Latest in a series of posts on Ethics and City Government
Gadfly is breaking down the section of the December 3 City Council meeting concentrating on the ethics issue raised by Councilman Callahan into small parts so that you can focus on how each Councilman responds to it.
Gadfly will always remind you that a core part of his project mission is to have you know your elected officials as well as you can so that you can be an informed voter.
This section of the meeting was dominated by interchanges between Councilman Callahan and Councilman Reynolds, veteran antagonists.
And just from information available recently in the course of this controversy, we can look forward to the possibility — if we didn’t know this before! — that both Councilman Callahan and Councilman Reynolds may run for mayor.
Which means paying attention to them is particularly important, especially at time of stress, especially at times when leadership is called for.
Councilman Reynolds, though still a young man, has been on Council about 12 years. President Waldron once referred to him as having the wisdom of an elder statesman.
JWR was certainly statesman-like here (O Gadfly, that sounds so pretentious, but we get the idea). He was calm. He hoped there would be a path to settling the permit issue. So he focused on the Parking Authority issue, the one in which BGC accused AMK of unethical behavior at a City Council meeting. He said the most serious charge that could be leveled at a public official was leveled at AMK, a bad thing for everybody and the City. He concluded, reasonably, that BGC should back up his charge or apologize.
- Calling somebody unethical is the most serious charge that public officials can face.
- There’s an inherent trust that comes with the responsibility of being an elected official.
- Calling somebody unethical is not something that should be spoken of lightly.
- It’s not brought forward without strong evidence of wrongdoing.
- It’s not a verbal tool to be used in a disagreement.
- The public has not heard any more evidence or explanation.
- He has not elaborated on his accusation.
- I don’t believe that it does this body any good or it does the City of Bethlehem to have those accusations sit out there.
- The administration sent a 4-page memo that went through this whole process [the Parking Authority issue]
- Give Councilman Callahan the opportunity here to at least add information or explain his position or, absent that, I do think it would be paramount for him to apologize to [AMK] for the accusation of being unethical and the Allentown comment [that some people went to jail for that kind of activity].
How will Councilman Callahan respond?
to be continued . . .