Dec 2, 2011

Stacking the Deck

When Donny Cunningham appointed Ed Pawlowski to the Lehigh Valley Airport Authority, he stacked the deck against Queen City Airport. Pawlowski has advocated selling Queen City for development since before he was mayor. The fact that this city needs no more commercial or residential space is lost on him. South Mall, once home to three large department stores, now has one. The property has underperformed for decades. Needless to say, the last thing the school district needs is more housing and students. The distance between Queen City and Lehigh Valley Airport provides a safety margin between commercial planes and small aircraft. The Airport Authority is a case-study in poor decision making. They took land for runway expansion they never used, now owing the original owners ten times the price in penalty and interest. (LVIA is under court order to pay $26million) They expanded their departure terminal to a size they never needed. They constantly remodel the under used facility. They fired their director with no succession plans in place. Cunningham appointing Pawlowski, with a predetermined agenda, is the last person that board needed.
UPDATE: In an article today in The Morning Call, it states that the sale and development of Queen City could create "thousands of jobs." That is ridiculous.


Anonymous said...

Visited South Mall at noon one day this week, sadly practically empty.

Anonymous said...


it is ridiculous, so it must be true. It's Allentown.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

85% of the South Mall is in Salisbury Township buddy.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:38, shoppers don't know or care if southmall is in allentown or salisbury. this post deals with the lack of demand for more retail and commercial space. however, your comment reflects the shortsightedness of the administration, and it's apologists.

Bernie O'Hare said...

At a recent County Council budget hearing, Airport Authority members made a presentation. The idea of selling Queen City is all but dead. Under federal rules, they would have to provide a site for another regional airport that would be the same quality, so the costs would be prohibitive.

ironpigpen said...

With all due respect, what is the difference between Favoritism and 'Pay-for-Play'?

Personally, I have a hard time thinking 'favored' status can arrive without some sort of cleverly-named, cleverly-disguised, cleverly-whatever fee.

In other words, I thoroughly conclude that those who benefit from Favoritism are nothing more than practioners of Pay-for-Play.

I do not, however, believe the Favored stay up all night worrying about what I think or might say.

I clearly understand the joke is on me.

Non-compliant Comrade,
People's Democratic City of Allentown

Anonymous said...

MM -

Once again, we see the incredible lack of vision by our Mayor in Allentown.

While other communities are creatively using their historic resources - and suburban malls like the Promenade are trying to recreate a downtown feel - City Hall is tearing down an entire block of buildings on the city's main street.

Instead of trying to capitalize on the presence of a unique asset like a small airport and use it to the city's advantage, our Mayor's vision (or lack of it) is to close it down and propose something that could be done anywhere.

I only hope that Bernie is correct in his assessment of the chances of Queen City Airport being sold.

michael molovinsky said...

rolf, favoritism is based on a vision, while pay to play is based on contributions or bribes. i.e, i believe that Brooks Brothers (men's wear) or Talbots (women's wear) could get a NIZ tax advantage with no political contribution, because of their status as retailers.

Anonymous said...

MM This pay to play thing has me puzzeled. It seems your backing down. Is some big burly guy appearing out of nowhere signing threats and then fading into the shadows?

michael molovinsky said...

anon 6:51, for the last time: other bloggers and commenters have made the pay to play allegation, I never have. it has nothing to do with backing down, it's simply an accusation that i have never made. i have never posted about campaign contributions. this blog concerns itself with poor policy and plans, which can be heard and read, not speculation.

Anonymous said...

What is it will all these boards loaded up with elected officials? Schweyer runs Lanta, Pawlawski on the Airport board...McCale on a board, too. Nothing but conflicts of interestt. Pawlawaski wants to sell a bi-county asset for the benefit of HIS city. Where the heck are the Northampton County representatives on this?

Anonymous said...

MM Speaking of earning ones job,no favoritisum spoken here,and ASD can't have too many grant writers!How much $ did JM bring in and how soon are the laid off staff coming back?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for drawing a distinction between the two terms, Mr. Molovinsky.

Since The Morning Call does not, in my opinion, seem to have the energy and/or desire to ask too many questions these days (perhaps Cheerleading is more draining than I thought) ...

... I figured maybe somebody should ask.

I still find it odd that TMC has not run a "Why Are We Financing Stadiums" column and quoting political science professors from Muhlenberg College like they did with Coca-Cola (Taxpayer?) Park, which, if my memory is correct was far less (30 million or thereabouts, I believe) than the transformative (?) Palace of Sport will end up being.

Perhaps I am just odd.