DiGiacinto Takes Name Out of Running for Controller

City Councilman writes memo saying he is one of the "more qualified" candidates, but doesn't think he has support of other council members.


Bethlehem City Councilman David DiGiacinto today withdrew his name from consideration to become the city’s next controller, saying, in a memo to fellow council members, that he does not believe he has their support to win the position.

Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. next Thursday in Town Hall to interview the candidates and select one to fill the position until a special election can be held later this year.

Meg Holland announced in January because of the increasing demand of her . The winner of the special election will fill the remainder of Holland’s term, which was scheduled to finish at the end of 2013.

Council’s choice will fill the position only until the special election. When Holland resigned, to submit letters and resumes from which they will select one person to temporarily fill the job.

Besides DiGiacinto, a vice president at ConAgra Foods Inc., the others to apply are:

  • Duran Chakarian, a former facilities technician with a bachelor’s degree in business management.
  • Robert Pfenning, a retired accountant and frequent visitor and contributor to municipal meetings.
  • William Scheirer, a retired economist who is also a frequent visitor and contributor to municipal meetings.
  • Jason Toedter, a public policy specialist who worked for three months on Mayor John Callahan’s failed campaign for Congress.
  • George Yasso, a professional financial consultant whose namesake father was well-known among local high school basketball enthusiasts.

DiGiacinto was the Democratic nominee for controller in 2007 before he was defeated by Holland in the general election.

Despite his withdrawal from consideration, the councilman’s memo seems to indicate that he would still be willing to serve if he is nominated for the position. The text of DiGiacinto’s memo is as follows:

After considering the current environment, I have decided to remove my name from the candidate's list for consideration at the Special City Council Meeting on February 16, 2012 to fill the vacancy of Controller for the City of Bethlehem.

Based on my review of all the letters of interest and resumes, I feel that I am one of the more qualified and experienced candidates of the 6, and would like to serve in the role for the remaining 2 years of the current term. It is my strong sense that I do not have the support of a majority of Council to be elected to fill the vacancy for Controller.  I would like to reiterate that I did run for that position in 2007 and was narrowly defeated by the former Controller.

I believe that I have stated my experience, qualifications, and independence through my letter of interest and resume. I hope that the decision made on February 16 will be in the best interests of the City and its residents.

It is my understanding that regardless of whether one has declared as a candidate, or not, a nomination can still come from the floor, and that with a second, a nominated individual may be voted on for the position.

Al Bernotas February 11, 2012 at 12:44 AM
• Robert Pfenning - Qualified - Highly. Excellent credentials. Accountant and CPA. • William Scheirer - Qualified - Yes. Satisfactory credentials. Economist. • Duran Chakarian - Not Qualified. Inadequate credentials. No accounting experience. • Jason Toedter - Not Qualified. Inadequate credentials. No accounting experience. • George Yasso - Not Qualified. Inadequate credentials, No accounting experience.
Dana Grubb February 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Al, Very fair analysis of the candidates. Few decisions seem to be what is best for Bethlehem these days.
Patriot2 February 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM
DiGiacinto is the right candidate for the job and would keep a watchful eye on the Mayor from the Controller post. Not sure who would be against him except Dolan and Reynolds and that wouldn't seem to be enough to withdraw unless there needs to be unanimous consent of this appointment?


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