Council member Peter Schweyer told Mikowychok “you are inheriting an absolutely tremendous staff. All of them do a ton without nearly enough support. Treat them well.”

The new parks and recreation director resides in Uwchlan Township, Chester County.

Mikowychok told council he already has toured nearly 50 percent of the city’s parks, adding: “Some of them I know from my background.”

Although born and raised in Norristown, the 58-year-old Mikowychok said he is familiar with Allentown and the Lehigh Valley. His aunt and uncle, Jasper and Kathryn Santoro lived on N. 12th Street. His uncle was a music educator in Allentown School District and “an extraordinary” violinist in the Allentown Symphony Orchestra. When growing up, Mikowychok would stay with them for a week every summer, which included swimming with his cousin in the Jordan and Cedar Beach pools. His wife Louise attended Lehigh County Community College and they often spent dates walking through Cedar Parkway. He said he also often went fly fishing in the Little Lehigh.

Another big city position will have to be replaced soon. With the impending retirement of Police Chief Roger MacLean, council’s public safety committee will be discussing police succession at 6 p.m. May 15. A consultant hired to find a new police chief will be at that meeting