Tuesday, July 27, 2021

My Brother on Why Bethlehem Needs New Leaders

Blogger's Note: Willie Reynolds is the latest in a long line of Democrats who've controlled Bethlehem for the past quarter-century. Republican John Kachmar thinks the Christmas City needs a housecleaning. My brother, who lives in Bethlehem, agrees. He's my polar opposite. I'm a Democrat, while he's a Republican. He makes a compelling case for Kachmar, a combat veteran of Vietnam and Lehigh County's former administrator.

An Example of why we need new leadership in Bethlehem

In January 2018, Bob Donchez, the current mayor of Bethlehem hired Eric Evans as Bethlehem’s business administrator. Mr. Evans at the time was an elected member of city council and a middle school teacher.  He resigned his teaching and elected position to assume his new duties. His current salary is $111,459*.

In 2019 the Bethlehem Director of Recreation retired from her position with the city. 

Jodi Evans, wife of Eric Evans, was selected from a field of about 100 candidates for the new job in April, 2019. Mr. Donchez went out his way to assure us that there was nothing unusual about her hiring. Out of 100 candidates, we were publicly assured that there was nothing wrong with the hiring process. Really?

All we heard was silence from city council. Crickets.

 Mrs. Evans’ starting salary was $65000 as she resigned her position as a teacher to assume her new duties.

The 2021 Bethlehem city budget shows that the Director of Recreation, Jodi Evans, went from a 2020 salary of $69000 to $77000* in 2021. That’s a $7000 increase in the middle of a pandemic when all the parks were forcibly closed! 
 
In two years her salary has jumped from $65000 to $77000. In that same two years your city taxes have gone up even as you have struggled to make ends meet during the pandemic. 

This is the picture of nepotism and institutional corruption, and a perfect example of why we need new leadership in Bethlehem. 

“In some States Mr. Evans would be charged with a crime before a Court of Law. If you engage in openly hiring your wife for a city job, what are you doing behind closed doors?” John Kachmar

          Vote for John Kachmar for Mayor on November 2

*Budget information available on the City of Bethlehem website

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Better yet, Mrs. Evans reports directly to Mr. Evans. I had high hopes at the beginning for Donchez. Donchez was a complete disappointment. So many things went down hill in the last several years.

Anonymous said...

Your brother nailed it, Mr. O'Hare. One party rule for that long is a synonym for bad government, and it sounds like "Evans-gate" is even more serious than that. It is corrupt, reminding me of the shenanigans that Luzerne and Schuylkill County are infamous for. Mr. Reynolds needs a better reason to run than "it's my turn."
John Kachmar would offer a lot to Bethlehem as mayor. He's a solid administrator, knows how to budget and spend tax dollars efficiently, has respect for people and, as a plus, understands the history and culture of Bethlehem. I'm a Republican who is not voting for many Republicans this cycle, but John is enthusiastically getting my vote. It's time for a change!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to buzz kill but compelled to offer some simple truths to the story. Jodi Evans was hired by the public works director Mike Alkal into his department. If you know him even at all, after something like 20 years running that department he will clearly not hire or bring someone into his department unless he knows it is best hire. No nonsense dude. And Jodi Evans reports directly to Mr. Alkal. Neither of them report to Eric Evans. Sorry it does not run with the story. The other point of raises is off too. After you get a job there are steps for after every year served for the first couple years to get up to speed of the salary. Then it flattens out the rest of the way. All employees get those steps it is not just pick and choose. Unions and the city hall people both are set up that way.

Anonymous said...

Whoever wins in November can correct "Evans-gate" by not rehiring Mrs. Evans. Her salary increase in the last year is a slap in the face to all Bethlehem tax payers. It is a complete joke that she was given a salary increase when her department was closed due to Covid precautions. The parks and recreation department was closed for over a year and she gets a raise? What a joke!

Anonymous said...

You are incorrect. All Directors, which both Mr. Alkhal and Mrs. Evans are, report to the Business Administer which is Mr. Evans.

Anonymous said...

Sir/Mam sounds like maybe you have a personal issue so that can be your opinion, but again writing things that are simply not true. Pools were closed last summer but the parks had lots of activities and stuff going on outside all summer. And the ice skating center was opened in the fall and ran 7 days all the way to spring.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a regulation about hiring two people from same household? You mean Mrs. Evans reports to Mr. Evans! Can you imagine him telling what to do? Sure. That would last for long.

Anonymous said...

"I had high hopes at the beginning for Donchez. Donchez was a complete disappointment. So many things went down hill in the last several years."

What happens to people. They promise change. It falls apart.

Anonymous said...

ANON 7:18 You have no idea what you are talking about...if i didnt know better i would think you were a city cronie defending these misfits....this hiring process has been the norm for a very long time it just continues to go on bussiness as usualn at the tax payers expense....oh and by the way Alkai isone of the biggest yes men on the payroll He does as he is told and THATS why he is still there !!!!

Anonymous said...

10:01 you are wrong 2x. first jodi evans is not a department head. she and about 5 other directors are part of the public works department. mike alkal is the department head for public works. for many years. there are about 5 department heads in the city. second wrong is that the department heads do not report to eric evans. he is one of the department heads, not their boss. the 5 department heads all report directly to the mayor. that is all certain. hahah tell mr. alkal he reports to eric evans and see what he says. that would be news to him.

Anonymous said...

Eric Evans is the Business Admin. and also the appointed Mayor when Donchez is our of town. Anyone that says Jodi didn't get that job because of her husband is completely insane and has their head in the sand. Its a conflict of interest! It's not even a question!

Anonymous said...

100% , It's the definition of conflict of interest!

Anonymous said...

You are 100% wrong! Stop with incorrect spelling and the horrible English. Mr. Alkhal absolutely indeed reports to Mr. Evans! For you to say "tell Mr. Alkhal he reports to Eric Evans and see what he says" is just childish. Grow up!