Mar 30, 2011
Allentown Citizen Patrol
Allentown City Council is debating whether to give Ernie Atiyeh $8,000 to start up a COP program, Citizens on Patrol. Atiyeh estimates the program would cost about $150,000 to start, and then about $90,000 a year, thereafter. Supposedly, the remaining funds would come from corporate donations and other sources. In today's Morning Call, reporter Chris Baxter outlines the different issues involving liability and precedent. The patrollers would be volunteers, while Atiyeh would pay himself $10,000 a year. If indeed Allentown's contribution would be a one time event, or limited to $8,000 a year, why open the can of worms for 5% of the program cost? Although the 5% may pay Atiyeh, the program can't really roll without the other $142,000. It would better serve Allentown taxpayers if we weren't the first donation in the kettle.