When Bob Donchez takes the oath of office as mayor of Bethlehem, he will leave behind an empty seat on City Council.
Who will replace him? It will be up to the remaining six members of City Council to decide from people who submit resumes by Dec. 31.
One rumored possibility is Deb Hunter, a Democrat who recently lost her bid to join Northampton County Council. The former Nazareth School Board member lives in Bethlehem.
Another intriguing choice would by Joe Kelly, the current community and economic development director who Donchez is dismissing in favor Alicia Miller Karner, who runs economic development for Northampton County.
One person who is not interested is Adrian Shanker, who was a local delegate to the last Democratic National Convention and a speaker at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
On a recent Facebook post, Shanker said he had been encouraged to seek the open seat by neighbors and friends.
“I'm flattered by the encouragement and support,” wrote Shanker, a gay rights activist who recently stepped down as president of Equality Pennsylvania. “I've given it serious consideration, but I've decided that serving on City Council would not be the best fit for my interests right now.”
Shanker, who plans to run for Democratic State Committee in 2014, wrote that he has heard there are “immensely qualified candidates,” including Hunter and Kelly, who are considering the seat.
“I'd be very happy to have either one represent me on City Council,” Shanker wrote.
Council is currently accepting letters of interest and resumes to fill the vacancy. Whoever is chosen would complete Donchez’s unexpired council term, which runs through 2015.Letters and resumes are being accepted at the City Clerk's Office, 10 East Church Street, Room B212, Bethlehem PA 18018 phone 610-865-7130; fax 610-997-5738 by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31.