Oct 19, 2016

Pawlowski's Defiance

According to Emily Opilo of The Morning Call, Ed Pawlowski has gone ahead and hired Michael Walker for de-facto head of Community Development,  even though his appointment was rejected by city council.  Pawlowski implemented this end run by designating Walker as Operations Manager. The operation manager position was created when the previous director was also working officially with the NIZ.

There is actually two factors involved in this defiance. The first is that a historically passive city council allowed city hall to get top heavy.  While there are less indians than ever, there are still as many or more chiefs.  The second factor also involves council's passivity. Opilo also writes, Most council members were initially hesitant to make any public moves against Pawlowski. Two months after the investigation was revealed, council signed off on Pawlowski's pick for finance director and also approved his 2016 budget with minimal pushback.   I have always been amazed at council's refusal to use various funding approvals as a negotiating tool to assert themselves as a check and balance on policy. Consequently, over the years,  I and others have described council as a rubber stamp.

Unfortunately, even under the current environment, Pawlowski  holds sway over the majority of council. While several council members are still known essentially as supporters,  Pawlowski still has strong influence over the majority of members.  Besides his known supporters, at least two more members benefit from either city employment or property. It takes only four votes to get your way in Allentown.

ADDENDUM: Pawlowski may be proving that you don't even need four votes to get your way in Allentown.


Scott Armstrong said...


And I think residents who care about good government(the few of us) in Allentown are becoming dispirited and losing faith that any justice will be done when it comes to the open and rampant corruption of the Pawlowski Administration. Who would have guessed a year ago that we would at this point no longer have faith in the FBI.

Jamie Kelton said...

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
But more, much more than this
I did it my way

- Edwin "Big Ed" Pawlowski, Mayor of Allentown

pathfinder said...

Past City Councils have failed the residents by being a rubber stamp for the Mayor. The current Council, in place since January has stepped up against the Mayor and has exemplified the weaknesses in the current Home Rule Charter. The current Charter was written in a time when people respected the law and corruption and greed were not rampant as it is today. A charter review and update is desperately needed.

This is all a scam by the Mayor. The Mayor wants Mr. Walker on the city payroll simply because he wants the taxpayers to pay a lawyer for him. Jack McMahon will not do pro-bono work and the seizure of the Mayor's failed campaign funds leaves him without the ability to pay his current lawyer.

Scott, the FBI has probably concluded it's investigations because this case is in the hands of the Department of Justice to bring charges against the Mayor. The change in prosecutors set the case back. But we have seen how corrupt that department is under the Obama administration. I just hope they get their act together and charge the Mayor soon so Allentown can get out from under the stigma of his inept administration.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is ridiculous to suggest that Pawlowski still holds sway over Council when they rejected his nominee 5-2. All Council has to do is refuse to fund the position in the budget. They hold the purse strings. He created a position without their approval, but they have to fund it and can refuse.

Dave said...

Allentown needs to return to the previous commission form of government (1914) under which the mayor and four elected councilmen had served as full-time department heads

We've had two mayors since 1970, Joe Daddona dn Ed Pawlowski which have arguably driven the city into the ground due to their policies. Both were very long-term mayors, and due to the weakness of the city council, have basically ruled the city how they wanted to. City Council has been relegated to a role not unlike Statler and Waldorf of "the Muppets", who basically either rubber-stamp or complain about the mayor, but other than a lot of hot air, have no real political power. It's all centralized in the Mayor's office.

Also, under the omission form of government, the number of Department "Chiefs" would be drastically reduced with unnecessary functions being either consolidated into other departments or eliminated entirely. It also will de-centralize the power base in the city.

Scott Armstrong said...

Pathfinder, So a cynic could conclude the only difference between the FBI's investigations into Hillary and the one here locally is that the FBI didn't announce there are no crimes here. Who except enablers doubt the Justice Department is totally corrupted? I hope I am wrong.

Jamie Kelton said...

Mr Armstrong

There is little doubt that the leadership of the Justice Department and the FBI have been corrupted by the Obama Administration. Once you get past the leadership howeer, the Federal Attorneys and the investigative FBI agents are likely not. I've read of much discord and anger by career FBI agents as well as the Federal Attorneys about the current political leadership of those agencies.

Mayor Pawlowski is a molehill compared to Hillary Clinton and I suspect it's because the investigative FBI agents can't get an airtight case against him for the Federal Attorney to take to a grand jury. That's likely why no indictments have been issued about crimes he is being charged against him.

I also think that the Federal Attorney knows his term is up next year, and is waiting to see what his political plans are as well as if he's re-elected. The worst thing he can do is indict Pawlowski and he winds up getting a Not Guilty verdict in court.