2007, Ron Lutes has been a member of Bethlehem's Zoning Hearing Board. He's been the odd man out, who would vote only if there was a conflict or another zoner was unavailable. He attended every meeting. As a realtor and assessor, he's obviously knowledgeable. Now, after four years, he finds he's the odd man out again, overlooked by Mayor John Callahan in three new appointments. Given the controversy that seems to follow zoners everywhere, maybe Lutes should thank him.
Callahan also decided against re-appointing Ken Kraft, who was recently elected to Northampton County Council.
Three new zoners were unanimously confirmed by City Council last night, and will now have to learn to dodge the slings and arrows that will be aimed at them by developers and residents alike. They will join Chairman Gus Loupos and Bill Fitzpatrick, who remain on the board.
Who are these lucky people?
1) Linda Shay Gardner. - According to her webpage, she's a family law lawyer. Since 1985, she and her husband Neville have owned Donegal Square, a popular Irish shop on Main Street.
2) Michael Santanasto. - A solo practitioner for the past ten months, Santanasto was an associate with King Spry. When he worked at that firm, Santanasto concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial real estate, estate litigation and business. He's a grad of St. Joe's and Rutgers.
3) James Schantz. - Another legislative aide crashes his way into local government, waiting for an opening in Harrisburg. This one works for State Senator Lisa Boscola, ran for District Judge in 2009, and lost.