At last night’s wonderful meet & greet at Tapas on Main I had a number of people ask how they could get a sign or flyers to give to their friends. While I don’t have physical signs to distribute, here are the images used on my Facebook page so you can make your own! Thanks for your support!
When citizens feel connected to their police department lots of good can happen. We’ve been doing a good job of this, but I’d like to see our efforts expand. We’ve been ranked the safest third-class city in the state for the past five years, and for good reason, but that doesn’t mean we should rest on our laurels.
Since 2009 the Bethlehem Police Department Mounted Patrol Unit, otherwise known as “the horse police” have not only been providing valuable crowd control at the many festivals in town, but their authoritative, yet non-threatening presence has created an atmosphere where residents and visitors are compelled to interact with our officers. We’ve also got excellent officers who are out on bicycle and foot in our neighborhoods keeping the citizens of Bethlehem safe and informed. While having a visible presence in our business districts is a good thing, we need to find a way to continue to expand that familiar and approachable police presence to all of our neighborhoods.
Another fantastic way that I’ve seen our police department reach out to the community is through its use of social media. I’m not quite sure why, but in the past few months, what used to be regular interaction on Facebook and Twitter has turned into a daily link to the crime summary. The friendly banter and quick responses to questions that people asked really did a lot to build good will and trust between the average person and the police department. I’d like to see us get back to the level of interaction we had a few months ago and grow it even further.
I’ll be at Tapas on Main tonight from 5 – 8 PM. Come out, bring a friend, have a drink, and talk with me and other citizens about the positive future we can create together here in Bethlehem.
I was all ready to put up a post about a completely different topic today, but as I was getting ready for work I was greeted by the sound of a garbage truck. Wednesday on my street at least three different companies pick up trash. Ridiculous.
I’ve written about my experience at the meeting in Town Hall last November so I’m not going to rehash that here, but I will say that I am in favor of a single trash hauler for the city. It’s been studied extensively and the bids that the city received last year show that for most households their financial cost would go down, in many cases significantly.
I don’t think that the timing was right to include trash in last year’s budget, and when city council chose to remove it, what I was disheartened to see was that the matter was dropped entirely. It’s a divisive issue, but it’s one that merits its own discussion, separate from the budget. I went on record at the February 19 city council meeting about it, but unfortunately that was the last time I can find that it was addressed by city council.
There’s a reason that Bethlehem and Altoona are the only two third-class cities in the state without a single trash hauler, and it’s not because our current system is better. Let’s fix it.
It’s been said that if you aren’t making someone upset, then you aren’t making someone else happy. While yesterday’s announcement was met with quite a bit of enthusiasm, there were some people who seemed to have a real problem with something I have absolutely no control over, my age. Yes, I’m 32 years old. Current Mayor Callahan and past Mayor Cunningham were both within two years of my age when they won their respective races for mayor. The median age of the city is 35.7 years old. Let’s stop with the ageism.
Another question that has been asked, and rightfully so, is what qualifies me to be mayor? Quite a lively discussion ensued on a friend’s Facebook wall last night asking about my executive experience, especially in running a city. Since no current candidate in this mayoral race has executive experience in city government, what should those qualifications be? Unfortunately, the person who asked some very pointed questions last night has deleted them so I can’t address them individually, so I’ll ask you: What is enough for someone to be a legitimate candidate for mayor? Let’s discuss it.
While we’re on the topic of discussions, what are things that you want to talk about? Do you have concerns about the city, or me, that you want to bring to the forefront? I won’t be responding to ad homenim attacks, because those don’t advance the conversation, but I’m not above discussing any serious issues. Leave a note in the comments below, on Facebook, Twitter, and be sure to say hi at Tapas on Thursday from 5 – 8.