|Public safety is the core of Bob Donchez' campaign|
As much as I like Willie, I like Bob Donchez even more. You would not know it from his campaign, which was unnecessarily negative. But in every other way, he symbolizes everything that is right about the Christmas City. On Council, and while governing, he has been a consummate gentleman who looks for the good in other people. I like his strong emphasis on public safety, which in my opinion, should always be a Mayor's first priority. I also appreciate his realistic understanding of City finances. Even Mayor Callahan has stated that Bethlehem still faces a few tough years, thanks primarily to a massive pension payment and growing health costs. Bethlehem may be in the middle of an "economic renaissance," as Willie insists, but its financial situation is still precarious.
Willie has matured and has grown more and more independent during his time on City Council. But I question whether he has the same commitment to public safety as Bob. He also appears to pander, or put more kindly, is taking his case to certain special interest groups. He refused to vote for a much-needed tax hike. He reached out to the LGBT community in a news conference, not because it is a particularly burning City issue, but because the gay community votes and, more importantly, give lots of money to favored candidates. Part of Willie's Winning Our Neighborhood program is an appeal to the anti-fracking element. Though that issue is only remotely connected to Bethlehem, it will attract environmentalists, who also vote and make contributions.
Willie is certainly in better touch with the young urbanista and twitterati than Bob. But Bob has the rest of Bethlehem wrapped up. I do think Reynolds represents Bethlehem's future.