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A New Political Era Starts in Bethlehem: This Week

Also, watch out for frigid temperatures Monday night and Tuesday.

Bob Donchez
Bob Donchez

Bethlehem starts a new political era on Monday morning as Bob Donchez is sworn in as the city’s 11th mayor in a 10 a.m. ceremony at Town Hall.

Then, at 7 p.m., also in Town Hall, City Council convenes for its first meeting of 2014, with two new faces—Bryan Callahan and Adam Waldron—taking their places at the dais for the first time.

Callahan and Waldron, and re-elected Council members Karen Dolan and Eric Evans, will be sworn in by Lehigh County District Judge Wayne Maura—perhaps a nod to the fact that Waldron will be the first Lehigh County-based City Council member since Don Cunningham advanced to become mayor.

Council will reorganize and pick a new president and J. William Reynolds, who lost to Donchez in the Democratic mayoral primary, seems a likely choice.

But there will be little time for honeymoons for the new mayor or the new council. Very soon, council will have to pick a replacement for Donchez on council, schedule a termination hearing for embattled police Officer Richard Hoffman and convene a public hearing on a proposed Community Benefit District for South Bethlehem.

Here is what else is going on in Bethlehem this week:

  • The weather may start out Monday morning seeming unseasonably warm, but wet, but don’t let that fool you. Temperatures will start to plummet by mid-day and conditions will be downright frigid after nightfall. On Tuesday, the temperature may not exceed single digits. A warm-up is expected by the end of the week, however.
  • The Bethlehem Area School Board’s Curriculum and Facilities committees both meet on Monday, starting at 6 p.m. in the district’s office building on Sycamore Street.
  • Bethlehem Township Commissioners will hold its reorganization meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in the township building on Easton Avenue.

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