Sep 14, 2008

Bloated Bureaucracy


This week Allentown City Council will decide if the new Managing Director must live in Allentown; a better question would be if Allentown needs a managing director. This new position was created by Mayor Pawlowski in 2006 to help him manage the city. Depending upon who you ask, anywhere from 30 to 44 new white collar positions have been created by this Administration, while at the same time police officers are retiring in mass, and the streets are strewn with litter. One of the positions the Manager would overseer is the Special Events Manager. Yesterday Hamilton Street was closed for CELEBRATE ALLENTOWN, nobody came.* Nobody coming was the good news, the bad news was what the street closure cost the merchants. This was the third saturday that Hamilton Street was recently closed to traffic. Matthew Tuerk told the reporter covering the event he was having a great time. Matt once again forgot to mention he's acting director of the Allentown Economic Development Corporation. In July a private promoter, Alfonso Todd, produced UPWARD BOUND, a Multi-Cultural Celebration on the 600 block of Hamilton Street. That event was reasonably well attended at no cost to the taxpayers. It required no full time director with benefits and pension to manage a full time coordinator with benefits and pension. I suspect the taxpayers could have sent the few people who attended on Saturday to DisneyWorld, for a week, and still saved money.

* http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-5celebrate.6588187sep14,0,3351563.story

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, MM, for letting people know that I just had a multi-cultural event on July 12th that had over 20 vendors/organizations and, although, it wasn't Musikfest, (300 - 500 people came through), it proved to me that we, as citizens, can make a difference and make things happen even while others tend to be moving in slow motion. I know the Vision Meetings have good intentions but we need leaders, like myself, who are willing to put themselves out there and, if needed, circumvent politics, the status quo, and even the City and just DO SOMETHING to make things happen. We need more events to bring people back downtown. We need more information placed into ALL of the Allentown communities to educate residents about up and coming meetings and the NEED to get involved and participate ! We need to cultivate and initiate the young and older creative and artistic minds in Allentown and help them achieve viable businesses and movements that will create interest and cause those who live outside of A-town to come and see what's happening in A-town. We need to face the facts that Allentown is an urban, gritty, multicultural and diverse City that has leaders that need to stop trying to build a time machine and create a landscape that resembles Hess' days of old. They need to market Allentown as it is and PEOPLE will come. Many WANT the urban, gritty, multi-cultural scene; especially the young, creative minds who are now more entrepenurial than ever. This may NOT be the plan many want to hear or envision, but unless Allentown makes some quick changes, all I can say is "Will the last person leaving please turn off the lights ?"
P.S.: And for those who are wondering WHY you never heard of my event, I can't answer you. I submitted event info directly to reporters at Mcall via e-mail, RCN, Metromix, and PulseWeekly. I don't wat to say blackballed, but.....

Alfonso

michael molovinsky said...

alfonso, it should also be noted that your event required only closing the 600 block of hamilton, while the city event involved closing the entire shopping district. the city event was publicized by the Morning Call, while your event received no attention, yet, yours was crowded in comparison. you, as one person, have done more to promote festivities in town than the bureaucrats. likewise, angie villa, has done more promoting the arts. a value audit is long overdue at city hall.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, MM, it is appreciated, but there are many others like myself who hold events in Allentown on a monthly and weekly basis who have NEVER received recognition. We don't do the events for money or fame; (because believe me the only thing I received after UPWARD BOUND, ALLENTOWN event was mental and physical exhaustion) we do it for the community. We love this City and refuse to let what others think, write, blog, or say deter our goal in making this a better place. So, whether I receive a proclamation, a key, or just a Thank-you for promoting A-town in a positive way, I still will move on and create other events for this great City !

Alfonso

Anonymous said...

MIke,

Will any of our esteemed local Democrats challenge the mayor on his appointment of the under qualified out of towner to fill the vacancy in the recently created cabinet position of city manager? It is my guess once again not one will speak up. Profile in courage? Putting integrity first?

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Mike: I spent Sunday as a volunteer assisting one of my favorite 19th St. Corridor businesses at the "Ladies Affair" at the Allentown Brew Works. It was a happy surprise to see how many women - most fit the "upscale" category. All came into town to patronize this shopping/fundraising event and paid to do so! Proud to have been a part of it!
Not too many knew about the parking lot behind Hamilton between 9th and 8th which makes the Brew Works more attractive to patronize for a meal.
I was especially happy to meet the owner of the "Sweet Spot" bakery who was a vendor at this event. Hopefully Vickie's great products will make some or many of these ladies come back for more. With any business smarts, the owners on Hamilton area establishments will insist, and the city will cooperate, on more police presence to make repeat business a reality. Any suggestions on what concerned citizens can do to help make this happen? NK

Anonymous said...

Michael,
Even if all of Hamilton St was open to traffic, and cars were parked in every darn spot, there still would not have been a sizeable crowd. And surely a city-wide festival would not draw big crowds to shop in the stores that currently inhabit that area.
Also, in whose place is the 'acting Allentown Community Relations Director' working? Where is the real one? And yes, it's hard to believe the Mcall reported didn't ID Mr. Tuerk as a city flak.

Anonymous said...

Yes, MM, I went to the Ladies Affair at Allentown BrewWorks (had to get pics for my e-newsletter, www.lehighvalleyflavor.piczo.com and they'll be in next month's issue) and it was AWESOME !!! Hats off to April of MAC Cosmetics, one of the organizers. It only proved to me that if we organize and publicize events correctly, people WILL come. Vendors repesenting Macy's, Best Buy, Clinique, tons of small boutiques from Easton, Allentown,and Bethlehem, food, massages, make-up, and even nails and hair were done, It was truly a GREAT event! This only goes to show that people will come to A-town if you give them a reason to.

Alfonso

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to chime in here late, but I am glad to find that it was not just me that was shocked to find M. Tuerk quoted in The Call without any reference to his official position with the city.

I met Mr. Tuerk recently at a public meeting and found him to be one of the most bitter and obnoxious people I've ever encountered. Not only was he rude, but insulting. How does such a nasty person who is so unprofessional maintain his position with the City? How can someone so negative be in a position to try and entice businesses to locate within Allentown?

Shame on this arrogant group within City government for taking such an aggressive position against those who might be supportive. I guess they are right and everyone else is wrong.