Bernie O’Hare has a run-down of the looming Allentown tax hike. Details won’t likely be known until after next Tuesday’s election.
By law, the budget must be presented to Allentown City Council by Monday. Council’s Budget and Finance Committee, currently led by Jeff Glazier (up for election on Tuesday) typically, but not always, meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month. They did not convene last night. Watchdogs hoping to see a budget before the election are crying foul. According to Mr. O’Hare, Councilman Julio Guridy has confirmed a tax hike is imminent, but doesn’t know specifics.
It’s worth noting that Lou Hershman, former Council member, former Controller, consistent fiscal watchdog and current Council candidate, was apparently planning to attending the Budget and Finance meeting that didn’t happen. Here are his words to Mr. O’Hare:
“It’s bad enough that seniors on fixed incomes and the working poor are going to have to pay for the City’s fiscal irresponsibility, but keeping this important information from the public is no better than a burglar who sneaks into your home in the dead of night. Burglars get prosecuted, but it’s too bad there’s no penalty for politicians who steal elections.”
Even with the Pawlowski PAC disabled and its candidates raising pennies over the last few months, the money grab in the run-up to the spring primary, which failed to protect Joe Davis, looms large in Tuesday’s election. Many city activists are suspicious of the coming budget’s timing. If delivered to Council by Monday as required by the City’s Home Rule Charter, when will the public see the budget and, importantly, the tax hike? Before or after the election? The first November council meeting is Wednesday, Nov. 4, one day after we go to the polls.
Allentown, the dog and pony shows continue. If you want some restraint brought back to Allentown government sooner rather than later, that is, before the FBI finishes its work, vote for change and reform on Tuesday. Write in Rich Fegley and Shane Fillman for Council. This has to stop somewhere, and it has to start with us.