Apr 18, 2016

There Never Was Suppose To Be A Managing Director In Allentown

Allentown news is buzzing with the resignation of Fran Dougherty, Allentown's managing director. Since Allentown historical perspective is limited mostly to this blog, allow me to address the position itself; I leave speculation as to why Dougherty is resigning to the speculators. In around 1996 Allentown decided to redo it's city charter, and at that time decided if it wanted to stay with a strong mayor, or go with the managing director system. The charter committee decided to stay with the strong mayor system, and the second most important position was always the Community Development Director, to whom the department heads reported. When Pawlowski was elected and began his first term, he was the first mayor in Allentown's history to hire a managing director. At the time I stated that we were in essence paying two people for one person's job.

If our mayor wasn't in legal limbo, I would say that we shouldn't replace Dougherty, let Pawlowski do the job for which he is being paid. HOWEVER, with an indictment coming, perhaps sooner than later, we best replace Dougherty, and quickly at that.

ADDENDUM:  Ray O'Connell, president of City Council told the Morning Call "We are losing the heart and soul of the city," O'Connell said. "The mayor is the mayor, and the mayor does what he has to do, but Fran does the day to day operations."  Apparently, the current council doesn't even know that there wasn't even supposed to be a managing director.  

11 comments:

Jamie Kelton said...

When Allentown changed its charter in 1969 to the "strong mayor" system, the City Manager concept was rejected. I was unaware that Pawlowski modified the system to the worst of both choices, having a City Manager (in whatever name he chose for the position) and a "Strong Mayor".

I suppose he didn't trust himself? Or knew he couldn't do the job so he hired a surrogate to do it for him?

michael molovinsky said...

although the population of allentown has been essentially the same since 1928, pawlowski expanded the 5th floor of city hall in an unprecedented way. one of the consequence of that delegation has been the park department. fran dougherty hired the last three directors, all from out of town, all with the same penn state recreation background. hopefully the current director can be reeducated to appreciate the unique features of our unique system, such as the WPA structures. I don't expect either cedar beach pool or the lehigh parkway wall and entrance to be completed this season, as announced by the mayor in limbo.

Scott Armstrong said...

Mike,

I don't think anyone besides you and me complained when Pawlowski, who campaigned that he had the management skills to run the city, hired a city manager almost immediately upon taking office. With a city manager what exactly are the mayor's duties? We asked the question then and it remains unanswered.

Rich Fegley said...

I don't feel we need to replace Dougherty and the position should be eliminated.

One of the members of City Council should be prepared to take over as both Mayor and Managing Director.

Scott Armstrong said...

Rich, Please ask council what exactly are the mayor's duties if there is a city manager.

Scott Armstrong said...

OPEN REQUEST to Ray O'Connell,

Please explain "what ever the mayor has to do". I think the public has a right to know exactly what his duties are.

Monkey Momma said...

The mayor is VERY busy. Obviously. Aside from managing his various, failed campaigns for other elected offices, he has to create so many powerpoint presentations. There are many back rooms he visits, making all kinds of secret deals. He probably has a daily, untraceable conference call on a burner phone with JB, since Pawlowski needs to make sure his Boss is happy. There are out of town conferences to attend, thanks to the generosity of taxpayer funded hotel rooms, meals, plane & train tickets and such. He also must attend various ribbon cutting ceremonies for certain, chosen businesses (only the businesses who make a deal with the devil and take grant money, never the ones who open on their own dime, because true market driven Capitalism is shunned here). Sometimes, when the Morning Call has their single photographer available, he has to hand out food with his favorite reverend to the homeless and poor. (He loves the homeless!) Then, he himself must eat out at various restaurants before they go out of business. He even has to walk a few blocks in a couple parades every year, handing out fabulous gifts like toothbrushes and nail files. And don't forget all that time he spends combing the bible, looking for applicable quotes about being falsely accused and heroic and all that. It all makes a managing director very necessary!

ironpigpen said...

O'Connell, Dougherty, Pawlowski - I'm sure they all had good intentions. As all politicians do. Especially those who are members of the all-caring Democrat Party, of course.

michael molovinsky said...

@8:27, i grow weary of your repetitive themes, in this case, slurring democrats. this blog takes no value in the number of comments received, only in their contribution to the dialogue. if you cannot refrain from your themes, i will accept no comments from you.

ironpigpen said...

You just can't handle the truth, can you, Molovinsky?

I grow tired of your repetitive lectures. You cry about the same shit all the time. Why can't I have the same response?

Do what you feel you must at your earliest convenience.

Scott Armstrong said...

Monkey Mamma,

4 stars for your post. Thank you!