Apr 12, 2008
ROSE Colored Glasses
On monday evening the City of Allentown and the Chamber of Commerce will hold a joint meeting where merchants are encouraged to have their voice heard and help create a vision. In 2005, the City accepted The Parking Authority testimony, supported by the Chamber of Commerce, that the merchants approved doubling the meter rate. I conducted a survey and discovered the merchants neither approved or knew about the rate changes. This past fall, when 78 merchants petitioned Lanta not to remove the transfer stations away from Hamilton Street, they were supported neither by the City, nor the Chamber. Although this public gathering in a large meeting room promises a venue for input, the real decision makers can, and do, fit in one booth at the Brew Pub. This meeting is a public relations smorgasbord for the bureaucrats; it will be cited in future budget and grant applications under public input. One merchant, who has been on Hamilton Street for fifty years, spends his time handing out quarters and apologies to his customers about the meters. Another, there for 30 years, now works a second job because Lanta was encouraged to not serve Hamilton Street. Neither will be at the meeting, they were ignored when it really counted.
Blogger's disclaimer: I know the person organizing this meeting, she is a nice, sincere person. I believe she wasn't employed at the time the above wounds were inflicted upon the merchants and/or she is not within the sphere of influence; small booth at BrewPub
Blogger's clarification: It should be noted that in addition to the merchants opposed to the Lanta changes, 1187 signatures from bus riders were ignored.
It should be noted that this past week the Parking Authority, at the bequest of the city, ignored a petition from 120 Verizon workers opposed to the sale of the adjoining parking lot.
Although the merchants may be given input on some street festival, the big decisions will be made in the small booth.
BLOGGER'S OUTRAGE: The following comment, which I posted on the Morning Call Forum in response to an op-ed piece by Pastor Stevens about the vision meeting has been removed from mcall.
Pastor Stevens, in all due respect, I have reservations about the true degree of input most merchants and citizens really have, despite this type of meeting. i refer you to my blog, where i express a point of view based on my experience with the realities of allentown.... http://www.molovinskyonallentown.blogspot.com...