Bethlehem Council-Evans resigns, takes city job
City Councilman Eric Evans formally resigned his position on Bethlehem City Council Jan. 16 and was immediately confirmed by the council in a unanimous vote as Bethlehem’s business manager, succeeding Dave Brong, the current business administrator. Councilman Brian Callahan was not present at the meeting and Evans recused himself from the vote.
Evans had just recently been sworn in for his third term as a city councilman.
A round of congratulatory comments followed: to Evans – “You will bring great things to the City,” said Councilwoman Olga Negron; to Brong – “I’ve appreciated getting straight answers,” said Councilman William Reynolds.
Evans thanked the city council and the staff. “I’m very excited to serve,” he said, and added “Thank you,” to Louise Kelchner, the city clerk.
He said he has been through six elections and three primaries.
The effective date of Evan’s resignation will be Feb. 4, his last day on city council. He will start his duties as business administrator the following day. His annual salary in his new position will be $107,550.
Evans takes on the full-time position after a career that most recently included being an American history teacher at East Hills MS.
He has served as the chair of the Parks and Public Property Committee, as a member of the Public Safety Committee and as a member of the Human Resources and Environment Committee. Evans also served as the president of city council from 2012-13.
Council President Adam Waldron then turned his attention to outlining a procedure to find a replacement councilperson for Evans.
Waldron suggested that each councilperson submit at least two questions that would be winnowed down to 10 questions that the city council would ask of potential candidates for the council vacancy.
Waldron said candidates for the vacant City Councilperson position should submit a cover letter and a résumé no later than Feb. 19 at 4:30 p.m. He said candidates would be expected to make a 5-minute presentation to the City Council on March 1.
The new member, once selected, will take the oath of office March 6 for a two-year term which coincides with the next scheduled election.
Dr. Paige Van Wirt, has already expressed in an interest in the job. She ran a campaign as a write-in candidate for city council last year. She is supported by her friend, sitting Councilwoman Olga Negron. Van Wirt is an active physician and beside maintaining her medical practice, is a volunteer physician for the Rescue Mission in Allentown.
Council also had the first reading of a bill to introduce a new law titled “Economic Development Incentive Reporting and Evaluation, Creating the Financial Accountability Incentive Reporting (or FAIR) Program.” Council will vote on the new law at the next regular meeting. Under this proposed law the City will have a system in place to track the economic development incentives such as the CRIZ program.
In other business, council re-appointed several people to boards and authorities: Sharon Zondag to the Bethlehem Authority; Dr. Terry L. Marcincin to the Board of Health; G. Frederick Bonsall to the Historical Board of Architectural Review; William Kounoupis to the Parking Authority; and Councilman Shawn Martell to the Community Development Committee.