Jan 20, 2017

Allentown's Park Problem


Under Pawlowski, the park and recreation departments were combined,  and all three of the consecutive park directors had the same background in recreation, and were hired by the same person,  Fran Dougherty.

The WPA double stairwell in Lehigh Parkway, shown above, is in dire straights.  The landings are falling apart, allowing water to seep into foundation of the steps.  The park department always has the same answer now for years.  Yes, we're budgeting for it next year.  Yes, it's on our short list. etc. etc.  Meanwhile, last summer a large outdoor  gymnasium was installed at Jordan Park.  Although it would be the envy of any federal prison,  it is nothing they could ever afford.  However,  our recreation obsessed park director found the funds.

I have twice publicly offered city council my time to act as a liaison on park matters.  They approve the park budgets, and have the leverage to modify park priorities.  Meanwhile,  our iconic system, once nationally recognized as among the best,  declines.   Pawlowski's director endorses more parks, and more expensive catalog equipment,  while the important existing features crumble.

2 comments:

Julian Kern said...

It is sad that the city administration wants to build a new park but can't maintain the parks we already have. Dennis Pearson keeps bringing up the fact the Irving/Andre Reed park needs a new flag pole and the city can't even provide a new flag pole.

Rich Fegley said...

Let's be honest, we are waiting for the Feds to clean out the bad managers of the City. The Mayor is the worst of all of the managers.

We are still trying to figure out how leasing the water and sewer system helped our budget. Somehow Allentown's budget has increased by $20 million in the last two years. The Mayor tells us that it is due to increased insurance and healthcare costs. This is more than a 20% increase. How did the lease to the LCA help?

There is no money available to "save" our parks. It is sad to watch them fall apart.

$1.4 million bought us land for new park space! This is how the Mayor thinks he will help Allentown. He's a crook. He screwed us.