Donovan’s Challenge to the Current Mayor to Hold Debates
September 10, 2013
William J. Hoffman
Donovan for Allentown Mayor Challenges Pawlowski to 3 Debates
Referring to the Ed Pawlowski’s dream of becoming Governor in 2014, candidate for Mayor of Allentown William Michael Donovan today challenged him to 3 debates between now and the election on November 5.
“Yesterday, Mayor Pawlowski stood a few blocks from here and announced that he is leaving Allentown to pursue his dream of being Governor,” Donovan said, “I stand here today to tell you that I’m running for Mayor of this city and I plan on being here and serving its people for my entire term. I’m interested to find out how Mayor Pawlowski plans to serve our city as Mayor when he’s out of town campaigning and fundraising. That is just one of the many unanswered questions he has left us with, and that is why I am here to challenge him to a series of 3 debates.“
Donovan believes that Allentown citizens were ignored as his opponent pushed through policies with far-reaching, but uncertain, impact. Proper civic engagement is vital whenever complex initiatives are undertaken. Dissent is necessary to produce the best public policy. He said, “I have spent decades, my career, working to understand what it is that makes a city succeed or fail. Through my years of effort I have discovered that one key element for success is when competing interests come together and work toward a common and reasonable plan of action to face difficult challenges.”
He added, “We have already scheduled Thursday, October 17th at Muhlenberg College, but welcome two other mutually agreeable dates. While he tries to climb the political ladder, we all can hope the Mayor finds time to come back to Allentown and answer the people’s questions.”
Worried that inadequate community planning has occurred with the development of the Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ), Donovan described how residents are asking where are the jobs? He said, “Behind the brick walls and façade lies the fact that this construction is being completed at the expense of much needed training and education for our residents for the supposed jobs being created.”
Continuing, Donovan explained, “Allentown is still a city in distress, even as the Mayor touts the State-created NIZ. Our median income has fallen. Our poverty rate has increased. Our dropout rate has accelerated. Our commitment to support our neighborhoods and the creative diversity they posses has been forgotten. Social ills and crime still threaten our quality of life. Our city’s finances are a mess, hidden with smoke and mirrors under many years of asset sales, unexplained tax increases, and unsubstantiated fee increases. This Mayor has satisfied special interests while dismissing our interests, which is to have a say in controversial policy initiatives that can affect us and our children for generations.
Finally, Donovan asked, “As a citizen we have a right to present the Mayor with these important issues and we have a right to the answers. But where is he? Off campaigning for governor while we try to sort out the pieces he’s left us?”
Donovan wants to bring the benefits of community planning to economic development and insure that investment truly prospers for all. He said, “As mayor of this great city, my administration will be built upon the foundation of expanding community leadership in our neighborhoods, ensuring the future of our youth through educational partnerships and recreational enhancements, improving the safety of all our citizens by putting more police on foot on the streets, and recapturing a trust in government officials that has been lost. In this way, economic development benefits all of us: the people in Allentown and throughout the Valley, the investors, the developers, the employees, and the business owners.”
Michael Donovan is a professor of business and economics at Cedar Crest College and a former city councilman where he served as Vice President for 2 years and chaired the Budget and Finance Committee. He has almost 40 years of experience in urban affairs through his work in business, education, and public policy.