Friday, December 23, 2011

Steve Thode Steps Down From Bethlehem Planning Comm'n

I love living in Nazareth, just as I'm sure most of you love where you live, too. But square inch by square inch, the prettiest municipality in the Lehigh Valley, at least in my opinion, is Bethlehem. Whether it's Main Street or South Side, golf course or tow path, it's a wonderful place to live. And if I had to pick one and only one reason for it, I'd say it's because of good planning.

It has a great planning department. led by Director Darlene Heller. You'll often see her sitting in on evening zoning meetings, quietly taking notes. She cares.

In addition to Heller's department, Bethlehem is lucky to have a very thorough and transparent Planning Commission, one of the finest governmental bodies in the Lehigh Valley.

Its backbone, over the past five years, has been Dr. Steve Thode, who directs Lehigh's Real Estate studies. As you might have guessed, he knows a little bit abut planning. Unfortunately, the out-of-town travel required by Lehigh has forced him to step down, effective at the end of this year.

In a letter announcing his resignation, sent to Mayor John Callahan and Planning Chair Jim Fiorentino, Thode thanked everyone, from his colleagues to planning staffers, for their "exceptional dedication in their service to the people of Bethlehem." And he remains confident that "the city we all love is in good hands."

Thode states he'll miss everyone, but he should know that he'll be missed, too.

With Thode's departure, the Planning Commission will drop to a bare quorum of three members - James Fiorentino, Katie Lynch and Andrew Twiggar. In March, Lawrence Krauter resigned from the Planning Commission to become Executive Director at Spokane International Airport.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I see a Callahan insider coming. Is there a clone of willie Reynolds out there?

Anonymous said...

Make an exception and appoint Ron Angle.

Anonymous said...

I agree Bernie. I grew up in Bethlehem. I moved away in the eighties, it was and is always just "that much nicer" than the other 2 cities. People I run into ask me where I am from and I say
Beth- lee- hem. I have been told on occasion I was lying because I pronounced it that way.
They said it is Bedlam, Betlum, Bethlum, Beth- la- hem....etc.
I always retort
Sing
"O' Little Town of Bethlehem"
and insert those mashups.
Case closed.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add they thought I lied because others they met from Beth- Lee- Hem pronounced it in those other fashions.

Anonymous said...

Get over yourself!

Anonymous said...

Darlene Heller is kinda sneaky, librarian hot...

Anonymous said...

Darlene Heller really does care about the City and her role in it's present and future. Intelligence, dedication, thoughtfulness and hard work are her standards.

Anonymous said...

Of course it will be a jc insider. all the boards are rigger my mayoral appointment which the lackluster council rubber stamps.

Anonymous said...

Good to see some no-it-all, condessending, perfesser take a hike.

Bernie O'Hare said...

With spelling like that, it is little wonder you're glad to see a professor leave.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I just realized you were playing us all.

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:32, Have to agree with you about Ms. Heller. I believe she is very dedicated.

Anonymous said...

Just so everyone is clear Mr. Thode was appointed by Mayor Callahan.

Anonymous said...

That is an interesting last comment, since the grapevine has it that Professor Thode dislikes Mayor Callahan. How does that work?

Anonymous said...

Is Darlene Heller married or single?

Bernie O'Hare said...

2:35, The grapevine has misinformed you. Dr. Thode does like Hizzoner and believes that, overall, he has done a fine job as Mayor.

Bernie O'Hare said...

2:53, She is a public employee, but is entitled to some privacy regarding her personal life. If she were an elected official, I'd feel more comfortable discussing that question, but feel we owe it to her to give her some space.

Anonymous said...

Bernie - your 5:42 PM comment confirms my agreement with Mr. Thode departures, even though it is of his own volition. Anonymous 5:58 PM

Bernie O'Hare said...

Heh, heh.

Anonymous said...

Too bad the prof can't fix that mess of city finances in Bethlehem. A beautiful city that is the laughing stock of the LV when it comes to finances and illegal money tranfers. Let's lay off 46 people close a fire station and call it successful. Bethlehem may be a great place but its thanks to Don Cunningham not Mr. Whatamigonnarunfornow Callahan.

the anti seamus said...

cut me a break. cunningham started the whole mess and then ran away before he got the blame for it. admittedly jc has made it much worse. but they are 2 peas in a pod. can't lead, can't manage, they just take..........

Anonymous said...

Rumors are just that, rumors. The fact is callahan was the first to appoint and then reappoint thode to the planning commision. Bernie at some point that should be acknowledged.

Anonymous said...

Like Dent said.....John Callahan is a disaster.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I will acknowledge that Mayor Callahan appointed and re-appointed Steve Thode. He has made some excellent appointment, of which Thode is probably his best.