J. William Reynolds at the Bethlehem City Democratic Committee Forum May 6 (42)

(42nd in a series of posts on candidates for election)

J. William Reynolds is a candidate for the one of three 4yr seats on City Council, running against Michael Colon, Carol Ritter, David Saltzer, Paige Van Wirt.


J. William Reynolds’s question: the budget (6 mins.)

“The City budget process is known to be complex and very unsexy. Explain something that you wish the average Bethlehem taxpayer had a better understanding of.”

  • Bethlehem is doing better than every other comparative 3rd-class city in the state
  • because we’re looking at the budget all year long
  • not a lot of easy answers and a lot of the costs are fixed
  • 80-90% of the budget is personnel, and the majority of that is public safety
  • successfully got in the budget money for 1) the Climate Action Plan and 2) Northside 2027
  • get planning money, then get a group together to say what they need
  • proud that we have an “A” financial rating

Ritter added her track record and continued interest in building teams, the kind that Reynolds was talking about (min. 342).  Van Wirt cited the three Council powers, approving people on Commissions, approving ordinances, and passing the budget, and feels there’s room for Council to have more direction on the way the City goes via the budget. If Council were more cohesive, for instance, money for sidewalks might have gotten on the list for the Casino Transfer Tax windfall (min. 3:42).

J. William Reynolds’s closing comment (1.5 mins.)

  • 12th year on City Council
  • depends on how we work together
  • must look outside our traditional ways
  • how do we make people proud
  • must work together

Look for more on Reynolds as he responds to other candidate presentations and participates in group answers on such topics as their unique qualities, transparency, neighborhoods.

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