Dec 30, 2016

Pawlowski's Budget Victory

Although the budget compromise is being portrayed as a win/win,  it is anything but that.

I know Pawlowski.  Although independent candidates don't fare well in elections,  they learn a lot about their opponents during a campaign.  As an independent candidate for mayor in 2005,  I suffered through 28 campaign events with Ed.  In my informed opinion,  he prevailed in the current budget compromise.  The salary increases were mostly restored, and as for council having more voice in choosing the Community Development Director,  they always had the final say.  But, here's what the public doesn't know.

Pawlowski's guy,  Michael Walker, is still retained as Operations Manager.  Although the mayor's friend, Candida Affa, says that there is a side agreement that he will eventually leave,  this is currently unconfirmed. More so, what she and nobody else disclosed, is that Walker is mostly a no-show employee.  I have been told by several reliable sources that nobody sees him,  and some key employees in city hall have never even met him.  We taxpayers have been paying a substantial salary ($90,000+) for nothing,  and will continue to do so under the new budget.  Pawlowski has beaten council and his distractors down so much, for so long,  that they consider anything less than his complete victory a winning compromise.


Scott Armstrong said...

Sure Ed won here, and he comes out the affair stronger and council looks weaker. Nice timing for the upcoming elections. Ed figured out a long time ago that Allentown's voters are a bunch of rubes and they elect the same. He has outfoxed them all from the start. Look how long he has gotten away with so much. Look how the public turns on anyone who points out the emperor has no clothes.To this day there are plenty of people who defend him. Remember how many people bought the transparent, un-market researched sales pitch the downtown was going to be saved by building the arena and a bunch of new buildings. See how many still cling to the fantasy.
One can only be amazed by the true wonder of it all.It is in short a real spectacle of absolute stupidity.

Monkey Momma said...

I am very pleased that expensive litigation was avoided. Paying Walker's ridiculous salary is still less expensive than a lawsuit. It's sad that it came to this in the first place, but that's the bottom line regarding this budget dispute. Based on what little I've been able to find about the role of Walker as a result of this latest budget negotiation, I agree with you that Walker is likely going to remain a paid employee. The only person saying he's "out" is Affa, and she's proven herself to be ridiculously loyal to Pawlowski. If Walker's termination was a done deal, it would have been stated as such, directly, by all parties.

It seems very ironic, though, that taxes keep going up in Allentown, despite having tax dollars from all over the state of PA funnelled here via the NIZ. And, despite selling off the water, residents are being asked to pay more...for less. It seems this NIZ thing is proving to be very expensive for the simple residents of greater Allentown.

(PS - I noticed that Sage is closing on the Artswalk. The NIZ is a death sentence to businesses who were poached from the Promenade. Any decent business person could plainly see that the patrons of the Promenade are not the same as the patrons of downtown Allentown, and yet they allowed the silver tongued politicians of Allentown to lure them to an unprofitable and silly location for high end products that NO ONE wants or needs downtown. It's not the internet that killed Sage - it's downtown.)

TRENT HALL said...

Especially for the under 35 crowd....the future large group of buyers.....the internet is going to continue to revolutionize retailing. Many malls now are converting vacant space to video arcades & movie theaters & attached sit down (not fast food)restaurants because the video generation will still pay for the 3-D Imax type jumbo screen experience over their 65 inch home TV screens, and since they aren't big on cooking, will pay for restaurant dining. This conversion trend of space away from attempting to lure & maintain replacement retail vendors illustrates the reality of retailing today. People comparison shop online, click their smart phone, and the item is paid for & delivered to their door. Investing your business in brick & mortar stores is likely to be looking like as sound a business strategy as investing in Tower Records.

JoshLCowen said...

They just won't let go of the NIZ fantasy. An informal survey of 'non-management' workers in Downtown Allentown has shown the average lunch hour is just 45 minutes. Hardly enough time to leave their building, walk a few blocks, do some shopping and still grab a bite to eat. They surely are not hanging around after work to stroll the neighborhood to shop at the wonderful stores in the NIZ. (sarcasm noted)
It's much the same as the old days when the gals who worked at GAC/Finance America and other companies on the western stretch of Hamilton Street couldn't get much past Hess's on 9th St. to get any lunchtime shopping done. They never could make it to Zollinger and Leh's.
The difference is that 40 years ago we would think nothing of going back for evening shopping and weekend strolling as well. You'll never see that in the NIZ.
I admire people who move down there....for the optimism, at least. That story on the Muhlenburg professor who feels absolutely 'safe' living at 8th and Linden is amazing. Houses going for $60,000 and can't be sold? Apparently not even the celebrated 'flippers' aren't interested. Sad.