Sep 21, 2011

Your Esteemed Opinion


Thursday evening you're welcome to express your idea's for Allentown's riverfront, to an out of town paid consultant. Allentown may receive a $5million dollar grant, which it could use to purchase the former Structural Steel property, if the current option holder fails to close. If you cannot attend the meeting, try batting your lips in front of your bathroom mirror. In reality, your mirror cares more about your opinion than the city. Yesterday, I met with a displaced Hamilton Street merchant. Although the Hamilton Street plan is very real, there was no public input what-so-ever. This merchant had about 90 days to make alternative arrangements for the past 26 years of his life. He was stunned when I told him that a connected developer can also use the taxes generated in the NIZ for his private debt service. Although these displaced merchants attended two private meetings with City Hall, and one with Pat Browne, they were never offered or told of that option. The Riverfront dog and pony show is Thursday evening, at the Wheel of Deals Building, at Front and Hamilton Streets.

An article on the meeting by Devon Lash appeared in yesterday's Morning Call

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

"a connected developer can also use the taxes generated in the NIZ for his private debt service."
What does that mean?
This debacle keeps on growing.

michael molovinsky said...

the j.c. reilly real estate projects, across from two sides of the arena, have received permission from the allentown economic and development corp., to use their generated taxes for it's debt service. this is the same taxing mechanism that will used to finance the arena. the use of this taxing strategy for private individuals was not previously revealed to the public, or even the merchants being shoved aside.

binzley said...

Surely MM you don't want a businessman as important as Reilly to take a risk with his own money?

Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe Pat Browne has sold many of his constituents down the river. We realize you don't wish to agree with us but it's becoming clearly evident he has. He even created a new tax write-off for this project. He knew local businesses would be tossed out and he didn't care. It's sad.

michael molovinsky said...

gary, yesterday i rejected a comment asking why i'm giving up and not organizing marches for the merchants to stay. the short answer is that the merchants had to make contingency plans and commitments to continue their livelihood. it's easy for us not affected, to pontificate on rich capitalism, etc, but this is very real for the displaced merchants. some have not secured alternative sites, and all are risky compared to the mercantile block they had invested in long ago. in addition to the merchants not knowing that the NIZ funding mechanism was available to private parties, the private party use is approved by the AEDC on a case by case basis. there appears to be no attempt at equity in that arrangement.

michael molovinsky said...

although i have been critical of browne, i have yet to discuss this matter with him, and hear his explanation. i will say that the bill was co-authored by jennifer mann, and she must share equal responsibility for it's consequences.

Anonymous said...

Blogger michael molovinsky said...

although i have been critical of browne, i have yet to discuss this matter with him, and hear his explanation. i will say that the bill was co-authored by jennifer mann, and she must share equal responsibility for it's consequences.

September 21, 2011 7:10 AM

Well said. Forgot about that. You are correct. It's both Rs and Ds who have done this to downtown merchants. Will be interesting to see next campaign season how these two handle the issue. Perhaps they're not running again and don't care. Perhaps they're going on to greener pastures.

Anonymous said...

Imagine this small group of "leaders" huddled together devising such a tax benefit plan. Did they give a glance of care for those damaged or to be damaged by this project or did they and not care?
MM, please keep us informed of the tax issues. They're complex and somewhat difficult to understand. Thank you for taking the time to write about this.

Anonymous said...

Paper states the meeting is on Thursday, you state this evening. Could you please clarify?

Browne and Mann remain mute on this issue. Comments such as "read the legislation" if you want to know, if accurate, are not appropriate.

In the context of the economy this just does not make sense. There also seems to be a total disregard for property rights from many perspectives.

Allentown really is pay to play. It is no secret. Perhaps the the State Auditor General should expand their inquiry to city hall when they come to the ASD.

Anonymous said...

MM. Suspect Browne and Mann will not run again. Imagine their opponents using campaign literature featuring huge holes in the earth where once Hamilton Street stood or interviewing lost downtown merchants now struggling.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 7:34, the meeting is Thursday evening, thank you for pointing out my error.

Anonymous said...

I love out of town paid consultants. Glad to see my tax money being used productively by the City. Just so long as this out of town consultant is making campaign contributions to the right kind of people, now.

I mean, hey, the City could be spending this same 'consulting' money (laundering scheme?) on Molovinsky's extremely radical scheme to preserve the City With No Limits' WPA historical and iconic structures in the Park system!

I just hope these out of town consultants have some super cool catalogs to pick out of, that's all I'm saying.

YES I THINK, THEREFORE I CAN!

Anonymous said...

Have not heard anything about the financial status of the city.

Curious as to whether the prior issues have been resolved or if attention has just moved to the great arena scheme of 2011?