Thursday, April 20, 2017

Allentown Mayor Has A 5 Year Plan

     But nobody knows what it is

The Allentown mayor is required by ordinance to submit 5 year plan every year. City council got tired of asking and never getting one. So they filed a "right to know" request.

This is what they got in response...

It has more redactions then what a CIA document would contain.

You can check out the city council meeting video for yourself. It comes 52:47 minutes into the meeting Council showed the letter they received in response to a speaker who wanted to know how much is spent on overtime. Council said they've been blocked by the mayor when they request such pertinent information when it comes to mulling the city's budget request each year by the mayor. Council complained they can't get the required five year plan until they file a RTK request. When they do--it looks like this!

Damned if you do.. Damned if you don't
For years I've read comments from trolls on various sites complaining about council not doing it's job. Now some are complaining the president of city council is grandstanding since he decided to run for mayor. So let me get this right. If a council member doesn't question the mayor they're a bum who should be thrown out of office. On the other hand--when they do they're grandstanding. Why don't those complaining run for office or try and see if they can pry this information from the mayor's clutches. Good luck with that.

The mayor is receiving $95,000. The way Allentown's charter is written the mayor isn't required to show up for council meetings. Thusly he doesn't have to face off with his constituents. As a result the mayor is free to appear or not appear whenever and where ever on his own terms to only those he deems favorable to him.

One the other hand council members are paid only around $5,200 a year. For this they receive all the brunt for everything the mayor does with little to no power to do anything about citizen complaints. As one can see in the video only about a dozen citizens bother to show up. When they do it is to complain or grill council. For fifty two hundreds buck$ a year most of us would say they could take this kind of job and shove it.

Mayoral election is coming up
These are a few things I'd like the next mayor to address. (1) A charter change requiring the mayor to attend council meetings.
(2) A charter change granting stronger powers to council.
(3) A charter change on the budget approval process.
(4) Term limits for mayor
(5) Complete 3 or 4 year outside city audit requirement released to public.
(6) A public filing of business interests candidates hold.
(6) Council members being required to come from certain districts based on population.
Yeah I know--dream on

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