In early January, Bethlehem City Council approved a contract with George Wacker's "Lehigh Valley With Love" to reach out to the public on social media with cute little messages on topics like Black History month in February and Women's History Month in March. More importantly, it s also a way for Mayor Reynolds and City Council members to promote themselves while simultaneously discussing topics that may or may not be useful. At the time, Mayor Reynolds and City Council members stressed the importance of communicating with the unwashed masses. But guess what? If you try to call the Mayor's office, it refuses to accept calls. Some communication.
I heard about this from Steve Antalics but refused to believe it because he's a cranky old bastard. There must be some mistake, I thought. So I called myself. I asked the City of Bethlehem Service Center to connect me with the Mayor's office.
"Oh, the Mayor's office does not accept calls," a pleasant sounding lady told me. I can give you their email address if you'd like."
I declined and said farewell.
This is ridiculous and belies everything Reynolds said about communicating with the public he supposedly serves. Now look, I get that no Mayor should be expected to sit at his phone all day, waiting in vain for me to call. But that's why he has a staff that can field the calls and relay the ones that require his personal attention.
I checked in Allentown, which is much larger than Bethlehem. The telephone number to the Mayor's office is listed. So is Easton's,although Mayor Panto is just as likely to be on some chat board under some sock puppet to answer questions.
So just send an email, you might say. What's the big deal? Well, let me clue you in, Willie. Just as a large segment of Bethlehem is unable to speak English, another segment is computer illiterate. Especially old farts. Funny how your equity and inclusion officer missed that one.
Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez had an open door. Mayor Willie Reynolds has an unlisted number for City Hall.