Jun 3, 2011

Open Letter to Lee Butz

In today's Morning Call there were seven letters against the arena, and one for it. The seven against, all stated well thought out reasons, while the eighth, by Lee Butz, was more smiles and giggles.
On the morning of May 24, I had the pleasure of attending a Lehigh Valley IronPigs game at Coca-Cola Park. It was attended by thousands of school kids, and seeing (and hearing) them was a real delight. I couldn't help but think of how it would look and sound when those kids attend an event in the new hockey arena in downtown Allentown. We have something very exciting to look forward to.
Lee Butz

Lee, I wished you had attended the recent City Council meeting, there was another sight; Grown men and women, the merchants facing eminent domain, actually sobbing. Sorry you missed that, but it's not too late. Walk down to the next block, and stop in a few stores. Ask for the owner.
Michael Molovinsky


Patrick McHenry said...

MM -

I couldn't agree more.

It's too bad that the hockey arena won't affect Mr. Butz, whose business has reaped the benefits of being located in a tax-free zone for the last few years.

It's also ironic that arena that Mr. Butz supports will be pushing out some of the businesses who are paying the taxes that Butz hasn't had to deal with - the same taxes that made Butz's sweet deal possible.

On top of that, I'm sure Butz will be at the front of the line for the big government contracts that will be awarded to construct the arena.

I find his letter incredibly self-serving. I hope the Morning Call printed a disclaimer below it.

Monkey Momma said...

It is interesting to observe the relationship between Butz and the City of Allentown. I have absolutely no reason to doubt Butz's sincerity to the "cause" of Allentown. Locating his headquarters in downtown Allentown was nothing but great for the city, even if it does cost the rest of the taxpaying citizens some money to support his presence downtown. Butz is a much needed presence downtown. They bring professionals downtown who really do help support the economy on Hamilton.

But, obviously, the mayor and Mr. Butz are on the same page on all matters related to Allentown and downtown. There's not anything wrong with them sharing an opinion on the stadium, but the average person does wonder how much cronyism and favoritsm exists between the mayor's office and Butz. It seems clear that Butz weilds some major power in the city, and I would love to know the extent of his involvement in city planning.

gary ledebur said...

Anytime government builds something new a lot of folks benefit. I don't know who the contractors are but check them out. I don't know who the bond attorneys are but check them out. Oftentimes their are procurers that make money on big land deals. Lots of money to be made. Lots of campaign contributions to be had. MM should investigate the deals.

Anonymous said...

For Lee Butz to gleefully welcome a proposed arena that his construction company may have the opportunity to build is slightly disgusting.

Anonymous said...

They bring professionals downtown who really do help support the economy on Hamilton.

Have you actually done any marketing research on the above statement? Have you spoken with restaurant owners and compare their "since-Butz" lunch audiences
vs. "before?"

michael molovinsky said...

considering that the sangria restaurant in butz's building was subsidized with a startup grant (around 500 thousand), in addition to the building's KOZ and grants, i would say the professional contribution to hamilton street is mostly in house for butz. i don't believe that butz himself has that many employee's.
i do agree that overall the butz building was certainly a positive for hamilton street, and that he has shown commitment

Anonymous said...

For the children! A mantra of the Butzification of Allentown camp.

There is no market research done in Allentown. Simply because the individuals who can afford it do not want to deal with reality.

Of course those outcomes would stand in opposition to what their plans are.

For the children! How cute. On the flip side is of course "Screw the adults".

Anonymous said...


I've written it before but it bears repeating; while the city spins ever more rapidly down the drain some are doing just fine by their letter writing efforts.

Scott Armstrong