Mar 8, 2010

The Night They Shot Emma Down

There was a time in Allentown's past, during the Heydt Administrations, when neighborhood groups had great influence. Special parochial interests prevailed; the neighbors of Muhlenberg College got the city to past special restrictive zoning against student renting(unconstitutional,shame on the college for laying down), Rental Inspections Law, in effect creating two classes of property owners, West Park Historic District, against the majority of homeowners wishes, etc... yes it was an effective machine which even resulted in the election of two members to city council, Pam Varkony and Tom Burke., everyone was happy, the mayor got support and the neighborhood associations got special considerations., There was only one fly in the ointment, the one and the only EMMA TROPIANO. She always voted for the "people" and what she considered fair. She delayed the passage of these measures, and was punished on Oct. 16, 2001. Invited to a candidate's night, she was confronted with special "yes or no" questions designed to specifically humiliate her. She refused to acknowledge that she was delinquent in taxes and had a building declared unfit (two recent developments from property she inherited) The Morning Call reporter was more than glad to answer for her in the next morning's paper. That was the end of Emma's career. It was also the end of decency in Allentown's political arena. She served 16 years on City Council, aided thousands of citizens, and earned my lasting respect.

reprinted from June 2, 2007



Chris Casey said...

MM, I would like to point out that Pam V was elected from the West end because she went door to door and introduced herself to ALL the residents. It was not about party, it was about community. Pam did a pretty good job of connecting with that. Towards the end, Emma T made far too many enemies and separated herself from most of the people that she was supposed to represent.
Remember her proposal to legislate and control the sale of Magic markers because of graffiti issues? Well intentioned, but way over the top.

gary ledebur said...

I remember Emma. She was wrong on a lot of issues however she worked hard for folks and, in spite of her prejudices, she did much good for Allentown. If I remember right, my ex-wife really liked Emma. She said Emma saved time by not wasting it looking for facts.

michael molovinsky said...

gary's ex-wife taught special ed, the most profoundly handicapped, in wheelchairs and diapers.

gary, do you know that emma would come into that classroom and visit with the children? although they couldn't vote, or communicate their experience to their parents, she came anyway.

michael molovinsky said...


Mrs. Tropiano had her faults. She proposed legislation that would have removed the requirements for refrigerators and ovens in rental properties.

Simply disgusting. Talk about turning the city into a third world country.

ANONYMOUS, there is no such requirement in allentown. however, many tenants bring their own appliances, and either discard the landlord's and/or end up tearing the kitchen flooring moving them about.

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting a property in Allentown can legally be rented without a refrigerator?

That is not true at all.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 2:50, as you may or may not know, i am a landlord, and always provide a refrigerator. however, to my knowledge there is no regulation which states that one must be provided. if you know better than me, you should document your assertion.

that would mean that with no requirement in place, the RUMOR that emma wanted to change the law is false, as are most rumors about her.

Anonymous said...

Morning Call records will prove my statement true.

I know this so I am not going to spend my time digging. If you are curious please feel free. Your time will not be wasted.