Sunday, May 5, 2013

Nine Democrats seek four Allentown City Council seats

By Gregg Bortz | The Express-Times 
on May 04, 2013 at 6:00 PM, updated May 04, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Allentown city council’s makeup for 2014 will most likely be determined in just a few weeks, as only Democrats are on the ballot.

For the May 21 primary, nine candidates are seeking four slots – enough to make a majority, or break one.

Incumbents running are Council President Julio Guridy, Vice President Ray O'Connell, Jeff Glazier and Cynthia Mota. The latter two were appointed by council to fill vacancies and seek their first election to the board.

Challengers are Carmen Bell, Daryl Hendricks, David Melman, Alfonso Todd III and Kim Velez.

Councilman Joe Davis seeks a two-year seat; no challengers are on the ballot.

One issue, the lease of the city’s water and sewer assets to Lehigh County Authority, made a clear dividing line among the candidates. All four incumbents voted for the lease, four of the five challengers have said they would have opposed it. Hendricks did not indicate whether he would have supported it.

Presuming the lease as approved by council is executed by Mayor Ed Pawlowski and Lehigh County Authority, the transaction itself will no longer be an issue for the new council. But some of the acrimony raised during the process may linger.

All but two of the candidates for a four-year seat participated in an April 18 forum sponsored by the Allentown NAACP. The event allowed each candidate equal time to present his or her reason for running and stance on various issues, including their vision of Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone. Those responses are part of each candidate’s answer.

Mota, who is recovering from an illness  Read more here

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