Instead of worrying about the prices of steak dinners in the downtown before a hockey game, perhaps we should care that the streets look like shit, where are the damn plows, why were homeless people tossed out on the streets in the middle of a storm, why are the schools a mess, why is the violence the number one association with any city in America, etc. But no, we, the citizens, take the easy road and look at the new shiny objects downtown and delude ourselves that things are better. Because we want them better...unfortunately they are not. There is hard work to be done, and let's face it... it seems very few people want to work hard anymore.

Rich Fegley said...

"Our elected representatives and the city's standing committees are held in contempt."

Shame on all of them. They all knew Pawlowski was corrupt to the core. It took the FBI to expose this.

Shame on all of them. Where have they been? Where and when did they ever question Pawlowski?

Either they are talking to the FBI or they are waiting for the FBI to call on them.

Anonymous said...

a few things:

Love the oblique reference to Francis Bacon, misguided elitist that he was.

I was very surprised to read Bill White asking for extra consideration, but he does follow that line with this:

"But they shouldn't buy blind faith. They shouldn't buy a lack of common sense.

Most importantly, they shouldn't buy a disregard for council's responsibility to protect the city it was elected to serve.

In effect, this resolution said that whatever fate awaits Ed Pawlowski, it's time to let Allentown start healing. I agree."

So, I don't know.

Also, strange as this sounds, I remember reading an article just a few weeks ago where White referred to himself as a Republican. Either way, his work on Harrisburg chicanery has been better than his approach to the current Mayor of Allentown for most of the last few years.

michael molovinsky said...

the epic snowstorm accelerated the blog schedule, knowing that most readers would be trapped inside this past weekend, when i normally don't publish. i'll continue giving bill white top billing this morning, at least through early this afternoon.

Unknown said...

The Morning Calls support of the NIZ disgrace and its appearant

Anonymous said...

Remember, the NIZ boundary was curiously tweaked in shape to include the Morning Call building and property. That kind of 'bump out' could only have happened on purpose.

Because of this special accommodation for Tribune Publishing of Chicago and one of its newspapers, The Morning Call, the worth and viability of the Morning Call building and property was enhanced.

Would like to know how THAT decision went down. Who proposed such special courtesy and why.

That the Morning Call is seriously 'in the tank' for the NIZ should be of no surprise to anyone. One could say "They were bought off."

Fred Windish

michael molovinsky said...

fred@8:14, as a certified naysayer, even i wish the NIZ success, and can accept that the morning call need not be as critical as I am. however, as this blog has repeatedly pointed out, many of their articles are outright NIZ promotions, rather than news reports.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Michael, of course. As a Pennsylvania taxpayer, and a fiscal conservative, I don't like the way our state budget has been tapped for this. The NIZ is far, far away from making financial sense to anyone but a few private citizens. Even worse, the hole to climb out of grows deeper.

This would be an appropriate time to SUSPEND all future NIZ commitments. When the current obligations begin to make better sense as PUBLIC investments, then a discussion about continuing the program can begin.

By the way, I have always believed the NIZ scheme really IS part of the Pawlowski scandal being discussed. The two can't be separated.

Fred Windish

michael molovinsky said...

fred@9:01, my preference is not to comment on my blog, however, your comment does require a respond. on the contrary of the NIZ slowing down, with jaindl and the waterfront, it will speed up. also, j.b. reilly has his biggest projects yet to build. i also disagree about the the separation between the scandal and the NIZ, which happens to be the topic of my next post.

fred, while your comments are always welcome and insightful, let me explain about many recent comments which have not appeared.
although i appreciate everyones readership, i do not print comments such as i agree, couldn't agree more, etc. also, many anonymous accusations or negative speculations do not appear. i do not gauge the success of this blog by the number of comments published. as stated above the comment box, they should contribute to the dialogue.

Anonymous said...

OK. I'm somewhat confused by your reply, but will keep reading. Thank you for hosting my previous comments. I valued the opportunity.

Fred Windish

michael molovinsky said...

fred, my reply about comments didn't pertain to you. in recent weeks i have received many comments which i haven't printed, and was taking the opportunity to explain my comment policy to new readers.

doug_b said...

"Extra consideration" - Another words the end justifies the means - how sad.

The change in Allentown needs to start at the bottom - people with higher paying jobs and more opportunities - not fancy restaurants and sporting events. Pawlowski's changes are cosmetic.

Whethervain said...

With apologies to Billy Joel...

Well we're living here in Allentown
Where the Mayor’s bein' shaken down
City Hall is rumored frozen still
Not from the storm…
“political chill”

Grassroots voters don’t know NOW what to say
Hearing scandal, cry out loudly “oy vey”!
Burner phones; pal who’s wearin’ a wire
Strange group of friends
Now under fire
And we're living here in Allentown

Dave said...

Since the establishment of the "strong mayor" city charter, Allentown has suffered from a succession of mayors that have been failures.

Bartholomew - Political novice, ineffective. Lerned that running Allentown is not like running a High School.

Daddona - Deluded, opened the floodgates to low income people to fill the homes left by the boomers who moved out of the city into the townships

Fischl - Elected by a razor thin margin, no real mandate. Tried to do good things with the Crown Plaza hotel, but had health issues

Heydt - Unluckiest mayor in Allentown's history. Sinkholes and Snow Blizzards, Gas Explosions and Hess's Closing.

Afflerbach - Did not play well with others. Brought in Police Chief Kuhn who was an unmitigated disaster in his own right.

Pawlowski - Allentown's version of Mayor Dayley. Only mayor in Allentown's history to be investigated by the FBI for political corruption, fate to be determined, possilby the only mayor ever to resign in discrace. (Even Afflerbach didn't resign).

Next ?

Dave said...

My suggestion is that once Ed leaves, we return the city back to the commission form of government that Allentown had prior to 1970. That way all the power in city hall is divided between the mayor and City Council members who serve as full-time department heads.

Anonymous said...

I can understand why you wouldn't want to be too vocal about the use of code officers as agents of a criminal administration.
You have considerable skin in the game.
You are aware of course about how they were used to clean the riff raff out of the NIZ back when.

michael molovinsky said...

@4:44, i do have "skin" in the game, but that has never stopped me from writing about abuse. i was helping the merchants during the NIZ takeover. the merchants and property owners were threatened with receiving less by eminent domain than they were being offered by the city, but were not harassed by code.