Thursday, February 07, 2013

Cold-Weather Callahan To Keep Gracedale

Callahan with his wife and children
In bitterly cold weather just outside of Gracedale, the county-owned nursing home, Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan announced his candidacy for Northampton County Executive on February 6. He chose that venue to signal his commitment to keeping Gracedale, which he called the "jewel of the County," in County hands.

It's a good thing it was at Gracedale. I thought his first term as Exec might be over before he was done with his speech. About twenty people nearly died of exposure, including the Evil Jim Hickey, but they are recuperating in the nursing home.

Doctors have been unable to locate Hickey's heart. Or my brain.

Why the Hell isn't he frozen?
Callahan was completely unphased by the weather. Everyone was bundled up, but not him.

There was some question whether it was appropriate for a politician to make his announcement at Gracedale, but administrators there were ecstatic. "Are you kidding? We now have enough hot air to keep the building heated for the rest of the Winter," said one, who asked not to be identified. "If we could only get Angle, we could heat the entire County."

In 2011, Northampton County voters decided overwhelmingly, in a hotly disputed referendum, to keep Gracedale. Callahan, who signed the referendum petition in 2011, made clear at his announcement that he considers the nursing home a "core function" of County government. "Outsourcing it would be the equivalent of Bethlehem outsourcing our police department, I just don't agree with it," he said.

I don't know how much clearer he could be, unless he actually moved into the place. But his commitment was still challenged by several referendum proponents who appeared at yesterday's announcement, led by Forks Township resident and Fake Reverend Mario Martinez. Calling him "Callahoffa" on their blog, they wanted the Bethlehem Mayor to sign some kind of Loyalty Oath to keep Gracedale in County hands. He did it on the spot, but they now think it's some kind of trick.

Cuckoo.

Contrary to the claims of many critics, and I was once one of them, Callahan stated that he has been a good fiscal steward in Bethlehem.
"During a time when many cities are bankrupt or near bankruptcy, Bethlehem is in its strongest position in decades, with a bright future. We have eliminated the deficit, and we have $90 million less debt today than when I started. We have tackled some of the toughest of the legacy costs and we ran back to back surpluses, a million dollars this year. Not many municipalities can say that."
His priorities as County Executive?
"My priorities are straightforward, deliver cost effective County services, most especially these services right here at Gracedale, preserve our farmland and promote redevelopment of our brownfields, create the opportunities for the private sector to grow our tax base and create jobs, so that our neighborhoods stay safe and our schools stay strong."
The Bethlehem Mayor would also like to bring a little-publicized program to Northampton County called "Continuous Improvement (CI)," in which employees are encouraged to find ways to deliver services more efficiently. In Bethlehem, a 42-day business permit process has been shortened to 14, thanks to innovations from the people who actually work inside the halls of government. In addition, it saves money and has saved $13 million in Bethlehem, according to Callahan.

Callahan plans no major infrastructure bonds. His rival, former Executive Glenn Reibman, floated a $111 bond in 2001 for numerous projects throughout "the four corners of the County." Callahan called it a re-election gimmick. "That's not the right motivation for taxpayer dollars," said Callahan. "I think the taxpayers of the County deserved better and deserve better in the future." He later added, "It wasn't about jobs and infrastructure. It was about getting Glenn Reibman re-elected."

Callahan was joined at his announcement by his wife, Mafalda, and his three children. He apologized to them in advance for his time on the campaign trail.

After it was all over, though freezing, I went over to introduce myself to Mafalda. One touch and I was warm. Magic. Now I know why Hizzoner needs no overcoat.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very happy to see a good, solid candidate with experience formally annouce for County Executive. Reibman is nothing more than a recycled, disgraced candidate that spent 6 years getting over his loss to Stoffa and now thinks the voters actually want to see him elected again? Can't imagine why he thinks the voters what to see him in office again.

Anonymous said...

maybe he thinks the voters want to help him pad his 3rd government pension?

Anonymous said...

His family must be comforted knowing that if they get hammered and destroy a Bethlehem police cruiser, their crime will be covered up by Dad.

What a shimmering example of ethics.

John, don't use your kids as props when you have so much sleaze in your closet. And don't make them fair game by using them as human shields for activity that could get you indicted.

BTW, Reibman and McClueless are losers, too. I'm an independent critic of illegal activity that was documented on this blog.

I'm disappointed that Bernie is in the tank with any of these dirtbags.

Anonymous said...

If this is all we have to pick from. I guess he will do.

Mark Baker said...

anon coward 6:50,

If this old news is all you have to hang your hat on then you should just crawl back into your hole and pout.

Anonymous said...

6:50 your talking about my godchildren, please keep your focus on the race and events thereof. The family is not at issue they were merely there to honor thier father and not at all representative of the race or contenders and ARE NOT open game.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

Seamus, save your indignation for the political creep who used them as props and human shields.

Politicians are despicable. THEY should leave the kids out of it.

Callahan covered up a serious accident and loss of city assets. Period. He also played a shell game with city finances to the point where he had to borrow money to make payroll.

I can understand why you want to put theses egregious parts of his record as far in the rear view mirror as possible. In reality, they happened just a few short years ago.

Own your record. Don't use your kids.

Anonymous said...

All of Callahan's sleazy dealings have been documented ON THIS BLOG. It was serious enough, then. It's serious enough, now.

Old news my ass, Baker (or whomever you really are). Stop defending sleaze.

Anonymous said...

No mention of the fact COAF had John sing a pledge not to sell Gracedale as well as questioned him why he was not with them like Sal was and other elected leaders outside county government were. Just like in Bethlehem he shows up when all the heavy lifting is done and claims others accomplishments for his own.

This will play out though from Reibman and McClure during the course of the next few months.

Ya gotta admit though the Callaoffa thing the COAF coined on their blog is a pretty good burn!

Anonymous said...

Fleck, I'm telling you once and only once, go after the records all you want including adult familial if you believe nonsense. The children have nothing to do with it. It's tough enough growing up in the spotlight.

Bernie, never asked you for anything, but please filter out any nonsense about innocent kids.. They were just at the announcement for their father and do not have anything to do with the campaign

Seamus

Anonymous said...

I've been friends with John for well over 35 years (and yes we are only 43). John runs from no one nor uses anything as a shield. The debates will prove that. The mayor owns his record and what a record it is. Try either one of our thriving downtowns, review the books and how the debt and deficit are reduced, look at how the safest city of its size not only made it through the Great Recession but thrived with billions in redevelopment. The record is strong! All that squealing about crap that has already been disputed just goes to show how little Rubeman has to run on

Seamus

Anonymous said...

The record is not strong but he'll win so why waste your breath. Just vote in a strong minded council and the executive won't matter.

Anonymous said...

Callahan has 3 talented, intelligent kids that anyone would be proud of. the fact that someone would take shots at them is more indicative of the poster than a reflection on the family.

Whether it's the McClure "campaign",
or the Pawlowski/Fleck/Reibman Axis of Incompetence, this tactic is amateur hour stuff.

Anonymous said...

Dont forget the Repulsicans. The Repos see an opening for their candidate and will throw dirt at all the dems.

Anonymous said...

definitely look like props

the only question is ...

will BOH allow an opinion that differs from his own?

i doubt it, myself

track record speaks for itself

everyone knows

Anonymous said...

it's an all-Democrat brawl ... only at this blog could some moron bring up Republicans ...

so much hate and it's so obvious

i guess we need another lecture

Anonymous said...

No disparaging remarks were made about the kids. Not one.

The remarks were about connected Callahan family members receiving special cover-up protection after destroying Bethlehem taxpayers' property.

His record of a family cover-up while in his current position is absolutely germane - especially when he trots out family for a political event.

The public did not ask John to involve his family.

Anonymous said...

If the family wasn't there, haters like you would comment on that as well

Anonymous said...

If by hater, you mean a hatred of corruption and cover-up regarding the mayor, his family, and the destruction of city assets - I plead guilty as charged.

I didn't ask Callahan to cover for family on that New Years incident. He made his family germane when he covered for them at taxpayers' expense.

Don't blame those who hate corruption and cover-ups for John's corruption and cover-up.

Orwell was so right.

And to repeat: Reibman and McClure are poor choices, as well. But neither of them seem to have been involved in anything potentially illegal.

Winning elections at all cost is how we end up with the Melvins and Boscolas and Brennans of the political sewer.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"John, don't use your kids as props when you have so much sleaze in your closet. And don't make them fair game by using them as human shields for activity that could get you indicted."

A candidate's children should ever be fair game, and your statement is disgusting.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"No mention of the fact COAF had John sing a pledge not to sell Gracedale"

This collection of three or four whack jobs and their loyalty oath was mentioned. Learn how to read.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"No disparaging remarks were made about the kids. Not one."

Referring to them as props is disparaging. Claiming that their appearance justifies a dirty campaign is downright kooky.

Anonymous said...

Repubs are laughing right now.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Seamus, I will not allow any attacks on the children or Mafalda. Callahan himself will be fair game. I also do not think Fleck is behind these attacks. I could be Reibman himself, McClure, the Rs or those three whack jobs who showed up at yesterday's announcement, except they can't spell. Or it could just be some troll.

c said...

Bernie, thanks for doing the right thing and keeping John's wife and kids out of the fray.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'll do my best. Same goes for Reibman, McClure and Brown. Attacks at the children or wives will be deleted. They are civilians.

Anonymous said...

Any idea who might be in it on the R side besides John Brown? Is he the only R with any guts?

Anonymous said...

Will callahan be sending unsigned postcards knocking "D"s that he doesn't want elected as he did in his run in Bethlehem? He first showed himself as a slease with that move and moved on from there.

Anonymous said...

"Reibman .... are poor choices, as well. But neither of them seem to have been involved in anything potentially illegal"


really...........................................REALLY?

bwaahahahahahhaha

how many grand juries do you remember?

Anonymous said...

Word has come out of the Callahan camp that they they will again try to manipulate the council races just as they tried to screw over Jean Belinksi and Jay Leeson. Apparently they will go after any cnadidates they feel are not on "their side". I was told by a Callahan camp guy that people like Ron Heckman who are friends of Reibman, will be targeted for slam pieces. Thisd is their MO and they have more than enough money to do it.

Thst is just how the Callahan camp rolls.

Right Seamus!

Anonymous said...

Will anybody be left alive after the D primary? I have my doubts right now and i see a bloody battle ensuing with the victor more dead than alive. Not a good scenario..

Anonymous said...

A neagative mailer in a thirteen way primary is a waste of money and would end up backfiring on Callahan much the same eway it did when he first pulled that stunt.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie, I hpoe you are using an insulated cup to drink that Callahan koolade with.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I know Reibman, MCClure and Callahan. I was one of Callahan's harshest critics. I'll take him ANY day of the week over those two.

Anonymous said...

"Word is" is a way of spreading mis information and lies. 745 pm, you haven't talked to anyone in the Callahan camp. Simply put, you're a lying troll.

Anonymous said...

ya know .... lots of talking about the dems .... but the mayor of Bangor is a very strong candidate...well-liked....smart guy...

If a bad primary bloddies up the nominee....

Anonymous said...

Bring it on Seamus. We have you.

Anonymous said...

Retread politicians.

Anonymous said...

7:45 well since I'm just putting next weeks agenda together right now, i can guarantee council is no more than a thought, its not on the front burner. I expect a good primary and know we will need to focus energy reminding everyone exactly what happened last time Rubeman was in office. This could actually be a fun race, with the polar opposite candidates records. One is quite successful....the other yaaawn. I may actually point people to his web page as it is as boring as the candidate, If thats the best he can do on a simple task could you imagine him representing you.... no thank you

Seamus

Anonymous said...

3:05 use a nom de plume or your real name please. it will help with cohesiveness as we point out you or your candidates record.

Most know who I am anyway, I just like the name and have been using it for years.

Anonymous said...

The Callahan record of insider politics. Developer money and family connected jobs. It is there for the public to read. Oh yes, and also the Dent and O'Hare quotes that ran for years. Yes, it is a record that will be shown.

Anonymous said...

Muller will lose big. He is an arrogant prick. He knows everyihtng just ask him. Just retire him already. His record isn't all that great where he has been, and I stress "been", wonder why?

Anonymous said...

Callahan didn't cover up for his son...he covered up an accident involving his brother in law Dino C. and a woman who wasn't his wife. There was a police cruiser also involved-totalled,a police offer hurt-total cover up. There are many pretty skeletons in his closet-lol. He's a terribly corrupt, immoral man and I feel sorry for his wife and children. His brother-the one running for council is just as bad-rumor has it he brought a date to his now deceased wife's funeral! Another lousy drunk sad excuse for a man!

Bernie O'Hare said...

As the person who broke this story, I do not like how it has been twisted. Without question, Dino Cantelmi was involved in an auto accident with another persons car in a Superbowl Sunday, several years ago. There is no question that this went years without a story, leading me to suspect a cover-up. When I first began poking around, city officials and cops were uncooperative, which made me even more suspicious.

Eventually, I got the Mayor's phone records for that day and the police chief's, and there was nothing indicating any communication between the Mayor and Comm'r on the day in question.

I was still extremely suspicious. But as time went on, I had an opportunity to speak to Callahan, the then police chief, several police officers and news reporters.

You would have to believe that a very large number of people are outright lying to believe the cover-up. What really happened is that reporters missed a story from Superbowl Sunday bc they had other things on their mind. This is the most logical explanation, and is actually what one editor thinks happened.

I am pretty much satisfied that the Mayor played no role in this matter, and there was no effort to cover this matter up. I do think cops went much easier on Cantelmi than they should have or would have under other circumstances. Blood should have been drawn

Anonymous said...

Bernie-the reason the news never got a hold of the story is because the then chief was told to put the report in the basket that holds all the police blotter incidents,for 5 minutes,then to remove it. That way they could honestly say it was in there-but it was removed 5 minutes later. And about the phone calls-they should check the phone of the person who was with the mayor,and another high ranking police official who has since retired! Total cover up...but then again,Dino covers for the Mayor when they go out of town on "business".