(20th in a series of posts on candidates for election)
Election Day is May 21.
Once again a tip o’ the hat and a wave of the wings to the candidates for helping us be more informed voters.
Reverse alphabetical order this time.
Vote for one.
What goals, proposals, ideas, issues, problems, or concerns motivate you to seek a seat on City Council?
Grace Crampsie Smith
Health, Safety, and Well-Being of All
We must assure the health, safety and well-being of all citizens, employees and visitors to the city. This is imperative foremost in my mind and will continue to be when making decisions for Bethlehem as your city council representative. We must specifically address the opioid crisis, lack of mental health services and affordable housing.
Socially Responsible Economic Development
We must balance progress with preservation. I believe in robust economic development that is congruent with the best interests of the citizens, environment and infrastructure of the community.
I will continue to assure taxpayer funds are spent most efficiently and effectively. I have managed multi-million dollar taxpayer funded budgets in my professional experience and have had to make heart-wrenching decisions in disbursement of government funds to our most vulnerable populations — those with Developmental Disabilities and those with Mental Illness. I successfully oversaw the transformation of our service delivery system, resulting in the elimination of waiting lists and provision of vital services to all in need.
As a lifelong Bethlehem resident, I have seen the City change greatly over the years. I have had the opportunity to see some initiatives flourish, and others fail — and have tried to look at each success or failure as a learning experience. What could we have done differently? Why didn’t that work? How can we change things moving forward? What is best for Bethlehem? All of those root cause analyses have motivated me to run for City Council, to make sure we are continually learning, planning, and working toward our “best Bethlehem.”
As we move forward, I will be explaining the following quality-of-life centered goals and initiatives in further detail, but this list is an introduction to what types of things I intend to focus on as a Councilwoman.
- Honesty and transparency in leadership; modernizing City presence on the internet, utilizing social media, and making information about the state of our City, tax dollar allocation, and upcoming projects, more available to our residents.
- Taxes; I intend to hold the line on taxes.
- Infrastructure; evaluating and assessing areas of improvement, and continuing to address issues affecting public safety.
- Economic Growth; I support economic growth and expansion within the City, but will hold a strong position related to equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion, within the workplace. I also believe we need to be equally concerned with preservation of Bethlehem’s historical sites, and minimizing our ecological footprint.
- Renewable Resources; I will support and encourage the use of renewable resources within the City, efforts to implement a climate change action plan, and initiatives that promote sustainable living, like the Bethlehem Food Co-Op.
- Children; I’d like to see a playground built or modified in our City that is handicap accessible. I think all children deserve to play. I’d also like to have discussions with the BASD School Board to determine how we as Council Members, School Board Members, and City residents can come together to address the school lunch debt(s) within our District, and bullying within our schools.
- Community Health and Wellness; I am an ANCC board certified, psychiatric-mental health, registered nurse (RN). I have dedicated my life to helping other people, and battling the negative stigma that is associated with “mental illness.” I want to be an advocate for those who may not feel they are able to speak up — initiating discussions and change related to how we address issues like the opioid epidemic and addiction, suicide prevention, crime, homelessness, domestic violence, and bullying within our City.
I look forward to discussing these goals and initiatives in further detail, as well as some others, and I am really excited about what the future holds for Bethlehem.
Establishing a vision for a growth in Bethlehem to make the most of the new economic changes/opportunities. There is so much good data and information available. We must study, plan and pursue a vision for our city. I believe in responsible, green growth and development with strong city leadership.
I also believe it time to strengthen our ethical government laws. As citizens we must have full faith that our elected representatives are only answering to the voters. We have witnessed issues in Allentown and Reading, and we should put in place strong measures to make certain no such activity takes place in Bethlehem. I have no reason to not trust our elected officials, but as a tax payer I believe in trust-but-verify approach.