Apr 14, 2009

City Promotes Thief










The City of Allentown, through it's Mayor and Development Director, apparently helped promote a thief. Daro's Fitness Center, after pocketing an untold number of yearly memberships, skipped out of town over Easter. Fitness members found locked doors and a storefront empty of equipment. Now I wouldn't condemn our officials for just a mistake of judgement, that's only human, but I condemn them for a pattern of arrogance. In my posting on June 27, 2008, I interviewed the previous operator of that location, Xertek Fitness. That gentleman invested nine years and $300,000 into that business. He was forced to move because the Parking Authority doubled the meter rate and preyed on his membership. Time after time this administration has let long term established businesses close, and then catered to or subsidized little fly by nights, and called this situation progress. I would humbly suggest that our officials interview the few remaining merchants of substance, find out their concerns, and address them. The image shown was highjacked without permission from Allentown Good News Blog, as was my taxes.

17 comments:

Chris Casey said...

I just read about Daro's on the Mcall Retail Watch Blog at Lunch, and I have to shake my head. Sounds like Daro's wasn't all that legit to begin with. I don't have any answers for you, But I would start by turning off the free money tap.

Anonymous said...

The people at Daro's are jerks with or without the chamber/city promoting the opening. They didn't know this would happen. But I agree, they should've done more to keep the existing gym there instead of letting the parking authority abuse the merchants and residents at will.

michael molovinsky said...

pawlowski campaigned on the promise of making the parking authority more citizen friendly, instead they have cooperated in shenanigans. while ticketing the only shopper parked on hamilton or 6th on a saturday, they "sold" the parking lots to zawarski, against the interests of existing homeowners in the St. Paul neighborhood and the verizon workers. i will not mention names without permission, but most of the remaining long term merchants feel their customers have been abused by the parking authority. the extended meter district out to chew st. is simply criminal, and a tax upon the residents there. i've seen the parking authority board in action, like all boards in the lehigh valley, they're rubber stamps.

Anonymous said...

Does it make anyone else nervous when a business, endorsed by the City, can do a "ghetto move" and slip away in the middle of the night (or over the weekend) ?

- J. BLACK

Anonymous said...

There is real reason to believe that this was all a hoax to begin with. Daro's chain is notorious for buying and selling used gym equipment. Mr. mayor's people didn't do the research that I did in 15 minutes. City should sue Daro -- but they are such bumbleheads Daro's would have better lawyers.

dick nepon said...

The problem is symptomatic of an administration clutching at straws to get anyone to invest our money and possibly theirs in the downtown. There is no plan, no focus. Read my FAQ at
this link http://allentown.nepon.us

I have a focus. I feel bad for the folks that got ripped off by the gym, but even more so for the taxpayers that continually get ripped off by the lack of focused development.

I have referred to the Parking Authority for years as a regressive tax. While there are legitimate functions for a parking authority it seems to me that the authority does nothing to ease the parking problems in the inner city, preferring to collect fines to support the apparatus needed to collect the fines. While not without some good, the Authority needs an overhaul as to its objectives and enforcement.
At the last City Council meeting they were going to make it illegal to move your car to avoid a ticket, if you did it intentionally. They would have been going into mind-reading, I suppose. They claim to have technology that can tell if your car moved enough inches to qualify as a movement. In addition, they would require a musical chairs version of cars and parking spots that would benefit no one except the parking authority while disrupting life for neighborhoods more so than occasional parkers overstaying their welcome. The cure is worse than the disease.

This is all about why I am running for Mayor.

(I bet we have the whole home movie of them moving out courtesy of the flashing blue lights!)

Squirrel said...

All businesses are becoming more creative on how they generate cash flow. Russians from the NY Metor area. Heh - easy come easy go.

Take the equipment to the next fool mayor you can find and open another gym. Great return on ones investment.

Daros is typical of the businesses that prey on economically distressed and administratively challenged cities.

Even some of the local corps do it as well. Check out the link.

michael molovinsky said...

dick, i wish you well, but when i fought against the parking authority with the meter increase, you weren't there. when i fought against the parking authority about the size of the meter district,you weren't there. when i fought against the parking authority selling lots used by both residents and workers, you weren't there.

Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that Daros did not get any City money. Giving someone a ribbon cutting doesn't equal open the taxpayers wallets. I also don't think it is the City's responsibility to run background checks or interrogations of potential business owners to determine their credibility. What happened is unfortunate but like most of your posts, am not sure what constantly bashing City officials is accomplishing. I would welcome your solutions beside removing these officials. While that would open the door for others to do their jobs (believe me, I do agree some HAVE to go), I would encourage you to become less negative and more solution focused. One can get lost in a sea of negativity on the internet or become part of the the change that the City and the world needs...

An Exorcist said...

This is a joke, right? Hopefully, this post is some kind of late April Fools joke.

You can't win for losing.

This really sucks! For the past five minutes I have had my mouth wide open and thinking about absolutely nothing, like a got sucker punched.

If it keeps on going like this, A-Town won't have anything going for it. It might be time for a new administration.

Peace, ~~Alex

michael molovinsky said...

anon 11:13, i beg your pardon, but i have spent over a decade working to prevent problems created by those who think strategies are solutions. for instance, when the parking authority proposed raising the rates, which chased out the original fitness center, it was me who surveyed all the merchants. in that survey, which i presented to city council which had to approve the increase, i demonstrated that almost all the merchants were against the increase, while linda kauffman, former apa director, testified the merchants wanted the increase. likewise, it was me who anticipated the negative consequences of the lanta bus changes. don't confuse bad planning with solutions, and don't confuse small government with negativity.

Mad said...

When the city endorses a business, as they did with Daros, they SHOULD do a simple background check. For example, did Daros register with the state AG? No. And I guess they're supposed to if they accept more than 3 months of dues at one time. It's outrageous, and Pawlowski and his team ought to be ashamed.

michael molovinsky said...

mr. mad, i think the problem is that they're too anxious for "good news". the are things that they should be proud of; the Brew Works ( i support the business, not the excessive grants), the Cosmopolitan is turning into a reality. i can't get excited about the small shops which opened with the 20k grants, that was not appropriate in my opinion. also to my knowledge Daro's received no grant. the city should be promoting tucker yarn and salomon jewelers, merchants who have devoted a lifetime to hamilton street.

Anonymous said...

They did not get City money - state the facts you hate monger!

michael molovinsky said...

anon 10:13, i never stated Daro's did get money from the city, and in the comment previous to yours, i state that they did not. please comment elsewhere in the future

dick nepon said...

Michael, sometimes work goes on behind the scenes that never makes the light, because it failed. That doesn't mean it didn't exist. That is why I am running now. I am tired of having to work behind the scenes, and failing to get any effect. You and I are not so far apart in concept. That's why I have followed your blog for so long. How we go about effecting the change is a bigger difference. I really do appreciate your dedication to the cause, and all the time and effort you have put in. Thanks for wishing me well. Spread the word.

A Progeny of Maroun said...

Mr. Molovinsky,

The Express-Times reported yesterday that PA Attorney General Tom Corbett is seeking some sort of action against Daro's Fitness and two other fitness facilities. Maybe some of the poor people taken in this scam can contact their, PA Attorney General's, office to see what their rights might be.

Peace, ~~Alex