Monday, October 17, 2022

Tuerk Terminates Parks Director - Others May Have Been Fired as Well

Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk  Karen El-Chaar, first confirmed as Allentown's Director of Parks and Recreation in 2018, has been terminated. She herself has confirmed that she has been fired. She may not be alone.  According to Allentown sources, the Tuerk tomahawk has also landed on Human Relations Officer Tatiana Tooley and IT Director Matt Leibert. 

El-Chaar, a Temple Law school graduate, had previously served as Executive Director of Friends of Allentown Parks for nearly nine years. As Parks and Rec Director, she was responsive to the public. Even parks critic Michael Molovinsky lauded her for addressing some of the dilapidated WPA structures.  

In addition to her role with Allentown, El-Chaar teaches at Cedar Crest and heads the board at WDIY.  She is rightfully proud of her accomplishments.  

In an email, Mayor Matt Tuerk (He/Him/His) confirms he fired El-Chaar. "Karen served the City well prior to her time as Director of Parks and Recreation and helped get our us through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. I wish her well in future endeavors. "

Tuerk has a temporary replacement in place.  

"Effective immediately, Rick Holtzman will serve as the Interim Director of Parks and Recreation while we begin the search for a permanent Director of Parks and Recreation. Rick will apply his decades of experience to keeping parks projects moving, our parks maintained, and recreation programs functioning. I hope to have a new candidate shortly."

I am in the process of confirming from Mayor Tuerk whether HR Officer Tooley and IT Director Leibert are also victims of the chopping block.  I learned of their possible termination after I received his email concerning El-Chaar. 

Leonard Lighter, who was named by Tuerk as his "Chief Operating Officer" in February, stepped down in July. He now is with the City of Chester. 

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you ain't woke, Allentown says get out. I suggest we build a wall around the place and let them have it. It's a disaster...and I lived in the city for 17 years. I truly am shocked what it has become.

Anonymous said...

The mayor’s remark of “prior to her time as director” seems to say quite a lot.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that we can't fire you for your left-wing blog.

Anonymous said...

Allentown the All-American city - When?

Anonymous said...

This is not surprising, after Allentown's exciting parks were named to the "Most Likely Places To Be Shot In Pennsylvania" list. Allentown has enacted nearly every tenet of the progressive agenda. What we see is its full manifestation. Being forced to live with the consequences of your yard or porch sign is proof that God has a sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

Many municipalities across the Lehigh Valley have dead wood sitting back and coasting to retirement.

Anonymous said...

Is there any story you right-wing nuts won't find a way to fit your twisted narrative into?
Is that the new game plan?
Someone is fired and idiots mention "progressives," "left-wing," and "woke."
Just how is it a Parks Director was fired for, what must be, too conservative, right-wing, and unwoke?
Go back to watching your Russia-loving Tucker Carlson.

Anonymous said...

Fun fact Hermano Tuerk is fluent in jive talk as we’ll as Spanish, he’s in tight with the blacks so unlikely to have a Nury Martinez type fall from grace

Anonymous said...

My kids moved away as soon as they got out of school. Why? They saw the blue and brown wave coming, the foreign language signs popping up, and knew the future. This administration is just putting the final touches into making Allentown a third world paradise. Enjoy!

LVCI said...

Here we go again. Maybe after a few days the so-called professional media folks might catch up after reading this? Thanks Bernie.

Anonymous said...

You can always tell the FOX , OAN , NEWSMAX watchers in here. They all speak with code words and dire consequences scenarios.

Anonymous said...

You don’t have to read it.

Anonymous said...

As long as somebody cuts the grass and maintains the ballfields I could care less who the parks director is.

Anonymous said...

Karen El-Chaar did a great job at the Parks Department. During her term, the long languishing parks sineage was actally installed in all the parks, after about 10 years of planning and delays.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, we Ray back he would do a job.

Anonymous said...

@6:30pm: she did a great job by putting signs up? Really? That’s her ‘accomplishment’?

Anonymous said...

This guy is just another example of Powolkis friend and confidant Jennings inc. My thought are why isnt jennings and those in the redeveloment entities in ajoining cells with the ex mayor.

Anonymous said...

Matt Tuerk needs to come out and explain why he did.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....methinks we touched a nerve there; must be some truth to it.

Anonymous said...

You "couldn't" care less.

Anonymous said...

I used to have hopes with the new mayor. After his and the council's junket trip to the Dominican, not so much. I wish I had the time to go to the next council meeting just to ask how much the trip cost the taxpayers and what concrete value it did for our city.
As far as the Park Director termination: I'm learned over the years that many government job positions are political favors to do part time jobs for full time pay (looking at you Guridy). Maybe wrong in this park director's case, but it does seem the lady already had a full plate of responsibilities besides our parks.

William Sherman said...

The Allentown Mayor has historically fired peopled He didn't want

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I can evaluate the news of the firing of the Parks & Recreation director yet, given the little information we have.

El-Chaar apparently was sympathetic to the preservation WPA structures (according to MM's blog), yet I've seen little progress in that regard.

I also know that the city's once-strong youth leagues remain almost non-existent, having been decimated during the Pawlowski years.

Those are two issues (WPA preservation and rebuilding the youth leagues) that I feel strongly about, and I would have fired El-Chaar based on her results in just those two areas.

I suspect my priorities are different from the Mayor's but I'd love to hear his real reason for the firing. Quite honestly, the position itself deserves more than a brief e-mail confirming the firing. Residents should know why, and what changes (if any) he wants to see.

He's being a typical weasel politician, in the sense that nobody can hold him accountable if he doesn't tell us what his reasons for the change were. He needs to man-up and tell people more, in-person.

Anonymous said...

Of course he should, considering his as well as her salaries are both tax payers funded.

Anonymous said...

How bout maintaining the playground equipment for the kids?

Anonymous said...

Why not research her accomplishments in her nine years of service and deem if those warrent continual employment? I would suspect the mayor investigated and her firing wasn't capricious...

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you were right! Tuerk fired Tatiana Tooley yesterday.

Anonymous said...

What do you know about Tom Banotai, the Public Works foreman who, for a time, served as Tuerk's on-line attack dog? His employment with the city ended in June, but the city is mum...

Anonymous said...

Can you release the email from Tuerk, Bernie?

Thanks.