Karen Dolan vented on this blog. She admonished readers for their obsession with Mayor John Callahan, instead suggesting that the real problem in Bethlehem is an unnamed "strongly centralized power on city council." On Wednesday, she back-tracked on that charge a bit, stating that her "council colleagues are all good people, but political ambition makes some good people forget why they were elected." But what Karen failed to tell you, and what she likely did not know herself, is that Hizzoner has proved again that he is very much the problem.
According to a well-placed source who spoke to me late last night, Bethlehem is struggling to meet its first payroll in 2012. Despite promises and ordinances and special accounts, Callahan has already transferred $900,000 out of the Treasurer's escrow without Council approval. Although he could have asked them to act last night, Hizzoner instead chose to inform them today, after the fact.
What makes this all the more amazing is that Council member Dave DiGiacinto warned City officials during a late 2011 finance committee meeting to watch balances closely so there would be no last minute surprises. DiGiacinto fully anticipated the City might need to borrow until the casino host fee comes later this moneth.
Once again, the administration is defiant, council is weak, and nobody does anything to stop the fiscal madness.
"It's not like anybody is going to jail," Business Administrator Dennis Reichard might say, as he's said before.