Lisa Pawlowski, wife of Mayor Ed Pawlowski, is circulating the following email;
Saturday, July 18, 2009 6:59:11 PM
Playground at Cedar Beach
I am writing to drum up some support for a playground at Cedar Beach Park . There are already plans for a big, destination playground on the West end of Cedar Beach , just south of the Pool. These plans have been in progress for the last couple of years. Now that they want to move forward, a group of about 20 men have approached Allentown City Council to protest this park. I have no real idea why. Perhaps they are saying it will bring too much noise to people enjoying the park. Well, we already have a pool, basketball and volleyball courts, and they don't seem to protest that.
Anyway, I'm trying to organize different groups of interested people to perhaps attend the next City Council meeting, Aug 5th, to say that they would like a playground to be at Cedar Beach . Would you bring this to your membership, and either get a petition signed and bring it to the city council meeting, or try to get everyone to come. I won't be able to be there (because of vacation plans), but I'd suggest bringing kids, and signs that say "We need a playground at Cedar Beach ". Also, it will be fully handicap accessible, which we don't have too many of in
Allentown . The handicap apparatus was chosen by a group of mothers of handicap children in Allentown , as well as a Pediatrician.
At minimum, you could direct your members that are on facebook to join my group "Yes, we need a big playground at Cedar Beach Park ". I will have someone bring the list of members of this group to city council, though having people there is MUCH more effective. And kids and signs play well for any media that would be there. If City Council members know that there is a LOT of support for this playground, they won't get in the way.
Please talk to your members, join my fb group, post the group on your networks and invite other people to join, and let me know what you decide to do. I am a mother of 2 kids (10 and 7), and always wished that there were more playgrounds in our wonderful park system. I also happen to be the Mayor's wife.
XX XXth Street
Allentown , PA 18101
h (610) 434-XXXX
c (610) 349-XXXX
Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, first of all the protesters were not 20 men, most were women, and there were about 70 of them. I can assure you most of these women are also mothers and appreciate playgrounds. Their objection is the scale of the playground. The masterplan of 2005 recommended less usage of Cedar Creek Park, not more. This mega-playground, and it's necessary parking, will most likely force the special events, such as Mayfair and Sportsfest to expand over Ott Street into the Rose Garden side of the park. Now let me be less polite.
It's disingenuous of you to have distorted the composition of the protesters, your husband was in the building and is fully informed who was there.
It's disingenuous of you to bring up the special needs aspect. Mack Playground has such equipment virtually never used. Again, the issue is the size of this playground, large enough to accommodate 567 children.
I believe it is somewhat improper to insert yourself into this issue; sending this email to mother's and women's groups, misrepresenting the facts.
Furthermore, to be blunt, you and your husband know jack about our traditional, nationally recognized park system. Last week your husband said Allentown will develop a world class park system. We have a world class park system, you need only be good stewards of that pride. When Ed ran for mayor, he said nothing about making major changes in the parks, I wish he had, but then you wouldn't be "First Lady" now.
Lastly, people came to the past meeting to defend their beloved park. These are dignified long term residents of Allentown, I doubt they will come to this upcoming meeting to compete with your dog and pony show.
ADDENDUM: I have just noticed that LIsa Pawlowski's letter is dated July 18th. It was apparently written in reaction to the 15
or so citizens who came to the City Council Meeting on July 15th to speak against the park plan. She is correct
about the amount of people, but, then also, the majority of speakers were women. Most of those women
returned for the Park Committee meeting July 28th, and were joined by about 50 more people. Again, most of
the "protesters" were women. Although I regret saying she minimized the amount of protesters, she did inject a
gender "card" into the debate. Of course the recommendation to use children and signs to sway the media and so
that council "won't get in the way" speaks for itself.