You hear two narratives coming from the business community in downtown Pottsville.
One is the stale narrative we’ve been hearing for the last 20-30 years: with a little hard work and the government’s help, downtown Pottsville is on the way back to greatness.
The other is reality: even less people shop downtown today than ever before. Downtown Pottsville is an increasingly scary place and the government makes it harder and harder to do business here.
Right now, the outrage is squarely focused on the Pottsville Parking Authority. We’ve been hearing about how downtown parking is a problem since the first mall opened. We’ve built parking lot after parking lot – at the expense of former buildings that once housed businesses – and still there’s not enough parking.
Currently, the Authority is struggling with a confusing rollout of a new parking app downtown.
Boomers argue that this new app makes it hard to park and shop downtown. It’s confusing an unnecessary.
Others who aren’t Boomers say it’s unnecessary and wonder what happened to free parking downtown.
And then you have the proponents of the parking meter app. They’re usually the ones who go out of their way to tell you, “this is how it is in bigger cities. I’ve used it.” It’s a way to humble-brag that they’ve “been somewhere” other than Pottsville.
Well, whether or not someone used this app on the moon or in Philly, it’s irrelevant to our situation here in Pottsville.
The New Director at Pottsville Parking Authority Has a Troll
So, that brings us to the here and now. Specifically, it brings us to the last couple weeks. That’s when the Pottsville Parking Authority got a new executive director. Ian Lipton – no stranger to the downtown Pottsville “revitalization” scene – took over for interim director John Levkulic.
And when Lipton took over, he made sure everyone knew just how qualified he thinks he is for the job.
After all, Lipton’s served on one committee or authority or another — sometimes two or three at once — for the last 35 years. We should be thanking him for all the progress the city’s made in that time.
Well, at least one person familiar with the downtown Pottsville scene isn’t impressed. And we suspect he’s speaking for others who’ve had their voices silenced when criticizing Official Pottsville in the past.
The Trolling Begins
Apparently, at a meeting of the Pottsville Business Association this week, Lipton appeared as one of two guest speakers. He was there to address concerns business owners had about the parking situation. Another speaker talked about revitalization, in general.
Well, Lipton used the platform to once again remind everyone just how qualified he is for his new job. And we know this because of a somewhat unlikely troll … Jerry Enders.
Enders owns the classic car museum on South Centre Street, and a dealership lot along Route 61 South going toward Cressona. He’s been part of the ongoing revitalization in Pottsville for decades, too.
And apparently, he’s not letting Lipton get away with blowing his smoke machine. On the PBA’s Facebook page, he’s tearing into the little guy.
Check out this reply to a recap of the meeting:
If you don’t have Facebook, Enders writes in reply:
“Ian loved it, it gave him time to once again give his Resume that we all seen in the paper, I thought he was there to only talk about the parking authority and not give us a history lesson on everything he’s involved with. Yes it was a good meeting however more people should’ve spoke up and voiced their concerns.”
Pretty savage. But it wasn’t Jerry’s first shot at Ian.
“Bring Your Quarters”
In the run-up to this big meeting on Thursday morning, Enders got in another shot at the new Parking Authority director.
Here’s the announcement from about a month ago:
To which Enders replied, “Bring your quarters for Ian!”
You usually don’t see this type of inside sniping coming out of Official Pottsville. Whatever they decide to do, they usually present a unified front.
The Parking Authority lost the public’s trust years ago. Now, with some blowhard coming in telling you how important he is, we’re starting to see the divisions forming inside Pottsville’s swamp.
It may not be good for business but it can’t be any worse than the damage people like the new Parking Authority director has overseen through the years.
Give ’em hell, Jerry!
FOR MORE, READ:
- No Room to Talk – New Pottsville Parking Authority Director Slams Outgoing Leadership
- Mootz Candies in Downtown Pottsville Faces Wrecking Ball
- Just What Pottsville Needs – A $7 Million Parking Lot