Oct 19, 2016
According to Emily Opilo of The Morning Call, Ed Pawlowski has gone ahead and hired Michael Walker for de-facto head of Community Development, even though his appointment was rejected by city council. Pawlowski implemented this end run by designating Walker as Operations Manager. The operation manager position was created when the previous director was also working officially with the NIZ.
There is actually two factors involved in this defiance. The first is that a historically passive city council allowed city hall to get top heavy. While there are less indians than ever, there are still as many or more chiefs. The second factor also involves council's passivity. Opilo also writes, Most council members were initially hesitant to make any public moves against Pawlowski. Two months after the investigation was revealed, council signed off on Pawlowski's pick for finance director and also approved his 2016 budget with minimal pushback. I have always been amazed at council's refusal to use various funding approvals as a negotiating tool to assert themselves as a check and balance on policy. Consequently, over the years, I and others have described council as a rubber stamp.
Unfortunately, even under the current environment, Pawlowski holds sway over the majority of council. While several council members are still known essentially as supporters, Pawlowski still has strong influence over the majority of members. Besides his known supporters, at least two more members benefit from either city employment or property. It takes only four votes to get your way in Allentown.
ADDENDUM: Pawlowski may be proving that you don't even need four votes to get your way in Allentown.