Feb 17, 2016

Democracy of Sorts Sprouting in Allentown

City Council is apparently the hot ticket; I'm pleasantly surprised to learn that sixteen people applied for the open seat. Four of them have been deemed ineligible, because they were not Democrats for a least 30 days prior to their application. Although, I'm not going to list them or comment on them individually, you can find their names in an excellent  Morning Call article by Emily Opilo.  It's a positive sign for democracy in Allentown, that so many people still have more faith in council than I do.  I would think that the volume of candidates will also have a rejuvenating effect of existing council members.  Although, we will remain a one party town for the foreseeable future, candidates are adjusting to that reality.  At least one member of council was a former Republican, who adapted to the current climate.  At some point within the next year,  I expect Pawlowski to resign,  and council will eventually shed those that wore the scarlet P.

Photo of City Council in 2010


Anonymous said...

Dr. David McQuire would be a superlative representative.

Anonymous said...

Yawn.... Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

MM wrote:

"...sixteen people applied for the open seat...It's a positive sign for democracy in Allentown...we will remain a one party town for the foreseeable future, candidates are adjusting to that reality. At least one member of council was a former Republican, who adapted to the current climate..."

Allow me to respectfully disagree with the premise of the post, that this is a good sign for Democracy. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

A municipal election was held only a few short months ago, where any one of these people could have RUN for the office, and let the people know what they think about the issues and what is happening inside Allentown City Hall. It will be interesting to hear how many of them make the corruption in City Hall THEIR main issue, as they are being publicly interviewed.

While I'm sure there are a few well-intentioned applicants, I suspect more than a few will be party insiders, hoping to be elevated to the next rung on the ladder. And while we can hope that City Council makes a wonderful choice, the reality is that they will not.

Council just had a chance to distance themselves from the Mayor and make a statement when choosing a Controller, and instead filled it with a Pawlowski toadie from their own ranks. So let's be realistic about who is still pulling the strings on any appointments made by council.

And as to one new member of Council changing parties to win election being a sign of improvement, I see it as an indictment of Allentown voters. If the voters were truly upset about the corruption in City Hall, they would have voted for the lone Republican on the ballot no matter what.

Instead, they went straight Democrat, and held neither of the Pawlowski sycophants accountable. Party was more important than principle, or even ethics.

So the message was clearly sent that voters LOVE their Pawlowski toadies, and council clearly responded with their vote to fill the Controller appointment. The will do the same with this opening.

Until voters send the message that they won't continue to blindly vote Democrat, nothing changes. It's like the battered wife who stays and hopes beyond all hope that the husband is going to change.

It really won't matter when Pawlowski leaves, since the voters have spoken and sent the message that they will blindly support whoever their party puts up for election. We'll have a different face in City Hall, but the same problems.

Anonymous said...


I am completely cynical about this council and what any new council person can accomplish. Until the majority of this body is replaced with people whose main priority is doing what is best for the city I suspect very little of any substance will happen.

Scott Armstrong

Reality Bites said...

How many Republicans stand a chance of getting elected ?

Wake me up when there is a real difference on City Council.

Meet the new Council, Same as the old Council. Just change the name places in the Council room

michael molovinsky said...

@12:38, i have good expectations for roger maclean, although he is just one person.

Anonymous said...

Chief Malcean is a lifelong Republican and he was elected....and Scott, I'm surprised at how easily you dismiss the brave and outstanding Jenette.
Shame on you.

michael molovinsky said...

@1:42, maclean may have been a life long republican, but he ran and was elected as a democrat. dave bausch was the last republican elected, about 16 years ago.

LVCI said...

Don't forget about Tom Burke(R) who won a city council seat in the 2001 elections. Unfortunately it was for only one term. He was one of the best.

Anonymous said...


MacClean was a Republican but ran as a Democrat. The "D" made all the difference. Enough said on that. Jeanette had integrity, that is why she was isolated, impugned, and finally left the board. If you have been a reader of this blog you would have seen similar statements on this regard made by myself as the subject warranted.

Scott Armstrong

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Dr. David McQuire would be a superlative representative."

He stood up to Fed Een many others sat on their hands. I agree with this assessment. d wh

Anonymous said...

Who could doubt one person, Jeanette, made a difference?
Rodger is a R who ran as a registered D. Shows he can count and he should be an independent voice on council.
Dave McQuire is bright, capable and honest with a track record to prove it.

Julian Kern said...

I feel most of the applicants applied just to have their name on city council and say they did something. There is only a couple of the applicants that applied that I feel will actually do good for the city and take action instead of just talking.

Anonymous said...

McGuire is another old white guy. Has good environmental creds, but isn't anyone who will attract young new blood to downtown.