• The new budget includes a compliance office for storm water drainage
systems and an additional part-time animal control officer to cover evening hours.
• A once “very popular” summer therapeutic program in swimming pools
is being restored for residents with physical disabilities.
• The summer youth basketball league will be expanded to Percy Ruhe Park.
Budget meetings on different aspects of the city’s operations are scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 12, 14, 21, 25 (that meeting will start at
5:30 p.m.) and 26.
Dec. 2 will be the last day to consider any budget amendments.
Adoption is scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 4.
Council president Julio Guridy said it must pass the budget by Dec. 15.
Also during the council meeting, Eichenwald was unable to get an updated timetable for the announcement of when new police chief will be selected from city managing director Francis Dougherty.
“It is imminent?” asked Eichenwald.
“Not at this time,” said Dougherty.
In May, when Pawlowski initiated a search to replace Chief Roger MacLean, who has since retired, the mayor predicted a new police chief would be hired by October. Four finalists for the job met with the public in early October.
On another matter, resident Ken Heffentrager of the Allentown Tenant Association demanded to know why the city does not take action against Joe Clark, whom he called a slumlord. He said Clark owns properties with no windows, properties that are boarded up and properties that are burned out. “I don’t understand why we continue to allow this man to keep going as he does.”
Referring to the just-renovated council chambers, Eichenwald said council members “sit here in this renewed splendor” costing more than
$100,00 while some city residents have to live with the garbage, filth, rats and broken windows of blighted homes in their neighborhoods.
Several city officials launched into a detailed explanation of plans, tools and organizations being used to address and ultimately reduce blight in Allentown.
At the end of that presentation, Heffentrager said his question about Clark had not been answered. “I’m not going to get into individuals,”
responded the mayor.