Edward J. Gallagher, Bethlehem immigrant, retired, nearly 50 years as Professor of American Literature at Lehigh University, known as "Dr. G" and "Conan the Grammarian" to students, whose virtual world avatar "EdwardScholarhands" stares at you here, has reinvented himself as the Bethlehem Gadfly.
View all posts by The Bethlehem Gadfly
(The latest in a series of posts on the Southside and Neighborhoods)
Dana Grubb is a lifelong resident of the City of Bethlehem who worked 27 years for the City of Bethlehem in the department of community and economic development, as sealer of weights and measures, housing rehabilitation finance specialist, grants administrator, acting director of community and economic development, and deputy director of community development.
Kim is absolutely right with her assessment. If you chip a piece of marble off of a statue in a less obvious location, most wouldn’t notice it. But, when you chip a piece of the nose, and then another chip, and then another chip, etc., pretty soon you won’t have that magnificent piece of art.
This is exactly what is happening in Bethlehem, a chip here, a chip there, but no holistic approach that says enough is enough because each of those chips contributes to destroying the original. Whether it’s a marble statue or a community, how much can be absorbed the integrity of the statue or character and quality of life of the community are lost? And, how many of these citizens who are appointed on the ZHB and PC are ever directly impacted by the decisions they’ve made? A rhetorical question. When I was the City’s deputy director of community development, I was constantly stressing to staff to treat each situation as if you lived next door, or your parents did. Bethlehem’s residents need public appointees and officials to put themselves in others’ shoes, and show some empathy and consideration. Empathy and consideration are currently lacking greatly in Bethlehem’s processes and in some very key employees, and that contributes to a declining quality of life and civility.