Here's the skinny. It is beyond dispute that Illick's Mill served a noble function. Dolan had a great deal to do with its good works. But in recent years, she lost her way. She racked up nearly $130,000 in monies owed to the City, mainly because she was misallocating grant money provided for that purpose. Due to her own mismanagement, the Mill lost its nonprofit status. It failed to file tax returns for three years in a row. As a paid Executive Director, she engaged in blatant conflicts of interest that included voting for budgets in which she had a direct pecuniary interest. She stopped paying utilities at the facility, while installing a whopping nine room air conditioners. She threatened the Mayor that she would use her position on Council and as Parks Chair to prevent a new lease, and one that required a rent payment, from seeing the light of day. She began using the Mill for weddings at which alcohol in excess of the 7% limit was served. She suggested on Council that it was time to allow people to use alcohol in City parks.
The problems at the Mill occurred for one and only one reason - Karen Dolan.
The real reason for her "Poor Us, We're Closing" announcement, is to pressure Mayor Bob Donchez into giving her what she wants - a rent-free Mill with nine room air conditioners and free oil. Let the taxpayers and other non-profits subsidize her turtle aquarium. She needs to stir up the troops, and that is what she is doing.
Just as the right has extremists like Ronnie Del Wacko, the left has extremists like Gloria McVeigh. They were both shouting at each other on Sunday when they both abused KidsPeace children while pretending they care. But they are both united in their hatred of independent observers like yours truly. Here's what McVeigh has had to say.
This is just a tragedy. No other words suit. All thanks to two publicity-seeking ego-maniacs + one spineless political leader of Bethlehem. Nice work, guys! Of course, the poor + minority families who enjoy the Park most + could educate their kids on the environment for free are big losers, but they never have any political power, anyway. Dark day for Bethlehem.Put in its simplest terms, McVeigh's argument is that violations of the Ethics Act are permissible so long as it helps a "poor and minority" family. These transgressions were no help to the poor or minorities. They helped Karen Dolan collect her paycheck. I pointed this out at Facebook, but Dolan deleted my comment, claiming I am no "friend"of the Mill. Actually, neither is she.
She is currently under investigation by a Grand Jury looking at her own very obvious mismanagement at the Mill. Yet she is telling her uninformed supporters things like this:
"It can't hurt to call or email the Mayor's office. He needs to know people care."
"Our current Mayor has never seen the Nature Center, despite his recent comments that he "loves what we have been doing here."
"Write a letter to the editor or the Mayor or both, speak out at a city council meeting."
What she's really doing is trying to spin both the press with stories about how wonderful the Mill is, while simultaneously trying to make the Mayor out as the Bad Guy.
What she doesn't get, even now, is that she's the Bad Guy.
I'll be there to remind everyone at 1 pm today. So far as I know, it is open to the public and press.
She needs to resign from City Council, unless Bethlehem likes having ethically conflicted people.