Jarrett Renshaw

My Reliable Sources: City Appears To Be On Verge of Act 47

A breaking news alert from The Morning Call has just confirmed what this blog reported over 24 hours ago, that the city of Allentown is headed for an Act 47 filing. (Not that Perspectives was given any credit in the paper for breaking this story, but the readers know where they heard it first.)

In typical City Hall fashion, the Pawlowski administration is still denying it, but both Jarrett Renshaw’s and my sources say it is going to happen.

And since I’m on a roll here, I will take this opportunity to reprint something I wrote over five years ago…

Emergency Medicine: Although not perfect, Act 47 could relieve Allentown’s symptoms of financial distress

Maybe I should add the title “psychic” to the other jobs I do.

The arrogance and hubris of this administration for waiting to do what should have been done years ago is a legacy for which it will always be remembered. So all the deception and obfuscation was for nothing but to drive the city further in to debt. Congratulations on putting ego ahead of the needs of Allentown.

Blogger’s Note, 4/6, 2:10 p.m.: City Hall is denying there will be an Act 47 filing. At this point I’m sticking by my sources. I suspect one or both of two things are going on: What the city is really about to apply for is Act 205, the Municipal Plan Funding and Recovery Act and in the game of “whisper down the lane” that information was transformed into Act 47. And/or the unions got wind of a possible bankruptcy filing and decided to strike the first blow. But the bottom line is, something is going on. The city is drowning and it’s looking for a lifeline. Stay tuned…

What A Surprise: The Box Isn’t So Locked

Lockbox When I returned to blogging a few weeks ago, I promised myself that I was going to avoid local Allentown politics as much as possible. A lot of Perspectives’ readers are not Allentonians.  And the truth is, I’m frustrated beyond words with Allentown’s slide in to the abyss and the inability of anyone in a position to do so to show an ounce of courage or leadership.

But promises are made to be broken, and even though fellow blogger extraordinaire Bernie O’Hare beat me to it, I feel compelled to comment on Jarrett Renshaw’s well-written story in Sunday’s paper, titled “Allentown Loan Deal Isn’t Paying Off”. Really. What a surprise.

Anyone who’s ever been married knows that one of the ways you keep a relationship “healthy” is by resisting the urge to say “I told you so” when your partner turns out to be wrong and you turn out to be right. But there are no such rules in journalism or politics, so excuse me while I mention that there were people out here in the wilderness, myself included, who were trying to sound this alarm, years ago, and no one, including The Morning Call, would listen.

Now that the light is finally shining on the inside of the open lockbox, and it looks like the reserve may have dipped below it’s legally “locked” level, and even though the convoluted deal hasn’t earned a fraction of the interest projected to help pay down the debt, don’t get your hopes up that anything will change.

City Council will continue to verbalize a few mild protests, the mayor will go on blaming his predecessor and the worst recession since the Great Depression, and there will be no consequences for this deception except for the increase in taxes of the dwindling number of Allentown citizens who still actually pay taxes.

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