Aug 30, 2012

The King's Men

Last evening, although dozens of concerned citizens spoke against the water lease plan, the Administration made sure that the plan had advocates. Although effective, nobody can accuse Pawlowski of being subtle about choosing his representatives; All to a man, are beneficiaries of the mayor. The arena's main benefactor, J.B. Reilly, told Council that capitalization rates may change, making the lease deal time sensitive. Strange how time is always of the essence with Pawlowski propositions. Charlie Thiel, purveyor of the city's security cameras, also pitched the plan. The original driving force for the upcoming 19th Street upgrade, Damien Brown, did his duty. Last, but not least, Bob Buck for The Chamber of Commerce, sang the mayor's song. Although not performing, but waiting in the wings as backup, was Alan Jennings employee Dan Bosket.

The Morning Call article, which emphasized the few supporters of the plan

The Express Times article, which emphasized the numerous opponents of the plan

The water works in 1905


Anonymous said...

Reilly's presence is curious. It's odd for someone like that to come out and sit with the "rabble".

Remember, this is a problem that COULD be solved with a real estate tax hike. That might not be the ideal solution but it is still an option.

So either Reilly - already the beneficiary of a huge break fom the government - wants to make sure he's not paying his fair share, OR, the NIZ bonds are somehow tied to quickly moving the pension obligation off the city's books.

michael molovinsky said...

@7:00, interesting POV"s. I advocated raising taxes and not selling the store, which is one of allentown's few remaining assets.

Anonymous said...

Also disappointing, but not surprising, is the Morning Call's biased reporting of the meeting.

The few proponents are given an abundance of ink far in excess of their numbers at the meeting. In addition, Thiel is identified only as a former Council candidate, with no mention of his company's ties to the City.

Unfortunately, this is what passes for journalism at the Call these days. I thought the Express Times had a much fairer account of the meeting.

Anonymous said...

Michael It is evident these speakers are part of the continuum off "Great Men" who fill the needs of the mayor for the moment. Seems like the Fegleys are old school now. It is always fun to watch who takes their place in the que. Next in line is the superintendent of ASD. He has fallen into place and has become a chief champion of the mayor. Too bad Zahrochak didn't have more tact. Mayo will learn soon enough the cost of doing a deal with the devil.

Anonymous said...

The mayor might have wanted the Brew Works folks to chime in but my read of the article was that they depend upon an abundance of affordable water to do whatever they do, so they are in the "against" aisle on this one.


michael molovinsky said...

VOR, actually the fegley's lost favor several months ago, when they spoke against the Trash To Cash Plant. rumor has it that they have received several spankings for that, since then.

Anonymous said...

When are we going to look at solving the root cause of our economic problem instead of using the band-aid approach??

It is time for the state legislature to intervene and legislate a solution before many municipalities become bankrupt as a result of escalating pension payments.

Anonymous said...

Oh great, more Government Intervention!

Only Government knows how to get things right, particularly when it comes to compassionate and luxurious pensions.

Maybe we can have another Neighborhood Improvement Zone district or something cool like that.


Monkey Momma said...

Of course Reilly is against raising property taxes (and therefore supports selling the water works) - he owns way too much property now to be in favor of tax increases. Just follow the dollars...

Anonymous said...

Reilly is just another greedy, evil Rich guy trying to avoid paying his fair share.

Rules are for everybody.

Anytime you are ready to start playing by them, Comrade Molovinsky ...

... plenty of good seats are still available for the transformative Palace of Sport.

Get on board already - Shaibu!

VIKTOR "Phantoms Express" TIKHONOV

Anonymous said...

The Fegleys showed courage and leadership on this issue. They certainly know the mayor will make them pay. To suggest they went out on this political limb to save money on their water bill is both ignorant and insulting.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Thiel was at recent meetings to organize against the sale of the citizens of Allentown's water system. He was slouched over his lap top off to one side of the room collecting names and information to report back to the mayor.

Rich Fegley said...

The water and sewer system is a HUGE profit maker for the City. Don't sell it. Don't lease it. Operate it even more profitably than it currently operates. The City of Allentown holds all of the cards (or most of them) when it comes to providing water and sewer services to Allentown AND the surrounding communities.

The pensions are the real issue. Leasing the water system for a $100-$200 million up-front payment sounds like a loan to me. A loan that will have to be paid somehow.

The water system lease could be looked at as a "LOAN" that the Mayor is taking out for the citizens of Allentown. We, the citizens of Allentown, will have to pay back this loan in some way, at some point in time.

We will pay back this loan in the form of increased water rates and/or eventually increased taxes. It's inevitable. Someone will have to pay for this "quick cash".

Where is anything being "fixed"? This truly is "Kick the can down the road".

Why is there a RUSH for City Council to approve something again? Just like the RUSH to approve the Trash and Sludge Incinerator.

Why does the Morning Call article only mention ME as someone who spoke against this idiotic lease? If there were three people who spoke FOR the lease, the MC quoted all of them. There were at least EIGHT others that should have been quoted.

The Express-Times did much better reporting.

I hope readers of this blog can attend next week's City Council meeting to stop this vote from being rushed.

I would like to see real financial projections for this nonsense. If done correctly, the City could cash in on water just like greedy corporations are hoping they can cherry-pick from Allentown.

Glasses of water are FREE at Fegley's Brew Works. You only have to pay if you want that water converted into beer. Pay me and let me profit from converting water into beer. I hate to say it, we CAN live without beer but we CAN'T live without water.

No individual or organization should profit from selling WATER to people who need water to survive and live their day-to-day lives.

Profit from things people don't need to stay alive.

Anonymous said...

"This was just a meeting for City Council to gather information,not to respond."
Naturally! Council didn't want to respond to a large crowd of voters filling council chambers overwhelmingly against the sale of Allentown's water for 50 years.
With few exceptions council has already made their deal with the mayor. Most council representatives are too ilinformed or dumb to share their views with Allentown voters.
Yet another failure for democracy in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

This sale of the people's water system will insure big increases in the water bill of everyone living in Allentown. It amounts to a regressive tax that will hurt the many low income residents of the city the most. Paying off just some of the pension costs on the backs of Allentown's many poor.
Where is Allen Jennings the savior and champion of the poor on this ill advised venture?
Silent! In the pocket of the mayor and the big money boys at the expence of the people of Allentown.
Surprised? You shouldn't be. One wonders what the "other blog", Lehigh Valley Rambling" will say about Allen Jennings latest sell-out?

Anonymous said...

ASD is looking at the same can in the road.

We all seem to talk around it but fail to discuss the alternative.

First we need legislative relief from the unfunded liability resulting from the irresponsible actuarial assumptions made during the halcyon days of a robust stock market in the 90's and early part of the last decade.

Second and concurrently we need to stop defined benefit programs and move to defined contribution retirement programs for all employees.

And finally, all of this has to be done within the context of realistic expectations and conservative assumptions of prudent risk reward relationships.

While it will not mitigate all future vagaries in variation it will lead hopefully to less volatility and fewer untoward outcomes in the future.

We need to free the taxpayer from this unrealistic and unfair liability.

David Fehr Zimmnerman

Anonymous said...

Allen Jennings man of the people-defender of the little guy? That Allen Jennings?

Anonymous said...

Boy oh boy this sure makes ReNew Lehigh Valley and the soon to be held "vision meetings" look pretty foolish doesn't it?
Is there a joke here I don't get?

michael molovinsky said...

allentown has a largely unfunded pension. if we sell the water system the rates will go up. if we retain the system, the taxes will go up. i favor retaining the system because it's a profitable asset, and i see water as a primary municipal responsibility. i believe that selling the system to avoid a tax hike is political cowardice. both the mayor, and the president of city council, had involvement with decisions which resulted in the mass retirements and current pension liability. although alan jennings is once again missing in action, i will not be hosting more comments about him. the pension deficit is going to cost all homeowners money,one way or another, poor or wealthy.

Anonymous said...

MM YES BUT-------- if Allentown retains the water it can also generate significant revenue selling water to the rapidly growing suburban areas. This will bring in needed dollars,insure the suburban water users pay their fair share and keep that windfall in dollars in Allentown not fattening the corporate bottom line of an unaccountable for profit located who knows where.
Allentown keeping the people's water also means the Little Lehigh,Shantz and Crystal Springs are looked after and cared for in a proper fashion. This is no small factor.
Who will care for Allentown's creeks and springs better?
City residents are not the only potential end users by a long shot. The money is in future suburban Lehigh County development. That's why a corporation is ready to pay big bucks.

Anonymous said...

SHAME. SHAME. SHAME on the MORNING CALL and on their "reporter" JD MALONE.
MALONE knows damn well there were not "...30 opponents and proponents"at yesterday's council meeting. There was a handful of proponents for the sale,all individuals with significant money intrerests, and a roomfull of citizens,taxpayers and common folks who opposed the sale of their water system,springs and streams.
MAlONE, you sir are a shill and a hack.
The Morning Call is totally without creditability. Shame on them.
And shame on city council for the pending sellout.

michael molovinsky said...

@ 5:10, i give malone a partial pass, because he's not familiar with allentown. i believe that if a reporter with more knowledge of the players had covered the meeting, the report might have been different.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Renew LV, regionalization of water assets is one of their top goals. Check out their website.

It wouldn't surprise me if they are somehow behind this. Remember, you never want to let a good crisis go to waste.

I wonder how many of the people running that organization actually live in the city.

Anonymous said...

Allentown voters get what they deserve next week when city council votes for the sale of their children's and grandchildren's water.
Council President Guridy voted to fund the outrageous punishing pensions. Guridy should never have won another election. Never. Ever.
Any council member voting for this sale should be voted out.
I am a life long democrat super voter. Fellow Dems join me.
Out with them.Clean house. We need a new council. This should be the final outrage. Republicans,independents,Dems, step forward and run against these bums.

Anonymous said...

Who or what is "Allentown Forward"? Anybody know?

NDC Housing has nothing remotely resembling a large water system listed as a project that they have been involved in on their web site. They don't sound at all qualified.Are they?

Where is the LCA going to come up with 150 to 200 million? Is it to much to ask their director and or the acting County Executive if they can indeed make a serious offer? Miss Adam?

Could it be that most of the nine are not really serious and the powers that be in City Hall know exactly who they plan on awarding the sale? Isn't this the way business is generally done in this administration?

Is City Council prepared to answer these questions? One would hope so.Mr.Schweyer? Mr.Guridy? Anyone?

Anonymous said...

Renew Lehigh Valley is not about 'renewing' our community. If it was they would offer solutions that brought us back to the days of strength and growth. No, they are committed to the left-leaning agenda that our country is dumping oh-so-soon. Beware of 'cool sounding names' like 'Renew' and 'sustainability'. They are catchphrases for nothing more than Marxism.

Anonymous said...

The LCA's Executive Director had a leadership role in ReNew Lehigh Valley and the LCA contributed funds to ReNew LV. Always a bit fishy.
Yes,ReNew always publicly supported "regionalization". This was always simple minded and stupid. As if regionalization, or decentralization for that matter, is always in and of itself positive,regardless of details.
Regionalization is positive even if iteads to corporate casino capitalism? Really?

Anonymous said...

Liberals and commies everywhere. Gotta go turn on my Fox News.
Thanks for the heads-up 10:24.

Anonymous said...

August 30, 2012 10:24 PM
Do you have ANY idea what "Marxism" is?

michael molovinsky said...

@6;20, no offense, but I'm only publishing your comment as an example of comments which will usually not be published on this blog. I have no interest in being a chat room moderator, and printing questions to other readers.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Thiel shares information gathered at community meetings with Councilman Schweyer as well. It's easy to spot the young man with the red hair and his middle aged buddy looking uncomfortable as they take notes for the mayor at these meetings.
Word on the street is some peaceful non-violent civil disobedience may occur as the council votes to rubber stamp the sale.
Won't that be interesting?

Anonymous said...

This whole water deal may well derail Councilman Peter Schweyer plans to be the mayor of Allentown. He is going to have a real hard time defending his yes vote.
Course he would like the pension issue to go away before he's mayor but it hardly matters if he sells out the water asset and the voters punish him as I suspect they will.

Anonymous said...

7:17 AM

If this is true about Charlie Thiel it will significantly impact his level of influence as president of the ASD Foundation.

Who cares about this foundation if is just another pawn of the current administration.

But then isn't the ASD Foundation brought to you by the same cast of characters who birthed Renew LV.

I am surprised no one commented on Mayor Pawlowski's comments at the Symphony Hall reception for the new principal of ASD.

Seems there is now tremendous collaboration between the school district and city.

In other words, the mayor and the superintendent spend time strategizing the future of their respective realms to see how they can maximize each others influence, with of course Pawlowski leading the way.

On another note, long live charter schools. Perhaps one of the last remnants of freedom of choice available to the tax payer.

Anonymous said...

Thiel's research activities are normal course for the Pawlowski administration.

They keep dossiers on the many they perceive as detractors to the cause.

Rather alarming in my opinion. It has happened before in history and few paid attention.

They thought their leader was a savior.

Anonymous said...

Renew LV is in turmoil, they fired Pam Colton and have a college kid running things.

Doubt they're behind much of anything these days.

Anonymous said...

The Chicago Way on full parade?

Anonymous said...

7:17 No it won't lessen Charlie Thiel's impact on the ASD Foundation. This kind of greepy behavior and political pandering is exactly why Thiel was appointed chair.
Even though Thiel is a nominal republican,he's a member in good standing in the mayors evangelical Christian coalition.
Thiel's a good loyal team player.Perfect deal.

Anonymous said...

Naturally the ASD Foundation is another pawn in the game. A creation of the same money-political-power players as ReNew and all the rest.
Wake up and smell the coffee.
As Homer Simpson would say-- DUHH!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Thiel has a significant contract with the city. His" leadership" and his compliance are expected. Just another spin on pay to play. Thiel proven himself a team player.