Mayor Ed Pawlowski

A Quick Observation From The Peanut Gallery

girl-scout-red-flag-sash-scouting1921 Honoring one’s social obligations is not always convenient but as my mother used to say, “Good manners is what separates us from lesser creatures”.  (My mother was one-of-a-kind)

Tonight, despite lots of work and a pressing deadline, such an obligation required my attendance, so I washed off the writer’s grime of the past few days, covered the sleep-deprived circles under my eyes with makeup, and went off to the Girl Scout “Take The Lead” dinner at Lehigh Country Club.

The evening began with a reception that included the usual sponsor thank you remarks, followed by a group of really cute little Girl Scouts singing a song. The entire time all this was going on, Allentown’s Mayor Ed Pawlowski sat in the middle of the room, not in the back or off to the side, reading his Blackberry…other than when his and his wife’s name were called, he never looked up once.

Call me old fashioned but I think when you’re in the room, you should also be in the moment…we’re only talking about a span of 15 minutes.

Once seated for dinner, the color guard marched to the stage, presented the flags, and everyone rose to say the Pledge of Allegiance and to sing God Bless America. It was right at about “Land that I love” that Mr. & Mrs. Mayor got up and walked out. Yes, you read this correctly. They couldn’t wait two minutes till the song ended. They got up from their table in the center front of the room and walked out.

When the emcee began to acknowledge the politicos who were in attendance, and the Mayor was no where to be found, the woman said, “Oh someone just told me he had to go to a city council meeting”. She looked perplexed when some people started laughing.

It’s a shame my mother is not here; She could make a lot of money as a consultant to politicians who obviously have no concept of “good manners”…or good politics either.    

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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