Nemes, a LV native who worked at Bethlehem Steel with Don Cunningham's dad, was appointed Exec. Director back in 2002. At that time, the only nay vote came from Joe Hoffmeier, who now chairs the Board.
What's leaking out are questions concerning the Bethlehem Parking Authority's decision to purchase the parking deck behind the Main Street Commons. Using RCAP grant money the property was purchased from Lou Pektor's Ashley Development. According to Northampton County assessment records, the property was sold to Bethlehem Parking Authority in 2009 for $1.6 million. But what has some City insiders concerned is a pre-purchase appraisal, valuing the property for much less than what was ultimately paid. Some say it only appraised at $600,000.
Callahan was able to persuade board members to go along with what might be a sweetheart deal. Chairman Joe Hoffmeier is a Callahan acolyte who contributed $1,000 to the Mayor's congressional quest. Vice Chair Dino P. Cantelmi just happens to be the Mayor's brother-in-law, and is the very person who crashed into a Bethlehem police cruiser nearly four years ago. He sent an officer to the hospital with negligible legal consequences and no publicity. Board member Mary Beth Baran was hired by Callahan to work in the City's water department despite a freeze on new employees. Finally, board member Michael D. Recchiuti is running for City Council and is reputedly a member of the "better than you" crowd after Council meetings.
Interestingly, several Pennoni employees were very generous to Callahan in his failed Congressional bid. It's impossible for me to identify all of them, but I can list some of the principals and employees who seem to think very highly of an elected official who doesn't mind their overruns: