February 17, 2016

After reading about the recent decision of Albert Boscov to pull out of this project, as a native of Berks County not only am I sympathetic to the ongoing plight that The City of Reading is enduring from poverty, debt and corrupt administrations spanning generations, but I’m also appalled that Albert Boscov would take on this project after being quoted in The Reading Eagle that despite all of the taxpayer funds in grant money that was given to him and the low interest loans given to him by the taxpayers, there still would not have been enough funds.  Throughout my professional career, I have never seen instances where I would propose a project with an estimated completion date without budgeting all of the necessary funding before proceeding like I have seen unfold with not only this project, but with other projects throughout The City of Reading and even The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that Albert Boscov has had his hands in where he constantly has his hand out for more of your taxpayer dollars.

If any other man, or organization in The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania intentionally allowed The Mall at Steamtown in Scranton, PA to go into foreclosure, so they could attempt to buy it back through a foreclosure auction at a cheaper price with the expectation of using more of your taxpayer dollars, this man or organization would be under a serious audit and most likely investigated by The Attorney General for fraud.  The simple question The City of Reading and its citizens need to ask themselves is how can Albert Boscov be constantly out of money for projects, but yet can contribute over $100,000.00 to former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, and well over $50,000.00 to Senate Pro Temp.  Joseph Scarnati, or even $70,000.00 to Reading’s former mayor Vaughn Spencer and hundreds of thousands more to Judges, State Senators, State Representatives and even United States Senators and Congressman?

Now that we have discussed how this damage has been done, let’s talk about how we can fix it.  How can this project be saved with whatever limited funds remain?  Currently there are quite a few variables that need to be confirmed to put solid numbers together, but The City of Reading has one advantage that they never tap for the valuable resource that it provides.  That resource is The Reading-Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center.  Right now that school has all of the talent and resources necessary where these students could take on the work that needs to be done to both of these buildings under proper guidance, supervision and project management.  I therefore propose the following.

  • After evaluation of the real estate in question, formulate a new proposal with The Mayor based on sound economics and the laws of supply and demand in a free market where this space can be affordable to not only outside organizations, but the citizens of Reading who wish to start businesses of their own.
  • Dynamacore will offer to oversee this project where most of the hiring will be made from students at The Reading-Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center where they will be put under the payroll of Dynamacore and be under the supervision of some of the most knowledgeable professionals in their trade. Depending on the budget at hand, we are hoping to pay these students a wage between $12.00 – $16.00 an hour depending on the trade in question.  This will hinder on what is left of the funds from Our City Reading.
  • In addition to existing funding, Dynamacore will be happy to work with Reading-Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center to secure additional funding through educational grants and other means, as this is a valuable opportunity for these students to perfect their trade.
  • Dynamacore will also provide free of charge some of our technology solutions we provide from reliable PBX and VOIP systems for telecommunications and other areas. There is also the prospect that Dynamacore will be interested in securing some of this space for future data center purposes.

The short term goal is to take a floor by floor approach and as this space gets leased; those funds can continue to push this project forward where it will not cost any additional financial burden to the taxpayer.  We look forward with the hopes of working with The Mayor in crafting a vision and proposal for this real estate that is economically sound, but most important as a graduate of Reading-Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center, I would like nothing more than to provide economic opportunities to the students of this school where they can pursuit their goals and dreams in the private sector just as I was able to do there nearly 20 years ago when I graduated there in 1996.  It is my goal to hopefully provide an environment for these students to combat the problems of blight within their communities and build upon something that can forge a legacy for them, their children and community as a whole.



Matthew Heckman


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