A lifelong resident of Bethlehem, J. William Reynolds graduated Magna Cum Laude from Moravian College in 2003 with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. William became the youngest City Council member in Bethlehem’s history in 2007 following his successful challenge to a slate of incumbent Council members. In 2014, William was elected by his colleagues to serve as President of City Council, a position he was re-elected to in 2016.
As President of City Council, William launched Bethlehem 2017 – a set of policy initiatives aimed at making Bethlehem a more progressive community. As state and national inaction on climate issues continued, William led the way in helping Bethlehem to establish its first Climate Action Plan. William also proposed and created NorthSide 2027 – a reinvestment strategy and public/private partnership for north Bethlehem’s neighborhoods that includes citizens, local businesses, the Bethlehem Area School District and Moravian College.
Bethlehem broke new ground in governmental transparency by adopting William’s Financial Accountability Incentive Reporting (F.A.I.R.) – an initiative that measures and tracks the effectiveness of economic development incentive programs. In 2018, Bethlehem also instituted William’s open data program which publishes governmental data in an effort to spur innovation, entrepreneurship, and citizen engagement in the city. During William’s time on City Council, Bethlehem has also continued its economic revitalization as billions of dollars of private and public investment have helped to lead the city to its consistent ranking as one of the best American cities in which to live, work, and retire.
2021 saw William capture nearly 65 percent of the vote while sweeping all 37 wards in becoming Bethlehem’s 14th Mayor.
Mayor Reynolds has also served on Moravian College’s Board of Trustees, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s Transition Team, and the Bethlehem Area Public Library's Board of Directors. He resides in north Bethlehem with his wife Dr. Natalie Bieber.