MAYOR CUOn Monday, January 14th, Mayor Ed Pawlowski stood in front of a packed  house inside the I.B.E.W. Union Hall to announce his intentions to run for re-election as Mayor of Allentown. “This Mayor has done more for this city than any Mayor in recent history,” said Brett Helfrich President of the Lehigh Valley Building Trades, who introduced Pawlowski.  “He’s been good for everyone who lives or works in this city.  Allentown needs Ed Pawlowski.”

Pawlowski is completing his second term as the Mayor of Allentown, which has seen significant economic development like the revitalization of the Seventh Street Corridor and the start of the arena project during the last two years.

“Since my first day as mayor, I promised that I would “build a better Allentown” by making City Hall a catalyst for change,” Pawlowski told the crowd of supporters. “ I have worked hard to fulfill that promise.  I have streamlined operations in city hall and increased services to the community.  In the last four years we have accomplished many things to make our streets safer, provide strong fiscal management, encourage economic development, be stewards of our parks and foster community development.  We have reduced crime year after year, balanced budgets without raising property taxes, created billions of dollars in economic development, built a new state of the art handicapped accessible park and transformed some of Allentown’s most challenging neighborhoods. However, we have more work to do in all these areas over the next four years,” he said to enthusiastic applause.


Arena Groundbreaking

Mayor Pawlowski addresses the crowd at the Arena groundbreaking

The plans for a downtown arena were realized on November 30th when a groundbreaking ceremony was held on 7th Street just outside the fence that surrounds the large hole in the ground that will be soon be an arena, office and hotel complex.  A crowd consisting of city and state officials, project partners, Flyers and Phantoms officials, union laborers and Phantoms season tickets holders witnessed the historic event.

“We’re not just breaking ground on an arena today; we’re breaking ground on the future of Allentown,” Mayor Ed Pawlowski said.  “This arena project is the result of a tremendous team effort.  State Senator Pat Browne worked tirelessly to craft brand new legislation to help fund this vision.  I also can’t thank Jenn Mann and those who helped to push the Neighborhood Improvement Zone legislation through the State House and Senate, not once….but three times.  This truly was a non-partisan, team effort to make this project a reality.”

The arena will seat 8,500 for hockey and up to 10,000 for other events. Expected to be completed for the start of the 2014-2015 season, the arena will be the home of the soon to be Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League. The Phantoms are the top minor league affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers.  Paul Holmgren, General Manager of the Flyers, was seated next to Phantoms officials.

Team owners Rob and Jim Brooks say the Phantoms have already sold more than 1,700 season tickets.

The arena is one piece of a total $277 million investment on the site, including an eight story office building and a premier hotel, and is expected to spur other development throughout the downtown area.


Mayor Pawlowski and other elected officials break ground on American  Parkway Bridge

Mayor Pawlowski and other elected officials break ground on American Parkway Bridge

The long-awaited link for the American Parkway came a step closer to reality last month when ground was broken on December 14th for the construction of the $46 million American Parkway Bridge crossing the Lehigh River and connecting the East Side of Allentown to the downtown.

Mayor Ed Pawlowski was joined by several elected officials including members of City Council, Congressman Charlie Dent, new State Representatives Dan McNeil and Mike Schlossberg, PennDOT representatives and members of the city’s delegation in Harrisburg at the event.

“This project has been on the drawing board for decades and I know there are many, many people who are extremely pleased that this day has finally arrived,” said Pawlowski. “There are so many people to thank, and I know I couldn’t possibly begin to name them all, but I do want to thank our federal representatives who have been promoting this project for years, including the late Senator Specter.”

The cost of construction is $32 million, and is 100% federally funded.  It will take up to two years to complete.

The American Parkway project consists of the reconstruction of the existing American Parkway from a point west of Sumner Avenue on the west side of the Lehigh River to the existing American Parkway on the east side of the river.

That will include a 260’ long bridge that crosses over the R.J. Corman Railroad line and a  will 710’ bridge that will cross the Lehigh River. The project will provide around 500 construction jobs according to New Enterprise Stone and Lime Co.,  including 125 of its own employees, 150 subcontractor employees, and approximately 150 or more that work for material suppliers and 25 or 30 truck drivers to haul the materials to the work site.

“The City of Allentown has waited a long time for this day, and the completion of the American Parkway will bring people right to the new arena and waterfront development projects when they are completed,” concluded Pawlowski.


Cetronia Ambulance Corps and Mayor Pawlowski announce amublance donation

Cetronia Ambulance Corps and Mayor Pawlowski announce amublance donation

On December 27th, the City of Allentown and Cetronia Ambulance Corps announced that they will donate two retired ambulances to municipalities in Haiti to help with emergency medical treatment in that area that was ravaged by a 2010 earthquake.

The announcement was made by Mayor Ed Pawlowski and Cetronia Chief Executive Officer Larry Wiersch during a news conference at the City’s Mack South Fire Station.

Pawlowski and a team from Lifechurch in Allentown led by Senior Pastor Randy Landis traveled to Carrefour last year to help rebuild the city and assemble a donated playground. Lifechurch is working to facilitate the delivery of the equipment this spring.  Lifechurch is paying the shipping costs.

The city is donating a 2002 Ford E-450 ambulance which was taken out of service and replaced last October.   Lehigh Valley Health Network is donating a stretcher and Sacred Heart Hospital is contributing a stretcher and two oxygen tanks.  It will be staffed and operated by Hospital Batiste Convention d’Haiti serving Cap Haitien, the second largest city in Haiti. The hospital is supported locally by The Haiti Health Trust, a non-profit organization in Bethlehem, Pa.

Cetronia is donating a 1997 Ford E-450 ambulance to the City of Carrefour. It is equipped with a stretcher and spare first aid supplies. The vehicle was taken out of service in November 2012 and was part of Cetronia’s ready reserve fleet.  They will be purchasing a new Ford E-450 in 2013 to replace this unit.

“We are fortunate to have great community partners like Cetronia, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Sacred Heart Hospital, the Airport Authority, G4S Integrated Fleet Services and Fast Signs that are willing to step-up to help some of the neediest people in the world,” said Pawlowski. “These donations will be greatly appreciated.”

The Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority is donating reflective bunker pants and coats and boots. Earlier, the City of Allentown had donated bunker gear, gloves and water cans.

Last year, Pawlowski also helped arrange the donation of a garbage truck to the municipality of Carrefour from Waste Management, Inc. which paid to transport the vehicle to Haiti.

Lifechurch had an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti that was badly damaged in a devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake.  Carrefour is a commune in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince with a population of more than 400,000.


Let's Move Award

Let’s Move Award

The National League of Cities (NLC) has recognized the City of Allentown and Mayor Ed Pawlowski for their efforts and participation in Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC). LMCTC is a major component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s comprehensive Let’s Move! initiative, which is dedicated to solving the childhood obesity problem with this current generation of children.

Allentown was recognized for their recent completion of key health and wellness goals for this initiative, and received eight medals for action taken to improve access to healthy, affordable food and increased opportunities for physical activity.

“We support the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Initiative, and having children of my own, I’m very concerned about the health of our children in Allentown,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski.  “There is a national trend of unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise due to TV and video games, so getting our kids to eat right and exercise should be a priority of every parent.  It certainly is in my house.”

Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals were awarded in Goal I: Start Early, Start Smart.  Among other key points, the city was recognized for having at least 70% of public schools participating in the School Breakfast Program, and at least 60% of public elementary and middle school students and at least 45% of high school students participating in the National School Lunch Program.  Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals were also awarded in Goal V: Active Kids at Play.

The five goal areas are:

  • Goal 1: Start Early, Start Smart: Promoting best practices for nutrition, physical activity, and screen time in early care and education settings
  • Goal 2: My Plate, Your Place: Prominently displaying MyPlate in all municipal or county venues where food is served
  • Goal 3: Smart Servings for Students: Increasing participation in school breakfast and lunch programs
  • Goal 4: Model Food Service: Implementing healthy and sustainable food service guidelines that are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • Goal 5: Active Kids at Play: Increasing opportunities for physical activity

“I am proud to accept these awards on behalf of the city,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski. “The city Health Bureau has worked in concert with our Parks Department and the Allentown School District and our private sector partners to reach key health and wellness goals for our children. We are working hard every day to reduce childhood obesity in the city and I am pleased that the National League of Cities recognizes our efforts.”

For more information about LMCTC and Allentown’s accomplishments, visit

AFD Hires 15 New Firefighters

Allentown Fire Academy Graduates

Allentown Fire Academy Graduates

The Allentown Fire Department added fifteen new Firefighters to their ranks after graduating from the Allentown Fire Academy.   They were among 19 members of the Class of 2012 who were honored during a ceremony on December 20th at Alumni Hall Theatre at Cedar Crest College. The class also included four firefighters who are joining the fire departments in the City of Bethlehem and the City of Easton.

New Allentown firefighters Rodney Bolton, Robert Spitko II, Arthur Scott III, Nicholas Saffioti, Theodore Dale, Peter Zondlo, Jason Campanella, Zachary Shepard, Anthony Rosanio, Timothy Bruce, Steven Costa, Nathan Krajcirik, Austin Deutsch, Kevin Jefferson and Mike Evans were presented with their badges by Mayor Ed Pawlowski. They each received graduation certificates from the mayor and Allentown Fire Chief Bob Scheirer.

“Public safety is the city’s number one priority,” said the mayor. “This is a difficult and dangerous profession. Our citizens are grateful that you are willing to risk your own lives to save theirs and preserve their property. We deeply appreciate your commitment, courage and bravery.”

“This is a very responsive department,” said Chief Bob Scheirer. “We answer more than 9,000 service calls annually.” Scheirer advised the graduates to remember the importance of team work that was stressed during their training. “It is essential that the fire service be able to operate as a cohesive unit both in the field during fire and other emergencies as well as during the hours spent in the station house.”

The addition of the 15 new firefighters brings the total strength of the department to 124 firefighters.

The class recently completed 18 weeks of training at the Allentown Fire Academy. The firefighters received classroom instruction, intense physical training and participated in hands-on drills. They obtained national certifications as firefighters, and drivers and operators of pumper and aerial vehicles. Other certifications include emergency medical technician, basic vehicle, water and elevator rescues and hazardous materials operations.

Seven of the new Allentown firefighters are military veterans. Firefighters Bolton, Spitko, Scott and Jefferson served in the U.S. Marines. Firefighter Campanella served in the U.S Army. Firefighter Evans served in the U.S. Navy and Firefighter Krajcirik served in the U.S. Air Force.

Firefighter Saffioti earned a B.A. in Fire Science from New Jersey City University.

Firefighter Rosanio was a volunteer firefighter for six years in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

The new Allentown firefighters started their first shift on December 22nd.