Oct 27, 2011
Allentown Picks Winner, Then Announces Contest Rules
In what could only happen in Allentown, the City announced the contest rules, after the winner was picked. The Morning Call dutifully reported on the murky guidelines the City will use to allow property owners use of NIZ tax funds for development. The rules come after developer J.B. Reilly had his plans approved, and even before anybody else knew such a tax incentive was available to private owners. If that wasn't enough favoritism, the City loaned Reilly $20million to do the project. As the kids now say, everything about the deal is sketchy. First of all, what I call the City is called ACIDA. This is handpicked Pawlowski Authority, used as handmaiden of convenience. The Morning Call article kindly refers to the guidelines as flexible, having wiggle room and not cast in stone. Missing from the article is that the CocaCola Park promoters complained that they never were given a chance to bid on arena management. The displaced merchants, despite two meetings with the City, were never informed that the NIZ could be used by private property owners, and the unions have already protested initial renovations by Reilly. Most glaringly missing from the article is no mention of these Bizarro sequence of events; The City will now allow public input after all the decisions were made. The City will now explain how to enter the contest, after the brass ring has been won. The article does mention that The Morning Call building is in the NIZ zone.