Feb 9, 2011

Allentown State of Union

Mayor Pawlowski recently stated that Allentown is stronger than ever. I lived there when mom-and-pop shops were on just about every block and Hess's department store thrived. And I would completely disagree with his assessment. Perhaps if Mr. Pawlowski was a native of this area, he would retract his bold statement. I remember when Allentown was very prosperous. The property owners took pride in their homes and the city was clean. It was safe to walk the streets at night; I remember walking to Hess's at night to walk my mother home from work. I was a young child then and never feared the town.

Now most of the good jobs are gone except municipal, fire, police, teachers and prison guards — all paid by our taxes. I was one of the working taxpayers who made the mass exodus out of town to have peace of mind. The parking authority made me think twice about ever venturing back to patronize the remaining businesses. It is very sad to see what Allentown has become, and I don't see any hope for its recovery. I suppose you can keep raising taxes and charging fees for services. I am glad I left.

Ronald A. Nechetsky

Northampton
letter in The Morning Call, February 9, 2011

18 comments:

gary ledebur said...

Mr. Nechetsky presents a very sad and doleful story. We all miss things from our past. I loved downtown Allentown with its hess's and two other department stores. My neighbors swept their sidewalks every morning, although I must admit I usually failed to do so. That being said progress marches on. MM has a friend who looks at what happened in the valley from the Leni Lanape lens. She has some very sad stories also. The auto and tire industry killed streetcars and somebody, probably an out of towner, built the Lehigh Valley Mall. Mr Nechetsky, as did all of us including MM, contributed to the decline in Allentown by moving out of the city. Shame on us!

Patrick McHenry said...

MM -

The sad part is that the City is losing the opportunity to attract people like Mr. Nechetsky - people who have fond memories of the city and who might be willing to patronize Allentown (if it were actually improving).

The next generation - the children of Mr. Nechetsky and others - likely have little or no ties to Allentown and are frightened to venture into town (to work, shop, live) in the mass numbers needed to make a difference.

That is what is truly sad and what is being squandered because of the "Decade of Ineptitude" from Allentown City Hall.

Patrick McHenry said...

Gary -

As usual you are missing the point.

Mr Nechetsky was commenting on the Mayor's statement that Allentown is stronger than ever. Most of us know that isn't the case, and the letter writer did a good job pointing this out.

As to your statement that "progress marches on", spare me. Please find me one area where the city has improved over the last decade. If the city has been marching, it's been marching backwards.

michael molovinsky said...

gary, i'd like to address your statement that i moved out of the city. although it's true that i currently reside several blocks beyond the city border, i did not flee the city or "contribute to the decline of allentown" in this realm of internet anonymity, i'm forward with my name and opinion. however, i do choose to still kept my family and business matters private. i will say that i am still very much present in allentown.

michael molovinsky said...

patrick, gary has lived 50 miles away for 20 years. his point of view is political and philosophical, not site specific.

Monkey Momma said...

"Mr Nechetsky, as did all of us including MM, contributed to the decline in Allentown by moving out of the city. Shame on us!"

I wouldn't be so quick to blame the victim here. Good people have been moving out of Allentown for good reason. They will move back when Allentown improves. The fact that they've left is a symptom, not the cause of, the city's decline.

gary ledebur said...

If white upper middle class folks move out of a city will it decline economically? If so ss that the cause of the problem or a symptom? I don't know but I do know it has happened in cities all across America. Look around. Norristown, Easton, Reading, Harrisburg, Camden, and on and on. Were they all mismanaged by incompetent bureaucrats and politicians? Perhaps so. You guys evidently know a lot about urban management than I do.

michael molovinsky said...

monkey momma, good point.

gary, there certainly is some white flight that is racially motivated. but there is also litter, crime and quality of life decline which has not been properly addressed. pawlowski's state of the union address totally ignored most people's perception of allentown's reality, thus the gentleman's letter. when government leaders ignore reality because of political correctness or blind optimism, and don't accept that there are problems, they don't look for solutions.

Anonymous said...

We didn't leave Allentown, Allentown left us.

Anonymous said...

Bravo 3:11!!!

Anonymous said...

Allentown will never improve until welfare and affirmative action is eliminated and politically correct solutions are abandoned. That won't happen until the liberals are voted out of office and leaders that can face reality are installed. Democrats thought they could "help" people by giving entitlements in an effort to make them equal. They said it was only fair. Every city in the US has the same problems and it may be too late for all of us to see improvement. It could be that our better days have passed and we didn't notice. Why didn't we notice? Because we have been brainwashed by our government schools to think that minorities should have more rights than the majority, without earning it. We should all have the same rights. Our rights come from our creator, not from government. If we don't get back to our faith, the government will take over since we will not have the spirit or will to fight back. What will we have left to fight for that the government can't take away?
Stealth

Anonymous said...

"Every city in the US has the same problems and it may be too late for all of us to see improvement."

I agree. Things change. No more strawberry pie at Hess's. Wringing our hands over a different world doesn't solve anything.

glenn miller said...

I have seen the Explosion News all over internet of whats going on in Allentown!
Terrible to say the least--However! I've heard it said the only way to correct the city's ills is to blow it up and start over again!
Since out of town has this planned been adopted by city councel--I mean the city is self destructing in so many other ways---maybe this is an acceleration program!
Strange the Gross towers blow-up of afew years back and now this--street by street--block by block--mentality seems to be we can't fix -blow it up!
I know this won't fly because of tragic nature of loss of life--yet our young people are dieing in wars and on our boarders--no one give a crap--seems that certain life is expendable while others are morned!
unfortunate i'd say!

Looking To Escape said...

Every city in the US has the same problems and it may be too late for all of us to see improvement.
.
Not every city. Some cities in America are doing suprisingly well these days.
.
I do see for the northeast continued decline in the cities and then the states themselves.
.
They have made welfareism the common social denominator.

Anonymous said...

"Council"

"Dying"

"Mourned"

Product of Allentown School District education?

michael molovinsky said...

anon 3:14, yes he is. we graduated allen together, but he got drafted and went to viet nam, with many of our classmates. he's been a contributing member of this community ever since. there's more to life than spell check.

Anonymous said...

"Not every city. Some cities in America are doing suprisingly well these days."
I stand corrected! The cities that are run by "conservatives" are doing OK.
Stealth

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, all I ever hear about is the need to spend more and more and more and more money on education.

So, yeah, I notice certain things because I am told I must.

As for the ability to make tremendous contributions, I once had a guy in my charge who could not read, write or even count without his fingers.

Hell'uva backhoe operator though, perhaps the best I ever saw. Outstanding with concrete work, as well. Man had all kinds of tangible assets, I never mistook that.

It is unfortunate but true, all I ever hear is the need to spend more and more money on edcuation - how it is everyone's RIGHT to have a college degree.

And that makes me notice certain things...nothing personal.

Strictly politics.