Eugene McDuffie press conference 5-12-17 part 2
Both Videos Courtesy The Lehigh Valley Coffee Party
Why the hell did they remove these videos!!!?
I must state I'm no big fan of the local "Coffee Party", but their national objectives I do agree with. I also think the videos the local movement post on YouTube are of great service. That said...
The Mayor's Race
I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon bashing Ed Pawlowski. What I will say he's had his turn and there's been a number of people who have dealt directly with him speaking negatively towards him. This great a number can't all be haters. So he has to go (nothing personal).
There's been some negative comments made toward Ray O'Connell. I'd like to address a few. Some accuse Ray's lack of opposition to the mayor in the past. First off I think Ray was new to city council and being a reasonable man tried to deal with the mayor less aggressively. As time passed as he had more experiences with how the mayor operates he became more frustrated. This reached a peak when he became President of city council enabling him to do more opposition to Pawlowski then before. As low key and reasonable as Ray is, it surprised me how vocal he could be when the mayor started turning ugly at the city council meeting at the budget hearings in 2016. It showed me Ray certainly is no shrinking violet when confronted. Ray also understands city residents' ASD property taxes are directly impacted by what decisions are made at the city level. He understands the city cannot succeed in it's goals if the schools are keeping future residents from moving here. Something the current mayor has all too often ignored.
Under Allentown's charter, city council is relegated to the whims of the mayor. However strong voices can make a difference. That's why it's extremely important NOT to elect future puppets to council for the mayor. Eugene obviously wouldn't be one of them Neither is the very outspoken Daryl Hendricks who currently has a seat on council. Unlike in the past Julio has stepped up to the plate recently. I also favor Lou Hershman. I think he would be an asset. Even though sometimes he can be a pain in the ass, there isn't another man who spent more time and energy questioning some of the very things we also wondered when it came to things like the water deal, incinerator project and a whole host of other questionable decisions. Lou has shown (even not being on council) he spends more time then those who do.
The NIZ was a state funded project having little anything to do with what was done at city hall. It would have happened no matter who was in city office. Shiny buildings and whatever new jobs are taking place are not the result of city hall. Crime, status of the fire department, improving poverty and restoring housing are all distinctly separate from the new development taking place within the NIZ areas. Voters must ask themselves what did city hall do to make streets safer, the schools better or has our city housing stock improved?
Allentown needs a change. Police are overburdened. So are the schools (financial and otherwise). We need people like Eugene on council and Ray who understands the interrelationships and how important it is to bring everyone to the table. Is there anyone who can truthfully say Allentown doesn't need to make a drastic change in leadership?
Not that it matters to most people what I think but if Allentown voters reelect this mayor and reject all the candidates I mentioned I will never speak of this again. Others have given up on Allentown. I don't want to do that. However I'm not one to endlessly drain my energies on such as a fool's errand. Come on Allentown, don't disappoint me. Not this time!