Mar 25, 2016
Allentown's Camera Contract and The Three Monkeys
When I read about Allentown's camera contract I think about the three monkeys. For my millennial readers, let me explain. In my grandparents day, the three monkeys were major advise; See no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil. In those days naysayers got shot, now a days they become bloggers. I have a set of those monkeys carved from marble that belonged to my grandparents, they sat on their fireplace mantel, as a lesson for their children.
Allentown supposedly has 161 cameras that scan the city looking for evil. How many of them are actually being monitored, and when, is classified information. If they deter crime, or just move it down the street, is debatable.
Although it wasn't a no bid contract, only a local company, CSI, submitted a proposal. This technicality, and the timing, allows City Council to turn a deaf ear to the contributions by principals of this company to Pawlowski and the PAC that he controlled. Charlie Thiel, school board member and potential mayoral candidate, is the manager of the company. Thiel has both benefitted from Pawlowski, and has made significant donations to his campaign and PAC.
The city official in charge of our communication systems defended the contract by saying that you get what you pay for. Although, that certainly is speaking no evil, for taxpayers it is always patently untrue. However, the FBI is currently checking Allentown, because it's apparently true for some vendors.
Bonus train post below.
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