Tuesday, October 02, 2018

O'Connell Names El-Chaar Allentown's New Parks and Rec Director

From Allentown: Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell today announced the nomination of Ms. Karen El-Chaar to become the city’s next Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Ms. El-Chaar has been Executive Director of Friends of the Allentown Parks since 2010. As such, she is responsible for fiscal, administrative and operations management of the non-profit organization. Her management of fiscal activities include development and implementation of fundraising initiatives, grant writing and solicitation of project sponsors. El-Chaar is credited with developing and implementing programs which complement and support activities of the department.

El-Chaar is currently an assistant professor at Cedar Crest College in the Department of Business, Management and Economics.

El-Chaar brings a vast amount of experience to the job both inside and outside of government. She served 10 years in the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, including seven years as Director, Global Operations in the Office of International Business Development. Prior to coming to state government, El-Chaar worked at Air Products & Chemicals in international trade.

“Karen is eminently qualified to take over the Department of Parks & Recreation,” said O’Connell. “She is already well acquainted with the staff and brings the type of management experience necessary to run the department. She is responsible for a number of special programs that have brought thousands of folks to our parks.”

"I really enjoy my work with Friends of the Allentown Parks and I want to thank Mayor O’Connell for the opportunity to do even more. I am sincerely looking forward to making Allentown's great park system even better, working with youth sports organizations and the Allentown School District to bring greater opportunities for our youth and ensuring that our park and recreation assets remain strong and vibrant."

El-Chaar has a BS in Secondary Education and German from East Stroudsburg University, an MBA from Wilkes University and a law degree from Temple University School of Law.

El-Chaar will earn $95,000 annually in the position. Her nomination goes before City Council on Wednesday, October 3 at 6:00pm.


Anonymous said...

She is a fine pick. But her other job should not take precedence over her full time city, taxpayer funded job. Or she will be no better than her predecessor.

Robert Trotner said...

Excellent choice.

Anonymous said...

Hey buddy boy Bill! You're an asshole.

Anonymous said...

This is a wise decision. Now it’s time for cleaning out the Department of managers who aided and abetted Ed Pawlowski in his pay to play and bid rigging schemes, starting with Holtzman. The culture changes when the corrupt and inept people are finally weeded out and not before.

Anonymous said...

How can anyone have two full time jobs? I guess if one of them is as a city employee its A-okay.

Anonymous said...

Yes, great choice.

A Pawlowski crony who stayed silent as Pawlowski destroyed the city's parks.

Of course O'Connell wants to now pay her for more of the same, and Council will fall all over themselves reaching for the rubber stamp.

Anonymous said...

Silence is complicity.

Anonymous said...

My main concern is will the taxpayers be paying for an absentee director who already has too much on her plate. Like most department heads that were hired from the outside who know very little about city operations. I feel that hiring from within the city, someone that has the knowledge, would benefit the citizens of Allentown more effectively.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"How can anyone have two full time jobs? I guess if one of them is as a city employee its A-okay."

I presume her position as Exec Dir.of Friends of Allentown Parks is PT and probably unpaid. The most recent 990 reveals the total amount paid in salaries and benefits to everyone is just $15,746.

I do agree she needs to step down as Exec Director if confirmed. She also needs to recuse herself from any discussion of Allentown funding for the nonprofit.
or near the park.

This avoids all hints of impropriety.

I also believe that Roger Maclean, president of Allentown City Council, should vacate the home he is living in at the park. That is a pretty blatant conflict of interest, and Allentown needs to shed any hint of impropriety.

Anonymous said...

Friends of the Park has always been a volunteer organization.

Anonymous said...

Why are two prominent Pawlowski collaborations still in the 5th floor Mayor’s Suite pulling down six figure salaries?

Anonymous said...

Is El-Chaar a Spanish name?

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is a Syrian name that roughly translates to "I love Bernie O'Hare."

At least that's what my Syrian friends tell me.

It actually could mean a person who works with poetry or who creates slogans. Artists.

Grandma Utz said...

Will the Dour Buttinsky be her Consigliere?