City Council

Council Minutes

10 East Church Street – Town Hall
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 – 7:00 PM


President Robert J. Donchez called the meeting to order. Reverend Evelyn Leon, of El Shaddai Bethlehem Ministries, offered the invocation which was followed by the pledge to the flag. Present were Jean Belinski, David T. DiGiacinto, Karen Dolan, Eric R. Evans, Gordon B. Mowrer, J. William Reynolds, and Robert J. Donchez, 7.


The Minutes of October 4, 2011 were approved.

- ADJUDICATION BY BETHLEHEM CITY COUNCIL - Pursuant to 53 P.S. §39408 following Public Hearing conducted by Bethlehem City Council on October 17, 2011 as to Officer Jeffrey Rogers. (Bethlehem City Council Members participating: Donchez, DiGiacinto, Evans, and Reynolds only.)

Christopher T. Spadoni, City Council Solicitor, stated that pursuant to 53 P.S. §39408 there is to be an adjudication by Bethlehem City Council following the Public Hearing conducted by City Council on October 17, 2011 as to Officer Jeffrey Rogers. Attorney Spadoni advised that the Bethlehem City Council Members participating in this matter are those who were in attendance at the Public Hearing on October 17 being President Donchez, Mr. DiGiacinto, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Reynolds.

Attorney Spadoni affirmed that, as noted in the memorandum he sent previously, the matter of Police Officer Rogers is an Agenda item for tonight’s November 1, 2011 City Council Meeting for a motion. The formal Resolution to confirm and reflect the motion tonight will be placed on the November 15, 2011 City Council Agenda.

Attorney Spadoni confirmed that a Member of Council who participated in the Public Hearing can make a motion with regard to the matter of Officer Jeffrey Rogers, the motion needs to be seconded, and a vote taken on the motion by those Members of Council.


President Donchez informed the assembly that, under the First Courtesy of the Floor, he will recognize those who wish to speak to the matters of the Kemerer Museum Addition Proposal, and the Residential Treatment Facility Proposal at 111 Dewberry Avenue since it is anticipated that these matters will be added to the Agenda this evening for consideration and action.

Proposed Residential Treatment Facility – Dewberry Avenue

William Moran, 2345 Center Street, stated is speaking on behalf of himself but is a member of an informal group known as the North Bethlehem Action Committee. The Committee is deeply concerned about the development proposed for 111 Dewberry Avenue at the location of the former Calvary Baptist Church. Mr. Moran noted that Penn Venture corporation, affiliated with Abraham Atiyeh who is a well known developer in the Valley, proposes to build a residential treatment facility for 70 adults. Mr. Moran stated that the group and he individually agrees this is a totally inappropriate use. Although recognizing that it is in a special exception zone, Mr. Moran pointed out, however, while there are specific provisions that deal with issues that must be dealt with when giving a special exception, there is also a general requirement that the special exception not be harmful to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens and neighborhoods of this community. Mr. Moran suggested it is an irrational proposal in light of the fact that Bethlehem Catholic High School immediately adjoins the proposed facility. Mr. Moran stressed it is an open facility, contrary to statements made last night at the Zoning Hearing Board meeting. Mr. Moran observed it is clearly an open facility, people may leave whenever they want, people may mingle outside of the building in any location they wish, and there is no police power to keep the patients in the building. For these and many other reasons, Mr. Moran stated the neighbors join with Bethlehem Catholic High School and the Diocese of Allentown and ask City Council to become a party to the litigation. Emphasizing they are a group of citizens, Mr. Moran commented that he is not able to fund the difficult task of preparing and presenting witnesses who may be professionals or experts, subpoenaing witnesses, and funding an objection which clearly could be made on the public’s behalf by the City of Bethlehem. Mr. Moran thought that under the statute City Council is automatically a party to every Zoning litigation, and can join at any time. While certain testimony has taken place, Mr. Moran said Council can still join, present a case, and added that Council’s help is needed. Mr. Moran stressed that the neighbors cannot afford and citizens should not be put to the burden in a situation where an obvious detriment to public health and welfare is being proposed for this City to the immediate harm of the neighborhood, and most specifically to the potential harm to the students and faculty at Bethlehem Catholic High School. Mr. Moran asked City Council speak in favor of the Resolution that has been prepared by Christopher Spadoni, City Council Solicitor.

Certificate of Appropriateness - Kemerer Museum Addition

Barbara Hollenbach, 3025 Barnsdale Road, Chair of the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, said she is at the Meeting to speak in support of a motion before the Members of Council in terms of approving a Certificate of Appropriateness for the collection storage facility to be built at the Kemerer Museum. Ms. Hollenbach explained it appears, following the last Council Meeting, after some investigation that Council Members may not have had all of the information that was pertinent to their decision with respect to the Kemerer Museum addition proposal. Ms. Hollenbach expressed the hope that has now been remedied and the information Council needs to make an informed decision about this project has indeed been conveyed to the Members. Ms. Hollenbach emphasized that the Kemerer Museum addition is an important project not only for the Museum and Historic Bethlehem, but is an important project for the City of Bethlehem as a whole, and to preserve the treasures that the Kemerer Museum and affiliates of Historic Bethlehem hold. Ms. Hollenbach informed the Members of Council that under the terms of the State grant, this project and the design of it is subject to review by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). The design that is being presented for a Certificate of Appropriateness this evening is the same design that was presented to the PHMC. Ms. Hollenbach affirmed that the Members of Council have now received a copy of the letter dated October 27, 2011 from PHMC with its approval finding that this project and its design is in accord with the Secretary of Interior’s guidelines for the renovation and addition to historic buildings, and that it will not have any adverse affect on the Central Bethlehem Historic District. With PHMC’s approval of the project as designed in mind, and the additional information as well as the fact that HARB voted 6 to 1 in favor of this project, Mr. Hollenbach urged City Council to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness for the Kemerer Museum addition. She expressed appreciation for the time the Members have taken to understand the concerns, and to make sure that all now have the full information with respect to this project, and added that the groups appreciate Council’s consideration.

Charlene Donchez Mowers, President of Historic Bethlehem Partnership (HBP), said the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts is one of the affiliates of HBP’s institution. Ms. Donchez Mowers highlighted the fact that there are thousands and literally over 60,000 artifacts in the combined collections. Ms. Donchez Mowers stressed that this collections resource addition to the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts is very important to the appropriate care of the wonderful artifacts that the groups are trying to preserve for current and future generations. She pointed out that this collections resource addition will also give the opportunity to make the collections much more accessible to the visiting public and to scholars who are doing research on all of the wonderful treasures. Ms. Donchez Mowers thanked Council for their consideration of the request for a Certificate of Appropriateness.

Fred Bonsall, Chairman of the Historic and Architectural Review Board (HARB), stated that he would like to introduce the Standards for Rehabilitation in the Secretary of Interior Standards by which the Board votes on all of its matters. He advised that the issue for the Kemerer Museum addition falls under item 9, which is new additions, exterior alterations or related new construction which shall not destroy historic materials or characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with massing, size, scale and architectural features to protect the historical integrity of the property and its environment. Mr. Bonsall related that they had three exhaustive meetings over this project. The first two failed and the third presentation, which they felt met the criteria, was voted 6-1 and they totally believe that they are correct in doing this. Mr. Bonsall affirmed that the October 27 letter from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has recommended that the project be approved as HARB has presented.

Proposed Residential Treatment Facility – Dewberry Avenue

Greg Zebrowski, 23 Dewberry Avenue, advised he has worked 37 years in education and has worked with many students with drug and alcohol problems. Mr. Zebrowski pointed out that his objection to this proposal is not based on the fact that there is not the need for treatment in the Lehigh Valley. Stating that the proposed treatment center and those who do the treating could not even get the approval in their own community, Mr. Zebrowski noted that treatment center is the Malvern Institute. He observed it was put in there in 1948, and other Malvern Institute Treatment Centers that would occupy that center are in either industrial sites or in hospital complexes. Stressing this is a very serious issue, Mr. Zebrowski said the fundamental responsibility as public officials is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens. Mr. Zebrowski continued to say that putting a drug treatment center next Bethlehem Catholic High School is an insane proposal. Acknowledging there is an exception for this that, if allowed, would be approved, Mr. Zebrowski commented he doubts that those Council Members and those who approve this exception in the Zoning Ordinance would have ever thought that a developer would propose a drug treatment center which is not secure housed next to a high school. Stressing that the character of the neighborhood is essential, Mr. Zebrowski pointed out that Section 3 states that the intended character of the general vicinity should not be altered by any proposal. He noted that the church will need to be altered with a fence, a security guard, gates and surveillance cameras. He asserted this will definitely alter the character, the flavor and the obvious site of that part of the neighborhood. Mr. Zebrowski remarked the other factor is that there is a serious security issue as anyone can come and leave. He said there will be felons moving in and out of the facility. He added there are no provisions that guarantee that individuals will not walk out of the facility if they so choose. Mr. Zebrowski recalled a former Mayor of Bethlehem who stated that what makes Bethlehem a unique City and makes it so livable is the beautiful character and livability of its neighborhoods, and distinguishes Bethlehem from other communities in the area. Mr. Zebrowski communicated that the neighborhood will be changed if this proposal goes through. He stated that the character of the neighborhood needs to be preserved and protected, as well as the health and safety of the residents.

Certificate of Appropriateness - 301 Broadway

Larry Eighmy, 1503 Creek Road, owner of 301 Broadway, informed the Members that he is at the Meeting to speak in support of a Certificate of Appropriateness for 301 Broadway. He advised that the building at 301 Broadway was designed by the architect A. W. Leh who designed the original Broughal Middle School. He noted that the efforts to preserve the building and make it relevant continue in working to create a zero carbon neighborhood, a place where emissions can be reduced, and return alliance to renewable fuels. Affirming that by an 8-1 margin a Certificate of Appropriateness was recommended by the South Side Historic Conservation Commission, Mr. Eighmy acknowledged that the lone dissenting voice is important but said he is asking that Council make sure they reiterate the support from the Commission for this project. The building is in the KIZ that focuses on renewable energy. A 30 foot dish that will go on top of the building will create about 25% of the heating load from renewable sources and will do much to move forward to the goal of zero carbon. Mr. Eighmy related that when this building was built 100 years ago it was the strongest and most progressive building in the City of Bethlehem and The Globe newspaper went on to say that architecturally it is the most handsome and modern building. Pointing out he has continued to make sure that this relevance is what is strived for, Mr. Eighmy explained this is a rebirth at the building’s 100th birthday and a celebration of what can be done with technology. Noting it took 4 times to get through the Commission, Mr. Eighmy said he would like to continue to work toward the goal.

Proposed Residential Treatment Facility – Dewberry Avenue

Al Bernotas, 1004 Johnston Drive, expressed his hope that the Resolution to be considered this evening states that Council will join as a party in opposition to the appeal of Mr. Atiyeh for the treatment facility at Dewberry. Mr. Bernotas pointed out that Mr. Atiyeh also appealed the decision of the Zoning Officer denying him a permit at 3485 Linden Street to build another residential treatment facility. That appeal has been postponed and will be rescheduled. Mr. Bernotas asked that if Council decides to vote in the affirmative on the Resolution tonight that they also vote affirmatively on the issue at 3485 Linden Street. Mr. Bernotas mentioned that there are three residential treatment facilities approved now in the City of Bethlehem, and two of them are within 800 feet of 3485 Linden Street. He highlighted the fact that there is an Ordinance that does not allow residential treatment facilities within 800 feet of another residential treatment facility. Mr. Bernotas observed that there was a treatment center allowed on Union Boulevard or Broad Street within 800 feet of another treatment center but the Zoning Hearing Board decided to allow this other facility so the citizens are concerned that the Zoning Hearing Board will allow the facility on Dewberry. As far as the livability of the neighborhood, Mr. Bernotas affirmed that he has been dealing with that issue for two years on another matter.

Bill Scheirer, 1890 Eaton Avenue, expressed he does not understand why anyone would ask for a special exception to put a drug treatment center next to a high school. Observing that the Malvern Institute sounds like a fine place, Mr. Scheirer noted there are so many places in the Lehigh Valley where something like this could be built, and not next to a high school. Mr. Scheirer
observed it is conceivable that the Zoning Hearing Board could vote to approve this although it is not expected. Stating that the resolution before Council tonight is an excellent resolution, Mr. Scheirer said he would like to see it pass.

Stephen Antalics, 737 Ridge Street, expressed he feels compelled to give his opinion and show compassion. Mr. Antalics advised that before he moved back to Bethlehem he looked throughout the City to see where he would want to live and decided on Ridge Street. He was told by many people that he was insane to live there because it is next to an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center. He took the chance because the view he has from his front porch is phenomenal. Mr. Antalics explained he did not know what he was getting into but his reward was the sight of the City. Mr. Antalics informed the assembly that he found that the residents next door were incredible people. Stressing that the key word is rehabilitation, Mr. Antalics said the residents are trying to do better or be better. Mr. Antalics remarked that his neighbors say hello to him, they shovel his sidewalk, and have cleaned up some of his leaves. Advising that his home was broken into, Mr. Antalics pointed out that his neighbors suffered for him because they knew they would be blamed but they were innocent. It came out that there was someone else who was guilty. Communicating that he is not saying he is for or against this, Mr. Antalics commented that before a final decision is made one should keep in mind compassion.

Certificate of Appropriateness-301 Broadway; Proposed Residential Treatment Facility – Dewberry Avenue

Mary Pongracz, 321 W. 4th Street, commented she is speaking against the granting of a Certificate of Appropriateness for 301 Broadway. Noting she lives directly across the street from the Flatiron building, Ms. Pongracz observed the destruction of the trees and the effect of wind as she traveled in the area today. Advising that the owner wants to put something on top of a 100 year old architectural treasure, Ms. Pongracz stressed there is no concern for the neighbors and no justification according to the Secretary of Interior Standards. There is the danger of the solar collector falling on her home that was built in 1882. Ms. Pongracz remarked that for anyone to say this would be an improvement to put up solar collectors and wind turbines on the top of a 100 year old architectural treasure does not sit well with her. It is not an addition that is warranted by Historical Preservation Standards. Ms. Pongracz pointed out that any preservation should be to benefit someone or something. Turning to the proposed drug treatment center at Dewberry Avenue, Ms. Pongracz remarked that to put it next to Bethlehem Catholic High School and to say publically that there are addicts at this high school breaks her heart. Ms. Pongracz communicated that a time comes when the most important thing that can be done as a Council Member is to take care of the people of this community. Ms. Pongracz said she trusts that Council will do the right thing.


A. Old Business – Members of Council


B. Tabled Items


C. Unfinished Business



A. Disaster Relief Funding – Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee

The Clerk read a memorandum dated October 19, 2011 from Michael Sankovsky, Fire Assistant Chief/EMC, to which was attached two Resolutions appointing Mr. Sankovsky as the agent for the City to deal with the application process and paperwork involved with PEMA (Pennsylvania Emergency Management) in the funding process to cover expenses for emergency operations conducted during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee and also repair costs for damage to public property.

President Donchez stated that the Resolutions will be listed on the November 15, 2011 Agenda.

B. Residential Treatment Facility – 111 Dewberry Avenue

President Donchez asked the Clerk to read additional Communication 7 B into the record.

The Clerk read a memorandum dated November 1, 2011 from Christopher T. Spadoni, City Council Solicitor, to which two possible Resolutions were attached. In the memorandum it was stated that Attorney Spadoni appeared before the Zoning Hearing Board on Monday, October 31, 2011 and the letter dated October 28, 2011 to Constantine Loupos, Chairman, and Members of the Zoning Hearing Board was entered into evidence. Attorney Marles, Counsel for Penn Venture Capital, LLC, called David DiGiacinto, Councilman, for testimony. Attorney Marles asserted a “standing” objection to the October 28, 2011 letter. Attorney Spadoni was advised by Attorney Marles that the testimony for this Zoning appeal would not conclude October 31, 2011. Attorney Spadoni stated that this matter may be discussed at the November 1, 2011 City Council Meeting. Attorney Spadoni listed possible courses of action in his memo as follows: (1) intervention in the Zoning Appeal as pending; (2) intervention in the Zoning Appeal after the Zoning Hearing Board decision; (3) to not participate and take no action. Attorney Spadoni advised that if intervention is not made until after the Zoning Hearing Board decision, this would limit Council’s objection to the record as made before the Zoning Hearing Board. If intervention occurs prior to the Zoning Hearing Board’s adjudication, this would permit the introduction of evidence and the making of a record.

President Donchez noted that the matter will be discussed later in the Agenda.


A. President of Council


B. Mayor

Snow Storm – October 29, 2011

Mayor Callahan stated that he wanted to give a brief update on some of the issues affecting the City as a result of the October 29, 2011 snow storm. PPL made much progress, and as of today 1,616 households are still without power in Northampton County and 969 households in Lehigh County. Mayor Callahan noted that his home is still without power. It is hoped that much of this will be brought to a close tomorrow and at the latest Thursday morning. Stressing that this was perhaps one of the City’s most challenging snow events, Mayor Callahan credited all of the City Departments that worked so closely together to limit the impacts on the residents. A warming center was set up at both Calypso School and the Fowler Center. Because of a decision made by both the Red Cross and Northampton County initially not to set up these centers, in conjunction with the Bethlehem Area School District a warming center was set up on Sunday evening and was utilized by up to as many as 25-30 people at a time. Mayor Callahan credited the Health Bureau, Fire Department, and the Bethlehem Area School District for making this happen and added that there was a Police Officer at this facility as well as EMS staff. Mayor Callahan pointed out that the 911 Center did a wonderful job not only dealing with the outages and people who needed assistance, but also with the impact of limbs blocking the roads. It was the center of the action working with Public Works, Police, Fire, and the Parks Departments. Mayor Callahan continued to say many questions were received on what are the City’s plans to deal with the tree limbs and debris that are still out in the streets. Mayor Callahan advised the number one priority was to get the limbs out of the roadways and moved to the side so that cars could pass safely. There are still limbs that continue to fall so they are taken care of on a case by case basis in order to keep the roads open. The City is utilizing all available equipment and manpower to begin the cleanup process. The City extended the hours yesterday and today of the Compost Center. The Compost Center will be closed for new materials tomorrow and the next day because it needs to begin mulching and creating more space for additional tree limbs. As of tomorrow morning, there will be a drop off area available next to the Theis/Cornfeld Recycling Center in the parking lot of the driving range during the day and evening for people to place their yard waste. It will then move over to the Compost Center. Mayor Callahan related that there are three crews working on the small yard waste and three crews working on the larger yard waste throughout the City. Mayor Callahan noted that 17 intersections yesterday morning were controlled manually by Police Officers. It was difficult for motorists to get around the City but having the Officers at the busiest intersections made it manageable. The Mayor expressed his appreciation to those Police Officers. The traffic lights at the intersections of 3rd and Wyandotte Streets, 3rd and Brodhead, the Hill to Hill Bridge, and the Five Points that are some of the busiest intersections in the City were out but through the creativity of the Electrical Department they were able to set up generators to hook up just those intersection lights so they could function. Mayor Callahan thanked the employees for the work they did these past few days.

Continuous Improvement Program

Mayor Callahan communicated that the Continuous Improvement (CI) program is a presentation that is somewhat overdue and one that he has wanted to schedule for some time but due to other issues that have come before Council and the Continuous Improvement Team being very busy they have not had the opportunity. Mayor Callahan advised this is an effort that began in 2007, but this presentation will focus on what is being done now. Mayor Callahan denoted this is the first formal presentation before City Council. Some employees have spent hundreds of hours on this effort and certain employees have spent thousands of hours over the course of the past five years to try to improve the processes in the City, to eliminate waste, and to find hard and soft savings within the City. Mayor Callahan explained that the CI effort began in conjunction with Air Products and Chemicals Company. It has been implemented through the assistance of both grant dollars and volunteer hours on the part of Air Products, a leader in the private sector with Continuous Improvement, and the company’s global director, Chris Bujak. Mayor Callahan pointed out that Mr. Bujak has spent thousands of hours working with the City. He is now a retired Air Products employee and since his retirement he has spent even more hours with the City to make sure that Continuous Improvement got off the ground and would be successful. Mayor Callahan stated it has not always been easy, it is most certainly a culture change, and is not an effort that has ever been undertaken in the public sector in the City. It has been tackled at various levels in Government sometimes more successfully than others. Mayor Callahan said he is very proud of everyone who has been involved in the program and thanks Chris Bujak for all he has done. Mayor Callahan advised the program started with the Continuous Improvement team that is a group of dedicated employees who in addition to their normal duties have volunteered to be part of the CI team and to work together in a cross functional way to go to the areas where the work is done and use the proper tools to come up with a process to streamline and be the most effective and efficient that it can. Some of the results would be by delivering better services in a more effective way, and some create a very real intangible hard savings as well. Mayor Callahan added that the City has tried to create a culture of setting high goals, recognizing that it may not achieve those goals, and if you fail that is fine, but there will be a root cause analysis of why the failure took place and the emphasis that employees need to get back in the game and do a better job next time.

Mayor Callahan introduced Kristen Wenrich to give a Power Point Presentation on the CI Program.

Kristen Wenrich, a Health Bureau employee, informed the assembly she has been involved in the Continuous Improvement program for about five years. Ms. Wenrich reviewed a Power Point presentation and explained the many aspects of the CI Program. She advised that the program is to change existing work processes and use a team based approach. Ms. Wenrich summarized the five key points of the CI Program, as follows: Changing and improving existing work processes and services to make them better; Engaging people who are doing the job in improving the job; Creating focus by finding and targeting key work processes and areas for improvement; Helping us learn from solving problems; Doing these at a rate greater than ever before. Ms. Wenrich detailed the work done through the CI Program for various Departments and Bureaus, work processes that were identified and improved, results achieved through improved processes, employee involvement, and training. Ms. Wenrich, highlighting the fact that the intent is to make sure the program is sustainable, explained that given the economy the CI program cannot be viewed as an option but is a necessity whether it is a municipality, private business, and so on. She stressed that the City, as with any sector, wants to make sure it is the way that business is done in the future. Ms. Wenrich emphasized that the team is working to build the program into the City’s culture so that no matter who leads the City the program is sustained and moves forward.

President Donchez asked what is the funding source.

Mayor Callahan replied there is none. Mayor Callahan noted there was a grant that started the program originally. He continued on to explain that the CI leadership team is his staff, Chris Bujak who attends every Mayor’s Staff Meeting, and Ms. Wenrich who leads the CI portion of the weekly Mayor’s Staff Meeting. Mayor Callahan stated everyone involved in the CI program is a City employee who carves time out of their normal daily duties to participate in the CI events. Mayor Callahan advised most of the processes are relatively inexpensive in terms of implementation. Whatever costs are involved are found in the normal operating budget. e.g., organize the tool room, build shelving and bins. Pointing out that 20-30 improvements a year do add up and have an impact, Mayor Callahan explained the City is trying to deliver services with fewer employees and in less time.

Mr. Reynolds requested that a copy of the Power Point presentation be forwarded to the Members of Council. Mr. Reynolds expressed his appreciation for the detailed presentation, and noted it highlighted the savings that were achieved. Mr. Reynolds stated he is glad to see progress being made in the direction of running the City as a business.

Presentation of Certificate to Kristen Wenrich – Achievement of CI Expert Status

Mayor Callahan, stressing that Ms. Wenrich has done a tremendous job, affirmed that she is the go to person for CI in the City. Mayor Callahan informed the assembly that Ms. Wenrich has earned the title of CI Expert. Mayor Callahan stated he is taking this opportunity to publicly recognize Ms. Wenrich and give her a certificate to recognize her expert status.

C. Special Council Committee

Chairwoman Dolan presented an oral report of the Special Council Committee meeting on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 6:30 PM in the Mayor’s Conference Room. The Committee reviewed the Rules of Council, and recommended revisions to various Rules. The proposed amendments to the Rules of Council must be presented in writing at a regular meeting of Council held at least two weeks prior to the date when the revisions are to be finally considered, and the revisions shall be adopted only by the affirmative vote of four Members of Council. It is anticipated that a Communication with the written revisions will be listed on the November 15 Council Agenda. The Special Committee will schedule another meeting to clarify the role of the Council Solicitor and discuss nominations and elections.


A. Bill No. 24 – 2011 – Re-enacting and Amending – Earned Income Tax Ordinance

The Clerk read Bill No. 24 – 2011 – Re-enacting and Amending – Earned Income Tax Ordinance, on Final Reading.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 7. Bill No. 24 – 2011 hereafter to be known as Ordinance 2011-25, was declared adopted.




A. Approving 2012 Action Plan – CDBG and HOME Programs

Mr. DiGiacinto and Mr. Reynolds sponsored Resolution 2011-185 that approved the Annual Action Plan for the 2012 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Programs for submittal to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 7. The Resolution passed.

B. Certificate of Appropriateness – 335 Vine Street

Mr. DiGiacinto and Mr. Reynolds sponsored Resolution 2011-186 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to install a sign at 335 Vine Street.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 7. The Resolution passed.

C. Certificate of Appropriateness – 128-130 West Fourth Street

Mr. DiGiacinto and Mr. Reynolds sponsored Resolution 2011-187 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to install two signs at 128-130 West Fourth Street.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 7. The Resolution passed.

D. Certificate of Appropriateness – 444 Wyandotte Street

Mr. DiGiacinto and Mr. Reynolds sponsored Resolution 2011-188 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to install a handrail at the Broadway entrance at 444 Wyandotte Street.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 7. The Resolution passed.

E. Certificate of Appropriateness – 301 Broadway

Mr. DiGiacinto and Mr. Reynolds sponsored Resolution 2011-189 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to install the previously approved solar concentrator in a new location on top of the mezzanine stair tower penthouse and to renovate the historic stair tower windows to operate as smoke hatches at 301 Broadway.

Ms. Dolan inquired whether the proposal included a wind turbine. Larry Eighmy replied that the wind turbine portion will be deferred to a later date. Ms. Dolan asked about the solar concentrator and its use. Mr. Eighmy responded that it attracts the sun and will move accordingly, and its visibility is impacted by the location from which it is viewed. He exemplified that within 10 feet of the building it is not visible, on the Fourth Street side it is not visible, while from Montclair Street or Wendy’s restaurant it is visible. Ms. Dolan queried what were the reactions from the Historic Commission to the views from which it would be visible such as crossing the Hill to Hill Bridge. Mr. Eighmy commented that 8 of 9 members voted in support of it, and restated that the project went before the Historic Commission four times, and actual scale drawings were submitted. Ms. Dolan inquired about the ability of the structure to withstand severe winds and storms. Mr. Eighmy replied the Commission is not responsible for structural engineering and that would be a function of the building department. Following approval tonight, Mr. Eighmy advised that the proposal would be taken to the building department with a stamp from a structural engineer, and added that was part of the movement from one portion of the roof to another. Ms. Dolan asked about the restoration of the penthouse and the smoke hatch. Mr. Eighmy explained that the boarded over portion of the penthouse was investigated and will be changed. The intention was to provide a smoke hatch by restoring the windows that are boarded up. Mr. Eighmy informed Ms. Dolan that, in the event of smoke in the building, the smoke hatch would relieve pressure and allow the smoke to vent out the stairway. In further response to Ms. Dolan, Mr. Eighmy advised that the bronze windows are 100 years old, will be restored, and will be functional. He affirmed the penthouse is original to the structure.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 7. The Resolution passed.

Motion – Adjudication in the Matter of Police Officer Jeffrey Rogers

Attorney Spadoni clarified that the Resolution pending before the four Members of Council who can vote on the matter is for termination of Officer Rogers pursuant to the charges forwarded by the Administration.

Mr. DiGiacinto and Mr. Reynolds moved for termination of Officer Rogers pursuant to the charges forwarded by the Administration.

Voting AYE: Mr. DiGiacinto, Mr. Evans, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 4. The motion passed.

Motion – Reconsideration of Vote - Certificate of Appropriateness – 425-429 North New Street – Kemerer Museum Addition

Mr. DiGiacinto and Ms. Dolan moved to reconsider the vote taken at the October 18, 2011 City Council Meeting on Resolution 11 I – Certificate of Appropriateness - 425-429 North New Street, for the Kemerer Museum Project.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 7. The motion passed.

Motion – Adding Resolution - Certificate of Appropriateness – 425-429 North New Street – Kemerer Museum Addition

Mr. DiGiacinto and Ms. Dolan moved to add to the Agenda Resolution 11 I – Certificate of Appropriateness - 425-429 North New Street, for the Kemerer Museum Project.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 7. The motion passed.

I. Certificate of Appropriateness – 425-429 North New Street – Kemerer Museum Addition

Mr. DiGiacinto and Mr. Evans sponsored Resolution 2011-190 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to build a two story addition at the rear of 425-429 North New Street.

Ms. Dolan thanked the representatives of the Kemerer Museum and the Historic Bethlehem Partnership for spending three hours with her. Advising there was information that the Members of Council did not have previously, Ms. Dolan commented that the Members should have viewed the site. In looking at the plans, it seemed as though the building addition jutted out. However, Ms. Dolan explained that, when Charlene Donchez Mowers showed her the footprint of the building addition, it was evident that it came out only a couple of feet on each side, and the addition is tucked into the existing building. Ms. Dolan noted the only significant view is from the parking lot. Pointing out that HARB had originally said it was too monolithic, Ms. Dolan affirmed that in the final version the color of the new rain screen material is a beautiful background for the garden and is cut and designed in such a way that it does not mimic the Kemerer Museum but reflects and enhances it. Ms. Dolan said she was pleased to hear that a professional landscape architect will be retained to further enhance the blending of the new building with the old. Ms. Dolan communicated the addition will not only be an incredible resource for the historic collections but will be a daring, interesting, and beautiful building addition. Ms. Dolan expressed her appreciation for the representatives who educated her more clearly on the benefits and potential beauty of the building.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 7. The Resolution passed.

Motion - Residential Treatment Facility - 111 Dewberry Avenue

Mr. DiGiacinto and Mrs. Belinski moved to decide on a course of action regarding the matter of the Residential Treatment Facility at 111 Dewberry Avenue, as noted in Communication 7 B from Attorney Spadoni that was read into the record this evening.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 7. The motion passed.

Motion – Adding Resolution - Residential Treatment Facility - 111 Dewberry Avenue

Mr. DiGiacinto and Mrs. Belinski moved to add a Resolution to the Agenda for consideration regarding the matter of the Residential Treatment Facility at 111 Dewberry Avenue.

In response to Ms. Dolan, President Donchez noted there are three proposals in the November 1 memo from Attorney Spadoni that was read under Communication 7 B: (1) intervention in the Zoning appeal as pending; (2) intervention in the zoning Appeal after the Zoning Hearing Board decision; (3) not participate and take no action.

Attorney Spadoni advised he was alerted to this matter on Sunday afternoon at about 1:00 PM, and sent his memo to the Members of Council this morning as a result of his appearance at the Zoning Hearing Board meeting on October 31, 2011. Attorney Spadoni affirmed that he presented a letter from five Members of Council at the October 31 Zoning Hearing Board meeting stating their opposition to the plans of Penn Venture Capital, LLC before the Zoning Hearing Board for a Special Exception approval to operate a Residential Treatment Facility in the vacant Calvary Baptist Church at 111 Dewberry Avenue. Attorney Blake Marles, representing Penn Venture Capital, called Mr. DiGiacinto as a witness at the October 31 Zoning Hearing Board meeting. Attorney Spadoni, confirming that he prepared two Resolutions, explained that the first Resolution is for intervention at the current time before the Zoning Hearing Board and to object to the proposal for the Residential Treatment Facility. Attorney Spadoni noted the second Resolution is similar to a past Resolution adopted by City Council objecting to a development proposed at Linden Street and Barnsdale Road, and Council’s objection was sent to the Zoning Hearing Board. Attorney Spadoni stated that City Council can intervene now, or could intervene after the decision but would not permit Council to give testimony and witnesses, or the Members may decide not to do anything.

Ms. Dolan recounted that in the matter of the Elias Market appeal in which City Council most recently intervened, a decision was made by the Zoning Hearing Board, City Council objected and intervened after the decision of the Zoning Hearing Board, and asked Attorney Spadoni to serve as counsel. Ms. Dolan asked if passing the Resolution under the second option means that City Council would join with a citizens group in opposing the proposal of Penn Venture Capital.

Attorney Spadoni replied the second Resolution would authorize him to enter his appearance, to intervene in the appeal, and to present testimony and documents to object to the Special Exception application of Penn Venture Capital. Attorney Spadoni confirmed to Ms. Dolan that under the first Resolution this would start immediately and he would become a party as representing City Council. Ms. Dolan asked whether under the second Resolution if a Special Exception is granted, Council would become a party along with the Diocese of Allentown and Bethlehem Catholic High School. Attorney Spadoni advised that the Resolutions are mutually exclusive. If Council adopts a Resolution to intervene, then the second Resolution is not of any use since it simply states that Council objects and the Resolution is sent to the Zoning Hearing Board.

President Donchez affirmed that the Members of Council need to specify which of the three options to move forward with: intervene immediately in the Zoning appeal as pending; intervene after the Zoning Hearing Board decision; or take no action and not participate.

Motion – Adding Resolution to Intervene

Mr. Evans moved to add Resolution (1) to the Agenda to intervene immediately. Mr. DiGiacinto seconded the motion.

Mr. Evans affirmed that he was at the first Zoning Hearing Board meeting regarding the proposal that lasted about five hours, and Council Members DiGiacinto and Reynolds were also in attendance. Mr. Evans explained at that time it became apparent quite quickly that this was clearly not appropriate for the area for many of the reasons mentioned tonight. Mr. Evans talked to President Donchez afterwards about drafting a letter from City Council expressing opposition to the proposal in support of the residents. Mr. DiGiacinto suggested that Members of Council sign individually, and five Members supported the letter. The letter was forwarded to the Zoning Hearing Board and met with some opposition from the appellant at the meeting. Attorney Spadoni asked for a continuance but was told the appeal will be continued through Monday evening, and now will be continued to a meeting scheduled on November 29. Mr. Evans communicated it became clear to some Members of Council that the letter was perhaps not strong enough and that the next step needs to be taken. Mr. Evans commented that is the step at which the Members of Council are now. Mr. Evans read from the proposed new Zoning Ordinance that zoning is primarily intended to protect existing residential neighborhoods from incompatible development, and thought that is exactly what is the situation. Mr. Evans stressed it is a serious case of what is incompatible for a number of reasons that were stated at the Zoning Hearing Board meeting that clearly show this is not what is required to meet a Special Exception. Mr. Evans said he thinks it is time that City Council step in and show the leadership that has been asked in the position for which the Members have been elected to do that is to represent the citizens. Mr. Evans observed that the developer has abundant resources and is employing them, and the residents have asked the Members of Council to deploy the resources it has as a City. Mr. Evans noted that the Mayor and the Administration presented a letter opposing the proposal. Mr. Evans, stating that a number of the Members of Council oppose the proposal, said they do not think it is in the best interests of the City, and it is not a safe situation. Mr. Evans pointed out that the proposed development would be about 300 ft. from where students play football, and it is out of line with what belongs in the neighborhood. Mr. Evans added there are a number of options for a development of this nature, and what can be developed with what is already there. Mr. Evans thought that as elected officials, Members should stand up and support the citizens and the City, and intervene in this pending process.

Mr. DiGiacinto noted that he attended the first two hearings, and listened to all the testimony. He added that the letter sent by five Members of Council was rejected as not being in standing for the hearing last evening. Affirming that City Council votes for the Zoning Ordinance, Mr. DiGiacinto acknowledged that although the Zoning Ordinance was passed many years ago City Council is still responsible for it. Mr. DiGiacinto noted he heard a few times last night from the Attorney representing the client as well as one of the key witnesses that City Council passed the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. DiGiacinto commented that reinforced his feeling that City Council is responsible for the Ordinance and its appeal. Mr. DiGiacinto pointed out he did not hear many people in favor of the proposal although someone did make an economic issue. Mr. DiGiacinto stated he does not think it is an appropriate fit for the neighborhood and does not do anything to improve the neighborhood. Mr. DiGiacinto, noting that he feels strongly, said he did sponsor the first option on immediate intervention.

President Donchez, stating he signed the letter and favors the action to get involved immediately, commented he does not believe it meets the criteria for a special exception. President Donchez communicated he believes the project is the wrong project for this location, and is not a substantial improvement to the property or the vicinity. President Donchez continued on to say he believes it would hurt the property values of the properties surrounding the complex, and it does not fit in with the character of the neighborhood. President Donchez, observing that Zoning laws are designed to protect neighborhoods, did not believe this fits in with the character of the neighborhood. President Donchez added he is concerned that it is too close to a school, and there is a public park in close proximity.

Ms. Dolan, while agreeing that Council has some resources, communicated that Council has to think hard about using its resources. Ms. Dolan stated she felt very good about using Council’s resources in this way when they stood with the citizens who lived near Elias Market and who had been involved in a Zoning Hearing Board experience that she felt was unfair. Ms. Dolan thought the citizens were living in an environment where their health and safety was being impinged upon, and they were having to breathe exhaust fumes of multiple trucks in an area that was Residential when they moved in and they thought they were supposed to be living next to a farmer’s market, not a four bay truck depot. Ms. Dolan, turning to leadership, said it is not necessarily doing what a group of people tell you they want you to do. Ms. Dolan explained that all the ethical resources are supposed to be used, research is supposed to be done, and sometimes being a leader means not going with the group or majority. Ms. Dolan, focusing on the use being incompatible or appropriate, pointed out it is a proposal for a residential treatment center. Ms. Dolan stated it is for people who need help, who have voluntarily gone to seek help specifically in a residential environment. Ms. Dolan, stressing she believes strongly in looking at what is statistically true as opposed to what can inflame emotions, observed that the facility is to be located next to a football field and statistically football is a sport where the risks taken to play the sport are enormous. Ms. Dolan advised that she witnessed a student who nearly died in as football game and spent two years in a rehabilitation center. Ms. Dolan communicated that strangers are rarely the ones who pose danger to people. Ms. Dolan highlighted the fact that she had experiences similar to those cited by Mr. Antalics when she attended Douglas College and lived in a block where there was a half-way house for people who had anger management problems, and who were very polite and helpful. Ms. Dolan advised that when she was teaching at Nitschmann Middle School a fellow teacher received help for a drinking problem when she went to a voluntary center, and in addition a principal had serious issues with illegal drugs. Ms. Dolan said when these individuals seek help she thinks the community is safer, and she would rather see them in a center getting help. Ms. Dolan further stated she learned as a teacher the percentage of high school students who drink, do drugs, the types of drugs, and where they get them. Ms. Dolan, advising that she lived in many cities, noted she moved to Bethlehem. She explained Bethlehem is a spiritual city, and the concept of the City’s history is based on religion and spiritual matters. As a result, Ms. Dolan stated this is a compassionate City. The first house she owned in Bethlehem was next to New Bethany Ministries that was near the Sayre Mansion. Ms. Dolan thought that anywhere else people would be opposed to New Bethany Ministries being located there. Ms. Dolan wondered why citizens would fight an industry that does not have any record of having any negative impact or instances of harming children. Ms. Dolan highlighted the fact that she spent at least two hours searching police records, FBI reports, and so on to determine whether these rehabilitation centers harm children and said they do not. Ms. Dolan pointed out that Liberty High School has fences and access codes since the community was upset with the behavior of students in the neighborhood. Ms. Dolan questioned why citizens would vilify citizens for voluntarily seeking help instead of working humbly within to help solve the drug and alcohol problems. Ms. Dolan commented it is much easier to point the finger and fight against those people who can be a mother who drinks too much, an uncle addicted to pain killers, a football player addicted to steroids, her sister in law addicted to many things. Ms. Dolan said she cannot pretend she does not know these things and cannot sign her name or vote to attack or in any way vilify this industry or these people who need the kind of support that she believes Bethlehem stands for.

Voting AYE on the motion to add the Resolution: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 6. Voting NAY: Ms. Dolan, 1. The motion passed.

Resolution - Council Intervention – Zoning Hearing Board – Residential Treatment Facility –
111 Dewberry Avenue

Mr. DiGiacinto and Mrs. Belinski sponsored Resolution 2011-191 that authorized Christopher T. Spadoni, Esq., City Council Solicitor, to enter his appearance for Bethlehem City Council, intervene and to present testimony, filings, and/or documents in the Zoning Appeal currently pending before the Zoning Hearing Board as filed by Penn Venture Capital, LLC for premises at 111 Dewberry Avenue and to object to the residential treatment facility application of Penn Venture Capital, LLC.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 6. Voting NAY: Ms. Dolan, 1. The Resolution passed.


Budget Hearings

President Donchez asked the Members of Council to respond regarding Budget Hearing dates.


Loading Docks – Residential Areas

Yong Hao, 3218 Marchant Drive, noted that in a memo dated October 19, 2011 from Darlene Heller, Director of Planning and Zoning, a clause for safeguarding residential property within a CMU district was crossed off. He wondered what the intention and purpose was of such a change. Mr. Hao questioned why would the City want to remove such requirements for a non-residential building if the building is built next to a residential property within the CMU district. Mr. Hao mentioned that one of the revisions to the proposed new Zoning Ordinance presented by City Council concerns Diesel Powered Vehicles, and adding requirements for Retail Store/Warehouse with loading docks for diesel powered vehicles in or adjacent to residential districts. It states that no part of a loading dock, retail store or warehouse shall be located within 100 feet of a residential area, and there are restrictions to the hours of dock operation, deliveries, and engine idling. Mr. Hao pointed out that Ms. Heller states in her answer that the 100 foot provision is too prohibitive, there would be an inability to load and unload, and it would render a property difficult or unable to be redeveloped. In addition, loading and unloading should always occur from the rear of the lot rather than the front. Screening provisions are typically in place to address loading docks rather than impractical setback distances. Mr. Hao related that one needs to be aware that the size of trailers is 73-80 feet, the trailer itself is 53 feet, and the cab on the front is 20 feet, so that a trailer of this size would be close to residential homes. Mr. Hao disagreed with the screening provision. He stated it is inadequate to safeguard residential property from a warehouse and loading dock operations. Mr. Hao highlighted the fact that the screening with a few shrubs and trees will never be able to stop the toxic particles, noise and vibrations from powerful diesel engines because they are running as close as 25 feet to their residential homes.

Proposed Residential Treatment Facility – Dewberry Avenue

William Moran, 2345 Center Street, focusing on the property owned by Mr. Atiyeh located on Dewberry and Center Streets, said for over a year a junkyard has been in open view of what Mr. Kelly described as the jeweled entrance to the City of Bethlehem. Mr. Moran stressed that no action has been taken by the Mayor or his Administration to enforce the nuisance law. Mr. Moran urged that the Mayor be instructed to take immediate action. Mr. Moran informed the assembly that he mailed a letter to the Mayor sometime before the Zoning Hearing Board and asked for assistance, but the Mayor never called back and never responded to the letter. Mr. Moran stated that he discovered today in the Easton Express that the Solicitor to the Zoning Hearing Board is the Solicitor to Mr. Atiyeh’s co-company, Brookside Construction, and he appeared before the West Easton Board the other night. Mr. Moran stressed this is a clear and inappropriate appearance of impropriety since Mr. Atiyeh is perhaps the largest developer currently operating in the City. Mr. Moran asked the Mayor and City officials to look at this. Mr. Moran continued to say that he went to the Zoning Office in City Hall a few weeks ago and asked to review an application that had been filed by Mr. Atiyeh. Mr. Moran said it was an official document but he was denied the right to look at it and was told to file a right-to-know request. Mr. Moran corresponded with John F. Spirk, Jr., Esq., City Solicitor, to state that he viewed this as a public document. Mr. Moran insisted that those records should be open to the public.

Occupy Bethlehem

Dominic Celestino, 423 E. Union Boulevard, noting he is with the Occupy Bethlehem group, said they are trying to tell the public that they are here for them. They want to build a stronger society where people can talk to each other and have neighbors participate in their lives. Mr. Celestino communicated that there is a need to discuss the problems all are facing with people who are seen on a daily basis. He explained that Occupy Bethlehem does not want to be a nuisance. They want to benefit Bethlehem and eventually benefit the Country. Mr. Celestino pointed out that the Occupation Movement has gone global due to the fact that these problems are global and there has to be solutions. Mr. Celestino remarked it is important to recognize that through interaction with each other people can come to a conclusion where all can benefit and prosper. He commented it is important for the world to realize that people can come together as human beings and realize that all are suffering, and with new technology people do not need to suffer, and they can make renewable resources and renewable energy. He added that the education system needs to be updated. Mr. Celestino said he wants to see the day where people can all speak to each other as friends and communicate on a personal level about the problems and solutions they can easily come up with. Mr. Celestino advised that the group is starting up meetings to try to take steps to become more of an active party and anyone is welcome.

Snow Storm; Proposed Residential Treatment Facility – Dewberry Avenue

Dana Grubb, 2420 Henderson Place, stated that the snow storm last Saturday, October 29, 2011 was probably a once in a lifetime event at that time of year. Mr. Grubb, complementing the residents and motorists of the City, said he observed many street lights not operating and saw people very patient at the intersections. There were many streets where trees were down with only one lane open and people were actually alternating and letting people get through. Yesterday and today, Mr. Grubb noted he received two emails from Hanover Township with a bulletin as a reminder about emergency storm cleanup. The Township has a system set up where people can receive notifications. Mr. Grubb thought it is time for perhaps CI to address this and do a similar thing with the website for the City of Bethlehem. Mr. Grubb commented that citizens and non-citizens could enter their email address and then receive these types of notifications. Mr. Grubb stressed it is important that City officials, employees and Elected Officials empathize with people who have issues and concerns. Turning to the proposed rehabilitation facility on Dewberry Avenue, Mr. Grubb communicated that the residents and institutions that are directly impacted by this need to have the empathy of the Elected Officials. Expressing he is happy to see the action that was taken tonight and he hopes that the Zoning Hearing Board rejects the special exception, Mr. Grubb noted that the action City Council took was that they understood the citizens concerns and they empathized.

Flu Shots

Bill Scheirer, 1890 Eaton Avenue, mentioned that a few years ago he started getting his flu shots from the City and a few years ago we were not sure when the supplies would be coming in. The notice in the paper said $10 but certain Medicare people would not have to pay but he found out he had to pay $10 this year for the first time. He asked what the change was and he was asked if he had Medigap. He said yes and then was told that he was going to be charged $10 because last year they were unable to bill Medicare and got stuck with a large bill. He paid the $10 but this sounded strange to him so he called the Health Bureau and got the same story. Mr. Scheirer then called his doctor and asked if he had any trouble billing Medicare for flu shots and the doctor stated no. He then called Medicare and he was told that Medicare covers it with no qualifications. Mr. Scheirer wondered if there were people who would not pay the $10 and then not get the flu shot and this could have an adverse affect. He calls this a discontinuity because something is amiss here so he is looking for a good explanation.

Proposed Residential Treatment Facility – Dewberry Avenue/ Occupy Bethlehem

Craig Weidman, 460 Carlton Avenue, expressed his belief that it is best when people have a conversation with each other rather than talking at each other. He observed that with a microphone at Council Meetings it is hard to think in terms of having a conversation. Mr. Weidman agreed with the outcome tonight relative to the proposed rehabilitation center at Dewberry Avenue. Mr. Weidman observed that the voice of the one dissenting Member of Council still needs to be heard and listened to, even though he believes the right decision was made. He added that things can be learned from listening to a dissenting voice. Mr. Weidman communicated that if someone felt that this facility should not be in this location, then a person may feel differently if there were no school next door. However, Mr. Weidman said if someone felt no differently but the school was a nice argument perhaps the voice of the dissenter has said something that speaks to a place where maybe people need to pause for a bit. He added even though people may be right about the decision in these circumstances, people still may be wrong. Mr. Weidman communicated that individuals can occupy Bethlehem and can voice concerns but it should not be about simply being heard. It should also be about making sure people hear, listen, and learn so that it will be a better and stronger community, even when there is disagreement on final outcomes. Mr. Weidman was delighted about the Continuous Improvement program, systems and structures that he said are the things that make a difference. He was excited that the Continuous Improvement program has to do with upping the game of the City in terms of providing services and he wished the City the best of luck.

Occupy Bethlehem

Brian Day, 628 Pawnee Street, noted he is a member of the Occupy Bethlehem movement and said that they are also here to hold Council accountable. Mr. Day explained that the group is like a public oversight committee and they do not want to seem unapproachable so he wanted to make sure to invite Council to visit with them. Mr. Day stated they are the public and it will be rough at times but they are just going to let it be known that in County and City Government payouts and favors are not beneficial. Mr. Day advised that he volunteers at a food bank and sees how people suffer. He commented that while some people make the suffering upon themselves, if people do not give them a chance to better themselves they can never become better. Mr. Day thanked the Mayor, City Council, and Police Commissioner Schiffer for allowing them to be the voice for the public.


Stephen Antalics, 737 Ridge Street, communicated that he has seen much soul searching this evening and it is commendable. Mr. Antalics stated that the reciprocal of compassion is intolerance and intolerance can be damaging and costly. He exemplified it is not known how many exceptional leaders in this Country have not tried to seek public office because to do so one puts themselves up to the public. Mr. Antalics remarked that if people know their personal lives will be dug into and exploited they will not run for office because of self pride. Mr. Antalics noted he is hearing things in this upcoming election where maybe if someone cannot fight on the issue then they look at something personal in their opponent and dredge up something that should not be touched.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.