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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Dolan Using Council Position To Enrich Her Nonprofit

I am thoroughly disgusted with Bethlehem City Council member Karen Dolan. Instead of using her public office for the benefit of the people, she's using it to enrich a nonprofit that just happens to employ her as its Executive Director. Dolan wants to relax the alcohol limit at City parks so more people take their weddings to her nonprofit, the Fox Environmental Center, which is located in a city-owned property in a city park.

Believe it or not, Dolan chairs City Council's Parks and Public Properties Committee. Why Council President Willie Reynolds would name a park tenant as chair of the parks committee is mind-boggling. He invited the very conflict that is now occurring.

Dolan's nonprofit might claim to be some sort of environmental center, but its Facebook page paints an entirely different picture. Instead of frogs and turtles, it's a wedding reception venue, the place "where dreams begin." It hosts 20 weddings and 100 other social events each year. It's expensive, too, although I don't have the exact figures.

But there's one little piece of grist stuck in this mill. You see, City rules limit the booze to 7.0%. That covers most beer, but that's about it. City watchdog Steve Antalics reminded Council of this limit a few weeks ago.

This is a problem for Dolan. No booze, no wedding reception. If she wants to continue drawing her salary, she needs to change things pronto.

So on Tuesday night, she took off her nonprofit hat and put on her City Council and Parks Chairman hat. Then according to WFMZ's Randy Kraft, she convened a meeting that supposedly was reviewing City park riules. Surprise, surprise, she now wants more booze in public parks. She's really, really, really, really concerned about the Ice House, located on Sand Island, losing revenue because of the booze prohibition.

Of course, what she's really interested in is making sure that people will continue booking 20 weddings a year at her place. That won't happen unless they can pour booze down their throats.

Dolan's attempt to craft legislation that will help pay her salary is an obvious conflict of interest. Her position as Parks Chair is an obvious conflict of interest.

I will have more to say about Dolan and her nonprofit next week.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not surprising. She is all about herself. Ask the question about her retirement from BASD. She leave the wine bottle alone.

Anonymous said...

She is pathetic!!

Anonymous said...

This is disgusting. What do the Moravians say about her actions?

Anonymous said...

She is a disgrace to herself and her elected position. I didn't vote for her and never will. Get to the bottom of her departure from the BASD. I assure you it will be quite interesting.

Anonymous said...

This being brought to light and apparent speculative drinking problem, perhaps a change in marketing strategy in making the place dry, no booze.

Many a wedding has been destroyed by those who consume and choose to drink too much, embarrassing themselves, family & close friends.

Maybe I will consider the venue with my second wife?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anonymous personal attacks are meaningless. Please, if you want to get personal, sign your names. I think Karen is involved in a conflict and definitely should not chair the parks committee. But I have not made anonymous accusations. She is an elected official so I will allow these, but they are unbecoming of you, and tarnish the points I am trying to make.

Anonymous said...

The city does not own The Mill building. It is owned by the Bethlehem Authority. Check your facts.

Anonymous said...

Just passing along "speculative" is not a personal attack and not meant to be in any way.
Yes, anon but no intent.

Your point is taken and agreed by me, anon.

Bernie O'Hare said...

8:52, the city owns, has leased to Beth authority, and that entity has leased to Dolan.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Or the other wAy around. Suffice it to say the City is in charge.

Anonymous said...

"The city does not own The Mill building. It is owned by the Bethlehem Authority. Check your facts."

And the Authority is a city-controlled (owned?) agency.

Anonymous said...

So Dolan is more than just an internet meme: http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2012/117/b/b/dolan_duck_hd_by_zapgod16-d4xr9hw.png

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone needs to investiagte the fact that her NONPROFIT does not have a lease with the City not do they provide insurance policies sthat protect the City. Someone has a sweat heart deal.

Anonymous said...

Her problem is she is not too male and not too white, right Bernie?

(just kidding fembots, just kidding)

Merely paraphrasing her own pejorative views.

Good catch on this story. Our Parks do not need more alcohol in them. There are enough problems already with the laws as they are. People hide their booze as it is. She is being purely selfish ahnd is no public servant.

Anonymous said...

Any way some can sue or do something over the conflict of interest?

hank_Hill

Anonymous said...

She gets her salary from the grant money that comes in for the Mill. She had kids in school write for the grants when she was in charge of them. This was her patsy retirement package, gleaned on the backs of the school kids. Now she wants booze in the parks to increase the take at the Mill to go to her salary.

Anonymous said...

Another test for the New Age" young Bethlehem City Council.

Anonymous said...

Dolan was parks chair under Evans, Reynolds just continued her in that role.

Bernie O'Hare said...

She should have nothing to do with parks. I would blame them both.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hank, Unfortunately, there's no standing to sue.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Thoroughly disgusted. Displacement is always preferable to self loathing.

Anonymous said...

Back in 2011 an Express times noted the place fits 150 people and rents for $100 an hour or $1,200 for a wedding.

It also noted the center has an annual budget of about a $170,000 from a variety of sources (rentals, grants, programs, fundraisers and memberships).

The mills $1.3 million renovation was paid for entirely through grants.

How do you land a grant like that?

Anonymous said...

"If she wants to continue drawing her salary, she needs to change things pronto."

I agree that there appears to be a conflict, but the above statement draws conclusions that are not supported by any facts you've shared with us. What evidence do you have that Ms. Dolan's continued employment is subject to the City changing rules regarding alcohol in parks? I wonder if you might be trying too hard to cast this situation in a negative light - unnecessary as it already looks bad enough.

Anonymous said...

interesting....it would indeed be very interesting if You would follow up on her departure from the BASD....I'm actually surprised she gotten this far...but then City Council has never been very particular on whom they put in those seats..maybe we will soon be able have a joint at these meetings?????

Anonymous said...

Follow up on her departure? She retired. But, please, Bernie, "get to the bottom" of her retirement. Grovel around in the mud while you are at it.

What exactly is it about people who do things for the city that you people have a problem with? A little non-profit does good work, and you people are all over it like its Enron. Bernie used to call evil fairly but he's so confused with his love-hate relationships who knows what he stands for anymore. And Lord help the woman who crosses Bernie's path when he's in a "mood."

Signed,
Long-time supporter of the Illick's Mill rescue operation and other things that make the city a better place

Bernie O'Hare said...

Save your anonymous personal attacks for next week. You're gonna' need them. If her mismanagement and conflicts of interest are a good thing, Steve Donches should be getting $500k. Her nonprofit needs a heavy duty audit, and she needs to resign her seat on Council.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Also, don't confuse me with the people who comment here. I don't give a rat's ass about hervretirement. What concerns me is her publicly funded nonprofit, it's mismanagement and her conflicts if interest.

Anonymous said...

I'm only surprised that it took this long for this stuff to leak out. There is plenty more yet to come.
This has just started!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Plenty more? Do enlighten us. Don't give me the personal crap. That just detracts from everything. But do us all a favor and detail the instances of official misconduct that you believe exist, and what evidence you have to support it.