May 1, 2012
The Gems of Allentown
The press release announcing Weitzel's departure, describes the combining of Allentown's Park and Recreation Departments as an accomplishment; It was of course a disaster. Weitzel, with a background in recreation, turned some of the parks into an overused playground, while completely ignoring others. The combining of the positions, while sacrificing the historical park system, saved the city no money;Pawlowski meanwhile created a host of new positions at the top level of his administration. Unfortunately, the traditional guardian and benefactor of the park system, the Trexler Trust, became dominated by Pawlowski sycophants. The current major plan for the park system's future centers on cycling, creating a network of interlinking paths between the parks. With the exception of myself and a few others, there are no defenders for the historical system, what were the Gems of Allentown. Pawlowski has politicized the parks, like everything else. The Friends of the Parks, are in reality, friends of Pawlowski. When I, with appreciated help, dug up the buried Boat Landing in the Parkway, neither Pawlowski or Weitzel had known it ever existed, nor did they care. The Morning Call never ran a story on the subject; A WPA built structure buried for over 40 years by a former Park Director. Let us hope that Pawlowski now hires someone with some appreciation of our classic park system.