City Council

10 East Church Street – Town Hall
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 – 7:00 PM

President Reynolds mentioned after the Invocation and before the Pledge to the Flag he would like to have a moment of silence for the passing of our Controller David DiGiacinto. 
Rabbi Michael Singer, of Congregation Brith Sholom, offered the invocation, which was followed by the pledge to the flag.
President Reynolds pointed out he will allow near the end of this Council Meeting for any Member of City Council to make any comments if they wish about the passing of Mr. DiGiacinto.
1.         ROLL CALL
President Reynolds called the meeting to order.  Present were Bryan G. Callahan, Eric R. Evans, Michael D. Recchiuti, Cathy Reuscher, Louis N. Stellato, Adam Waldron, and J. William Reynolds, 7.
The Minutes of January 6, 2015 were approved.
Tom Campione, 33 West Water Street, Hellertown, stated he is the Director of Legislative Affairs for Pennsylvanians for Self Protection.  Mr. Campione stated this is a second amendment group and they are one of the groups that were named in the letter by Attorney Joshua Prince, in December to the City of Bethlehem.  Mr. Campione pointed out this was in regard to a notice of violation of Firearms Ordinances.  He said he is aware that Council has a vote to consider amending Article 303.01 on this evening’s Agenda.  Mr. Campione stated he is also Vice Chairman of the Lehigh Valley Tea Party and he is at this meeting requesting that Council vote to amend the Article.  Mr. Campione stated they have reviewed the amendment of 941.05 (c) and it appears that it fails to comply with State Law.  They are requesting that Council review that Ordinance and come into compliance.  He said the Ordinance continues to regulate firearm usage and then claims at the end that it does not.  Mr. Campione noted unfortunately the claim does not negate the fact that it does regulate firearms usage and the organization would like to see that portion of it amended.         
4.         OLD BUSINESS.
A.        Members of Council

B.         Tabled Items


C.        Unfinished Business





A.        Police Chief – Recommendation of Award – Camera Maintenance Contract Renewal

            The Clerk read a memorandum from Police Chief Mark DiLuzio recommending approval for a contract with Let’s Think Wireless to provide maintenance repairs for the City’s 84 wireless cameras deployed throughout the City.  The term of the contract is for three years with a total estimated cost of $110,064.

            President Reynolds stated Resolution 9 E is on the Agenda.

B.         Director of Water and Sewer Resources – Recommendation for Price Increase Bid No. 2010-01 – Biosolids Management Services

The Clerk read a memorandum from Edward J. Boscola, Director of Water and Sewer Resources recommending approval for a price increase in a contract with WeCare Organics, LLC, to provide transportation and disposal of dewatered biosolids.  The total estimated cost is $1,732,500 and the term of the contract is March 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016.

            President Reynolds stated Resolution 9 F is on the Agenda. 

C.         Director of Budget and Finance – Treasurer’s Salary

            The Clerk read a memorandum from Mark Sivak, Director of Budget and Finance.  The Administration is requesting to increase the Treasurer’s annual salary from $1,300 to $1,800 beginning January 4, 2016, due to healthcare costs.  This will avoid the biweekly pay from being a negative amount. 

            President Reynolds stated the Ordinance can be listed on the February 17, 2015 agenda for First Reading. 
D.         Mayor – Request to Fill Vacancies – Parks and Public Property

.           The Clerk read a memorandum from Mayor Robert J. Donchez requesting to fill two vacancies in the Parks and Public Property Department.  Position one is a Maintenance Worker I in the Buildings Bureau with a budgeted salary of $41,565; position two is the Parks Department Business Administrator with a budgeted salary of $72, 223.

            President Reynolds stated the Resolution can be listed on the February 17, 2015 agenda. 

E.         City Solicitor – Use Permit Agreement – Boutique at the Rink – Ice House

The Clerk read a memorandum from City Solicitor William P. Leeson, Esq. for a proposed Resolution and associated Use Permit Agreement for the 2015 Boutique at the Rink.  The permittee is St. Luke’s University Health Network and the duration of the use is April 24, 2015 to June 2, 2015. The premises is the Earl E. Schaffer Ice Rink. 

            President Reynolds stated the Resolution can be listed on the February 17, 2015 agenda.

F.        City Solicitor – Ordinance – Main Streetscape Improvements Phase II

The Clerk read a memorandum from City Solicitor William P. Leeson, Esq. and Assistant City Solicitor Matthew Deschler, Esq. regarding an Ordinance relating to the Main Street Streetscape Improvements Phase II project to which is attached a proposed Ordinance related to the Main Street Streetscapes Improvements Phase II project.  This Ordinance is required to set the assessable charges for the project at a rate that varies from City Articles 905 and 909.  There has been interaction between the City and the affected Main Street property owners over the past year about the project and the assessment.  The Ordinance also reflects the substance of two detailed letters recently sent by the city to the property owners. 

            President Reynolds stated the Ordinance can be listed on the February 17, 2015 agenda for First Reading.

G.       Director of Planning and Zoning - Zoning Ordinance Amendments

The Clerk read a memorandum from Darlene Heller, Director of Planning and Zoning regarding Zoning Ordinance Amendments attached to which are Zoning Ordinance Amendments that were reviewed by the Planning Commission at their January 8, 2015 meeting.  They are as follows:  Article 1318.29 regarding regulation of solar energy collection; Article 1306.01 (a) adding a maximum impervious service coverage of 75% to the RR and RS zoning districts; and Article 1319.01 (a) regarding off street parking spaces in the Central Business District.

            President Reynolds stated he will accept a motion to schedule a Public Hearing Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 7 pm in Town Hall.

            Mr. Waldron made the motion and Mr. Stellato seconded the motion. 

            Voting AYE:  Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, Mr. Stellato, Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Reynolds, 7.

            President Reynolds noted the Ordinance will be on the agenda that evening for First Reading as well.

6.         REPORTS

A.        President of Council


B.         Mayor 

Mayor Donchez stated he is proud to report the Administration did not have to use any Escrow Funds in January this year.  Mayor Donchez pointed out he looks forward to working with the Members of Council on completing and filling the Recreation Board after the new Ordinance is adopted.

            Mayor Donchez expressed his sadness in the passing of David DiGiacinto.  Mayor Donchez informed he had the privilege and pleasure of knowing Dave a number of years as a friend, and as a colleague on City Council.  He continued there is no question that he served the City of Bethlehem with integrity, distinction and professionalism.  Mayor Donchez stated Dave is probably still standing out in the hall watching us.  His love for the City and his love for his family was unquestionable.  Mayor Donchez pointed out that Mr. DiGiacinto will be missed. He concluded it is not just a loss personally for many of us but also a loss for the residents of Bethlehem.

C.        Public Safety Committee

            Mr. Evans, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, presented an oral report of the meeting that was held prior to the City Council Meeting at 6:00 PM in Town Hall on the following subject: Amending Article 531 and Article 533, which deal with Parking Fines.  The Committee unanimously recommended to move the proposal, with a neutral recommendation, to full Council.  Mr. Evans noted the Committee added the suggestion that the proposed fine of $25.00 be lowered to $20.00.  Mr. Evans continued, the suggestion also included the opportunity to offer a $5.00 discount if the fine was paid within five business days. 

  1. Bill No. 2-2015 – Amending Article 133 – Recreation Board


The Clerk read Bill No. 2 – 2015, Amending Article 133 – Recreation Board, on Final Reading.

Voting AYE:  Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, Mr. Stellato, Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Reynolds, 7.  Bill No. 2-2015 now known as Ordinance No. 2015-2, was adopted on Final Reading. 

8.         NEW ORDINANCES.

  1. Bill No. 3 – 2015 – Amending Article 303 – General Business Licenses and Permits

The Clerk read Bill No. 3 – 2015 – Amending Article 303 – General Business Licenses and Permits, sponsored by Mr. Waldron and Mr. Recchiuti and titled: 


            President Reynolds reported this Ordinance has come from the Administration and asked if Solicitor Leeson could explain what was being voting upon at this meeting.

            Solicitor Leeson informed this is a repeal of the registration fee, to the extent the fee is a regulation of the possession of a firearm.  The suggestion is that this is a violation of the recent legislation.

            President Reynolds stated he believed that legislation followed a Supreme Court Case. 

            Solicitor Leeson noted the case in Washington, D. C., and stated yes. 

President Reynolds remarked there was the worry that cities would be liable for having this type of rule or ordinance based on court case and passed legislation.

            Solicitor Leeson stated that is correct.

President Reynolds added that cities are unable to necessarily legislate the idea of carrying a firearm but he inquired in what places are they regulated.

            Solicitor Leeson replied there is some regulation in Court Houses and similar places, and of course, airports.  Solicitor Leeson noted we are amending the Ordinance to keep the city out of trouble.He noted is it is well publicized that there are some municipalities organized to challenge the recent legislation. Solicitor Leeson continued we can await the results, and depending on the outcome, see if we can reenact Ordinances sometime in the future.  He added, in the meantime we can hopefully save the City litigation fees.

President Reynolds said although he certainly agrees with the strategy, it is unfortunate that cities do not have this power, and it is unfortunate this is a power that is able to be legislated away from cities.  President Reynolds expressed it is the right move to vote to amend the Ordinance at this time to keep the City out of potential litigation, but it is one he will do with regret, because it is unfortunate the State legislation was passed. 

            Voting AYE:  Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, Mr. Stellato, Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Reynolds, 7.  Bill No. 3-2015 was passed on First Reading. 

9.         RESOLUTIONS

A.       Request to Fill Vacancy – Bureau of Health

            Mr. Waldron and Mr. Recchiuti sponsored Resolution No. 2015-20 that approves the filling of the position of Health Secretary in the Bureau of Health. 

            Voting AYE:  Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, Mr. Stellato, Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Reynolds, 7.  The Resolution passed.

B.         Request to Fill Vacancy – Bureau of Housing

            Mr. Waldron and Mr. Recchiuti sponsored Resolution No. 2015-21 that approves the filling of the position of Housing Inspector in the Bureau of Housing.

Mr. Recchiuti stated he wanted to confirm that this is the contract Housing Inspector that we budgeted for last year and this is to be grant funded by a yet to be announced grantor. 

            Ms. Karner replied yes.

            Mr. Recchiuti queried whether the funding is confirmed and if the grant or contract has been signed.  He stated he understands this was budgeted but he just wanted to confirm that we have the funds for this position.

            Ms. Karner informed she did not execute the contract yet; it is in development.

            Mr. Recchiuti stated he wanted to make sure we are confident in obtaining the grant.

            Ms. Karner expressed they are confident they will be awarded the grant.

Voting AYE:  Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, Mr. Stellato, Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Reynolds, 7.  The Resolution passed.

C.         Use Permit Agreement for Public Property – Celtic Fest – St. Patrick’s Day Concert

            Mr. Waldron and Mr. Recchiuti sponsored Resolution No. 2015-22 that authorized a Use Permit Agreement for Public Property with Celtic Fest Inc. for Nevin Place for the Parade of Shamrocks St. Patrick’s Day Concert on March 14, 2015.

             Voting AYE:  Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, Mr. Stellato, Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Reynolds, 7.  The Resolution passed.

D.        Use Permit Agreement for Public Property – AAUW – Book Fair

            Mr. Waldron and Mr. Recchiuti sponsored Resolution No. 2015-23 that authorized a Use Permit Agreement for Public Property with the American Association of University Women, Bethlehem Branch for the Memorial Pool Building for the 2015 Book Fair from March 23, 2015 to April 28, 2015. 

            Voting AYE:  Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, Mr. Stellato, Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Reynolds, 7.  The Resolution passed.

E.         Authorizing Contract – Let’s Think Wireless – Camera Maintenance Contract Renewal

             Mr. Waldron and Mr. Recchiuti sponsored Resolution No. 2015-24 that authorized the execution of a contract with Let’s Think Wireless for the Camera Maintenance Contract.

            Voting AYE:  Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, Mr. Stellato, Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Reynolds, 7.  The Resolution passed.

F.         Authorizing Price Increase – We Care Organics – Bio Solids Management Services

Mr. Waldron and Mr. Recchiuti sponsored Resolution No. 2015-25 that authorized the execution of a contract with WeCare Organics, LLC for Biosolids Management Services.

            Mr. Waldron mentioned this is an increase of over 10% and asked about this increase.

            Edward Boscola, Director of Water and Sewer stated this is an increase of about 4% and it is over two years. On average it is a 2% increase each year and they have held those price increases ever since we executed this contract in 2011.  Mr. Boscola noted we first amendment in 2013 held the price steady and this new amendment has a 4% increase for the next two calendar years.

            Voting AYE:  Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, Mr. Stellato, Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Reynolds, 7.  The Resolution passed .



10.       NEW BUSINESS.

            Committee Meeting Announcements

Chairman Recchiuti announced a Finance Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in Town Hall and the subject will be 2014 Year End Adjustments.

            Chairman Waldron announced a Human Resources and Environment Committee Meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 6 p.m. in Town Hall on the following subjects:  Review of Mayor’s Climate Protection agreement and Kyoto Protocol, and the City’s energy projects. 

            President Reynolds reiterated after Public Comment he will turn back to Council for any comments they wish to make about Mr. DiGiacinto.


            Safety Concern-Easton Avenue and Edgeboro Boulevard

            Victoria Kowaleski, 1733 Easton Avenue, informed she is at this meeting tonight with a safety concern regarding Easton Avenue and Edgeboro Boulevard.  Ms. Kowaleski remarked on Friday, December 26, 2014 there was a horrific accident at 3:30 a.m. at what is known as dead man’s curve, near her and her neighbor’s home.  Ms. Kowaleski stated allegedly the driver of the vehicle was driving 105 mph at 3:30 a.m. The car hit a telephone pole, bent her neighbor’s iron fence, flipped over and caught fire.  Ms. Kowaleski brought pictures to show this evening.  She stated she went to her neighbors with a petition regarding the safety issue at this curve.  She continued, in the 37 years that she has lived at this address, they have had six cars totaled, cars have ended up in several of her neighbors yards, and  a neighbor two doors up from her house had  four accident reports issued. Ms. Kowaleski stated she is at this meeting to try to find a solution.  She understands this is a State road so a speed bump or traffic light can not be installed.  Ms. Kowaleski stated she did meet with Representative Steve Samuelson two weeks ago regarding the matter

            President Reynolds encouraged Ms. Kowaleski to speak with Police Chief Mark DiLuzio or Michael Alkhal, Director of Public Works following the City Council meeting.  President Reynolds said speaking to Chief DiLuzio or Mr. Alkhal would be the best way to begin discussion as far as any potential changes to come before City Council.  Members of the Administration can report back to Council as to whether any action is needed or warranted.  President Reynolds added she is welcome to speak with anyone on City Council if she so desires after the meeting.

            Ms. Kowaleski reiterated she has pictures of the accident if Council is interested and petitions from her neighbors.  Council President Reynolds stated she is welcome to present any paperwork to Council.

            Impervious Coverage

            Al Bernotas, 1004 Johnston Drive, informed he wanted to speak about impervious coverage.  Mr. Bernotas stated he was at a Planning Commission Meeting and it came up as an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance.  He continued he thought that was terrific.  He wanted to thank the Planning staff for working on this matter.  Mr. Bernotas gave a handout to Council Members regarding the research he did on impervious coverage in Third Class Cities.  He noted the reason he focused on Third Class Cities is because the Mayor likes to compare Bethlehem to other Third Class Cities.  Mr. Bernotas looked at the Zoning Ordinances for other cities and the one key thing he is concerned about is that this amendment is asking for a maximum impervious coverage of 75%.  He expressed he would hope the Planning staff would take another look at that percentage.  Mr. Bernotas continued to say that when this went before the Planning Commission the vote on this matter was 3-1. He stated he did not know whether the one individual was opposed because they did not think it needed a maximum on the impervious coverage, or if they wanted a lower percentage.  Mr. Bernotas noted that with 75% coverage in the RR District you have to have a minimum lot size of 15,000 feet which is about 1/3 of an acre, but there are some lots in the RR area that are more than an acre.  Mr. Bernatos mentioned there is a property behind his home that is four acres.  He continued, if you limit the impervious coverage to 75% of four acres, essentially about three acres could be paved surface.  Mr. Bernotas noted he has done some research and looked at the State of Delaware, in addition to Third Class Cities, and stated they have limits based on the size of the lot.  Mr. Bernotas mentioned that a 15,000 square foot lot would have a maximum imperious coverage of about 30%. He stated he hopes that Council would take a look at the size of the lot and what the imperious coverage limitation should be.  Mr. Bernotas thinks the City is making terrific progress in making this amendment, because there are some Cities that do not have any limitation.  Mr. Bernotas said believes the maximum impervious surface should be graded by the size of the lot; not necessarily by the zoning district. 

            Firearms Amendment; David DiGiacinto

            Thomas Carroll, 248 East Union Boulevard, mentioned although he is pleased with the yes vote for the firearms regulation that was passed tonight, as a resident, he is concerned about the comments of at least one of the Members of Council with regard to regretfully voting yes to amend the Ordinance.  He stated as a citizen, to remind Council that the Pennsylvania Constitution established “We, the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, grateful to almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking his guidance to ordain and establish this Constitution.”  Mr. Carroll continued “That the general great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and unalterably established, we declare that - Section 21 of the Constitution - the right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.” Mr. Carroll noted that is the Pennsylvania Constitution and that is what Council voted yes to protect tonight.  He remarked he is concerned that some of the language from the Council was that they were regretful for voting yes to protect the citizens and all rights under our Pennsylvania Constitution.

Mr. Carroll spoke about the sadness in the passing of David DiGiacinto.  He continued, we were blessed as a City, and I was blessed as an individual to be his friend.  Words cannot express how much of a contribution he made to the City of Bethlehem for so many years, in so many roles, he added.  Mr. Carroll stated Mr. DiGiacinto will be missed by so many people.

            Safety Concern – Snow Removal

            Brian Nickas, 1234 Maple Street, reported he was at the City Council Meeting regarding a safety concern.  Specifically, his concern was regarding sidewalk snow removal.  He said many residents, whether landlords or owners, are not clearing their sidewalks from the first snowfall until March or April.  Mr. Nickas noted the issue concerns him because students and pedestrians have to travel on the roadways when sidewalks are not cleared of snow.  He stated he knows that the City has an Ordinance regarding this issue, but stressed the importance of enforcement.  Mr. Nickas suggested Council should walk or drive around the City to view numerous sidewalks not cleared by property owners.  He added, the students have to walk in the street instead of the sidewalk when the snow is not shoveled, creating a danger to the students. 

            Parking; Controller David DiGiacinto

            Stephen Antalics, 737 Ridge Street, noted unfortunately the gentleman who has been speaking about traffic at Webster and Fifth Street is not at this meeting this evening.  Mr. Antalics noted he would be remiss in not supporting him.  Mr. Antalics said he is obliged to be at that intersection a minimum of twice a day because he uses the parking lot across the street.  Mr. Antalics said he spoke to the Parking Authority and conveyed the gentleman’s suggested improvements for the intersection.  Mr. Antalics noted on both sides of the street of the Fifth Street side of the intersection, cars park into the intersection.  He continued if you want to make a right turn at Webster Street, to make a left turn into the parking lot, you need to move into the intersection to view if you have the right of way.  Mr. Antalics added this intersection is probably the busiest intersection for Lehigh University because it is a drop off point for students.  He added, fortunately people are aware of the situation and cautious when they enter this location.  Mr. Antalics reported another issue is that many students drop off other students, and on any number of occasions, cars double-park and block the intersection.  He mentioned the situation to the Parking Authority and they said this is a Public Works issue.  Mr. Antalics continued that the Parking Authority felt no parking beyond a certain point at the four points and making it a tow away zone that would alleviate the problem.  Mr. Antalics noted he understands this would be a function of Public Works.  Mr. Antalics suggests that to satisfy these complaints, parking should be restricted beyond a certain point close to the intersection and installing a tow away zone sign would alleviate the problem.  He believes that a towing fee and a ticket would immediately solve the problem.

Mr. Antalics spoke about David DiGiacinto and stated the City of Bethlehem will be hard pressed to find a gentleman of his character and ability, to be able to become a public servant.  His absence will be felt for a good number of years, he added.


            Rabbi Michael Singer, 1305 Sierra Drive, noted while he understands the need for the vote tonight with regard to the repealing of the Ordinance related to the firearms.  He remarked as a Rabbi and certainly deep in faith, he believes and agrees that this is a very significant issue.  Rabbi Singer mentioned there has to be a balance between an individual’s right to carry and use a firearm for hunting and other things, and public safety.  While this might be a second amendment issue, and a larger issue with regard to the courts and the Pennsylvania State Constitution, he would like to challenge our leaders to be able to say there has to be a balance between a person’s private right to do certain things, such as carrying a gun, and the public welfare. Rabbi Singer noted too often this makes law enforcements job harder, and it unfortunately puts gun owners who are law abiding in the spotlight, when others who do not follow the law take advantage of the lack of oversight.  Rabbi Singer expressed the fact that he would like to applaud, and say stand strong.  He knows there are challenges with regard to liability and he understands that issue, but he encouraged Council and the Mayor to perhaps join with some of the other cities that are challenging this repeal.  Rabbi Singer mentioned sometimes we need to have a little bit of courage to take the fight where it needs to be.  He added he would support Council in that endeavor not only from a religious perspective, but also as a citizen.

            Campaign Finance Reform

            Robert Trotner, 1910 Bayard Street, reported he represents Represent Us Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh Valley Coffee Party.  He presented a proposed Resolution and mentioned he is doing the same with all the City and County Councils in the area, regarding the Citizens United decision and the problem of corruption and big money in our government.  Mr. Trotner reported he represents almost 400 people in the Lehigh Valley.  Mr. Trotner stated that the amount of corruption in the last five years has been unbelievable and believes this problem will get worse in the future.  He said he is asking City Council to consider a non-biding Resolution against some of the major problems that have come up in the past five years with Citizens United that did not even rise in the first 220 years of our Country.  Mr. Trotner stated he will certainly answer any questions Council might have regarding this matter.  He continued he is hoping to follow up with Members of Council, the Mayor, and Solicitor William Leeson to hopefully pass a Resolution in the time frame of Spring or Summer.

            Controller David DiGiacinto

            President Reynolds turned to his colleagues on City Council to join in any comments they may wish to express about the passing of our good friend Mr. DiGiacinto.

            Mr. Waldron noted a nice memory he had of Mr. DiGiacinto was when he was painting a home in the Historic District during the summer at a time when he was running for City Council.  They talked about city issues and Mr. DiGiacinto gave him some advice.  Mr. Waldron continued that by the time he got back to work, his paint brush had completely dried, indicating how much time they spent talking about the City of Bethlehem.  Mr. Waldron noted that Mr. DiGiacinto was the type of person who was always willing to give his opinion in a positive, beneficial way, to everyone in the City.  Mr. Waldron holds that memory and expressed his thanks for Mr. DiGiacinto’s service.

            Mr. Stellato stated he really did not know Mr. DiGiacinto because he is new on Council but he continues to pray for his soul.

            Ms. Reuscher pointed out she was honored to know Mr. DiGiacinto as one of the first individuals she met in the Lehigh Valley when she worked for Clean Water Action.  Ms. Reuscher stated Mr. DiGiacinto took the time to drive to her office to talk with her about issues.  The initiative made an impression that he really wanted to let her know where his thoughts were on matters.  Ms. Reuscher noted he was always a friendly face in City Hall and beyond.  She continued that Mr. DiGiacinto was such a good person, and her thoughts are with his family.

Mr. Recchiuti stated Mr. DiGiacinto will certainly be missed by everyone.  He noted, as with Mr. Waldron, conversations with Mr. DiGiacinto were rarely brief.  It was not uncommon to get a text message from him about 5:00 a.m., give him a call around 7:30 a.m., and end the phone call around 9:00 a.m.  Mr. Recchiuti pointed out Mr. DiGiacinto was a good friend, and someone who he got to know when they were on Council.  Mr. Recchiuti continued that even in the Controller’s Office he still liked to give his opinion on matters.  Mr. Recchiuti continued to say the expertise of Mr. DiGiacinto on financial matters and contract matters gave us different viewpoints that were quite beneficial to all.  Mr. Recchiuti reiterated that Mr. DiGiacinto he will be missed.

            Mr. Evans noted he enjoyed hearing all of stories in the past week about Mr. DiGiacinto and could relate to those because there were certain characteristics that came through no matter what part of life you knew him from.  Mr. Evans expressed the fact that Mr. DiGiacinto was a wonderful individual with a close family who will be greatly missed not only by his family, but also the City of Bethlehem.  Mr. Evans said Mr. DiGiacinto was very diligent in his job. He continued there were weeks when Council would have a great deal of paperwork and plenty of numbers to review. Mr. Evans pointed out Mr. DiGiacinto would come forward with information to share and it did not matter who you were or what your role was, he was prepared to deliver his opinion, and make it clear where he stood on an issue.  Mr. Evans added Mr. DiGiacinto was a very intelligent man.  He continued it was a good idea to listen to his advice, even if you did not always agree with it, because he had a unique perspective.  Mr. Evans noted Mr. DiGiacinto’s service with the Bethlehem Water Authority and as a Councilman were a benefit to the City.  He added, with his experience, the Controller’s position was perfect for Mr. DiGiacinto.  Mr. Evans thought and hoped he would be in that position for a long time, but unfortunately that is not the case.  Mr. Evans said we all miss him and will continue to pray for his family.

            Mr. Callahan reported he had known Mr. DiGiacinto for about seven years on a casual basis and did not know him that well until two years ago.  He relayed on election eve he was paired with Mr. DiGiacinto to put up signs throughout Bethlehem.  He noted that everyone knew Mr. DiGiacinto as a very serious individual but that evening he experienced a very humorous side of Mr. DiGiacinto.  Mr. Callahan added that night he never laughed so hard driving around with him and this shocked him because he was so serious when talking about issues.    Mr. Callahan pointed out that he walked away from that experience with a different perspective of Mr. DiGiacinto.  He thoroughly enjoyed his humor and wit.  Mr. Callahan stated, as mentioned by Mr. Evans, he could quote every line of the budget book.  It was an amazing thing to experience, he added.  Mr. Callahan noted from his vantage point at the Council table you could always see Mr. DiGiacinto pacing back and forth in the hallway.  Mr. Callahan remarked he could always see the shadow walking past the doors and when something sparked Mr. DiGiacinto, you could see that shadow stop, and he would peak in with a certain look on his face.  Mr. Callahan mentioned he will miss that shadow walking back and forth, and he gives his condolences to his family, especially his son.  He added, he appreciated all that Mr. DiGiacinto did for the City of Bethlehem.

            President Reynolds pointed out that Mr. DiGiacinto was one of the smartest people he has ever had the pleasure to know.  President Reynolds noted Mr. DiGiacinto was like many people in that what went on in this Town Hall, City Hall and what went on in his political world when he was on the Authority, City Council and as Controller was a small percentage of what Mr. DiGiacinto was in life.  President Reynolds stated that over the last several years he became friends with Mr. DiGiacinto beyond the meetings, and one of the things he always respected about him was that his viewpoint was not personal.  He added, if Mr. DiGiacinto disagreed with you, he disagreed with you because he just disagreed with you, which is something that cannot be said about everyone.  President Reynolds noted that Mr. DiGiacinto would talk with him regarding matters, and over the past several years, he became much better friends with Mr. DiGiacinto than what people understood.  President Reynolds would have the opportunity to sit down with him and the persona everyone saw was not really who he was.  President Reynolds related that he would get together with Mr. DiGiacinto who would talk about how much he loved his son, Luke, how much he loved the City and also how much he loved all of us.  President Reynolds thinks that Mr. DiGiacinto wondered, as someone who grew up in Bethlehem, served his Country, and knew more people than anyone else, what his legacy would be. This was something that they talked about on occasion. President Reynolds mentioned after he heard the news that Mr. DiGiacinto had passed away, he thought of the love for his son, his family, his City, and remarked this is a legacy that we all hope we can achieve.  President Reynolds hopes that Mr. DiGiacinto realized he had that legacy and the City will always be thankful for what he gave to the City.  He stated we will miss him.


            The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.



                                                                        City Clerk