Apr 28, 2012

Park Director Departing

molovinsky on allentown has learned that park and recreation director Greg Weitzel is planning to move on to new pastures. Although only here for five years, the scar he leaves on the parks will last for decades. Trained as a recreation specialist, he had no feel for what was the gem of Allentown, our park system. Obsessed with cycling, he paved all the paths in CedarPark, and added an additional path across the previous open space. He then purchased exercise stations and other novelties for his newly paved roads. Meanwhile, the irreplaceable features of the park system were allowed to deteriorate; The WPA stone structures are in a perilous condition. These assaults against our heritage were enabled from the politicization of the Trexler Trust, the main benefactor of the park system. The Trust is dominated by Pawlowski confidant Malcolm Gross. Although not a dollar was spent on the WPA structures, the Malcolm Gross Memorial Rose Garden, named after his grandfather, was completely renovated. When Pawlowski departs Allentown, we will be encumbered with the arena, a $200million dollar white elephant. Weitzel is leaving us with crumbling infrastructure in the parks, but a grand cycling network, inter-connecting all the neglect in our parks. Pawlowski, preoccupied and consumed with the arena project, and opposition to it, might appoint park superintendent Rick Holtzman as Weitzel's replacement. Expect The Morning Call to verify this story by Wednesday, but once again fail to credit this blog.
UPDATE:  Both Devon Lash of The Morning Call and Colin McEvoy of the Express Times reported  Monday afternoon, at the exact same time, 2:53pm,  that Weitzel is resigning.
Official Allentown Announcement

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

If this is true, it is a great loss to Allentown. Greg Weitzel was a very professional and capable parks director. He will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Greg promised he would get rid of the electric outlet in the Parkway
on the LP North side where once
the Lights used to pass by. Once the original Iron Bridge was destroyed, the Lights changed direction and he gave park goers his word. Hope he keeps it.

Anonymous said...

You mean after destroying the Rose Garden he's leaving.

Anonymous said...

Schreiber's Bridge. Sadly yesterday stones are now broken off and lying by the side of the road. Please check this out Mr. Molovinsky and write about it. Rush hour, cars back up on Lehigh Parkway East 10/15 deep waiting to turn onto MLK Drive.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

This is great news, I hope it is correct. I also hope that this will end the ridiculous plan to reduce traffic to single lanes on the heavily traveled Turner and Linden streets to accommodate the desires of a handful of bike enthusiasts.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

But how does a city get blacktop removed from grassy areas always meant to be open space?

Anonymous said...

Allentown - please repair the 15th Street bridge. First things first.

michael molovinsky said...

@8:33, i have recently noted stones falling out on the northwest side of the bridge on this blog, and personally informed pawlowski, also previously noted here. i fear for schreibers once the 15th street bridge is totally closed for replacement. this is a city of wrong priorities.

Anonymous said...

If public servants are judged by the work they leave behind, what will be Weitzel's verdict?

Anonymous said...

Reports indicate the 15 St. bridge is to be repaired this year but it will take some say a year to complete, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Where is Greg going?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

But how does a city get blacktop removed from grassy areas always meant to be open space?

April 29, 2012 8:38 AM

Answer; another government grant.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Thank you for alerting folks to this news. Once again, ahead of the press.
Why aren't referendums required before drastic and permanent alterations of both park lands and city blocks and dwellings are destroyed?

Anonymous said...

Scott. You need to run for council

michael molovinsky said...

@12:43, that would be an excellent idea, but allentown city council approved both the park and arena plans.

@12:44, scott would have to run as a democrat, because no republican has won a seat in many election cycles. we are a one party town, ruled by a very small cabal.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky
Perhaps with your connections you would suggest to city traffic officials that speed signs and a flashing STOP sign be posted at Vultee and Graham Streets to protect city workers traveling to the Public Works Dept., at least until the stone wall repair is completed. Also Parkway visitors exiting near Mack's new museum have no idea what the speed limit is and finally, the park's Lights roadway doesn't have a single 20 MPH sign either which makes this tempting to some drivers to speed causing danger and worse to the park's wildlife.

Anonymous said...

"Where is Greg going?"

To the White House, to pick cool stuff out of a catalog for the Obama Administration on the whim of the secret, all-powerful Bike Lobby with kick-butt refreshments?

POWER POINT PRESENTATIONS IMPRESS

Anonymous said...

MM, posted on Lehigh Valley Live at 2:50pm today.

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2012/04/allentown_parks_and_recreation.html

No credit given.

None said...

Please tell me that Rick Holtzman doesn’t just have a high School degree. We need educated people in our management positions at the City and not just people “well” connected so they will make good business decisions for the tax payer’s parks and for the employees that work there. I know that the Mayor is “pre-occupied” with the arena project, but it is important that we have people in management with a stung background to do the job right. The success of the Allentown Parks depends on it.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me that Rick Holtzman doesn’t just have a high School degree. We need educated people in our management positions at the City and not just people “well” connected so they will make good business decisions...

Wow! The man never asked for this. He is the most informed person around and doing the very best he can. He wants someone in place as soon as possible. Getting very little compensation for a tremendous amount of work. Truly cares and is doing the very best for the city.
Ridiculously insulting and narrow minded comment. If you actually believe that a piece of paper has more value than 20 years of actually executing the job, you are a huge part of the problem. You should be ashamed of yourself for insulting this man. You are a narrow minded fool.

None said...

What the above person is trying to say is that their are several people within the City that HAVE a formal education and MORE years experience then 38 year old Mr. Holtzman and for some reason they were bypassed for this opportunity? The position dose requite a college degree. Perhaps Mr. Holtzman should get a college degree and he will understand its importance in executing an executive position should he want to keep this position since that is being said.

Narrow mindedness and a lack for well educated people is what have landed city into the verge of bankruptcy. It’s in the news. We need less politically motivated connections and more qualified candidates. How ells can we bring this City back to a balanced budget?

Christian Blanco was permoted to Park Supervisor. He IS Rick Holtzman’s best friend from high school, business partner from Royal Tree Service LLC, without a formal education and doesn’t have many years with the city. This is called nepotism. NEPOTISM IS NARROW MINDED.

Why not hire from out side? With all the highly educated and experienced people in this field that are currently unemployed, the City would be able to fill this position in no time at all.

michael molovinsky said...

none @9:58. i operate from early morning till early evening, sorry for the delay in printing your comment. i never met mr. holtzman, but it's my understanding that he doesn't want the position permanently . personally, i favor a local person with a park background, such as himself. i'm not impressed with college degrees. i disagreed with weitzel and his catalog purchases. i'm glad he's gone, and thank goodness he left before he could build his waterpark at cedarbeach.