(12th in a series of posts on candidates for election)
For Immediate Release
Dr. Paige Van Wirt Announces Election Bid for Bethlehem City Council
Bethlehem – Dr. Paige Elizabeth Van Wirt today announced her election bid for the Bethlehem City Council four year seat. Dr. Van Wirt was appointed to Bethlehem City Council in March 2018 and has brought a new voice to City Council, emphasizing accountability and transparency. She is committed to improving walkability in Bethlehem, and an approach to economic development that is built on a thriving small business community.
A physician with prior experience and training in urban planning, low-income housing development, and municipal finance, Dr. Van Wirt believes deeply in the oversight responsibilities of City Council. Since her appointment, she has consistently voted on issues with the following question in mind: “Is this in the best interests of the citizens of Bethlehem?”
Dr. Van Wirt is a co-founder of a medical practice that cares for the region’s elderly in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. She previously worked as a Project Manager for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development where she managed the selection, development, and approval of low-income housing. She also worked as a municipal bond analyst for Moody’s Investors Service.
During her tenure on City Council, Dr. Van Wirt has also worked to develop stronger lines of communication between City Council and the citizens of Bethlehem. She regularly meets with local businesses and residents to hear concerns and increase overall engagement. For example, she solicited ideas and feedback from over 60 downtown businesses to better inform her decision around a key parking issue. Dr. Van Wirt has also developed a strong social media presence where she keeps her constituents informed about upcoming council meetings and decisions.
“I am honored to have been appointed to Bethlehem City Council last year, and I look forward to continuing to be a voice for the city’s residents. My priorities include sustainable and accountable economic development that genuinely supports small businesses, responsible municipal budgeting, and the much-needed work on local government ethics reform. Bethlehem needs to attract young people and businesses by creating a city where people want to live and work. There is much work to be done to fulfill this goal, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on council to get the job done.”
A reminder that the other new candidates for Council thus far are Will Carpenter, Carol Chamberlain Ritter, and David Saltzer. Incumbents running are J. William Reynolds, Michael Colon, and Paige Van Wirt. Incumbent Shawn Martell is not running. There are three four-year seats and one two-year seat on the ballot this year. As far as Gadfly knows, Crampsie Smith and Carpenter are running for the two-year seat. Ritter, Saltzer, Reynolds, Van Wirt, and Colon are running for the four-year seats. Now that the field seems filled, Gadfly will soon invite candidates to make position statements. Stay tuned.