Opponents of John Callahan’s single hauler trash plan never made any persuasive arguments against the Callahan administration’s claims that it would 1. save most residents on their garbage bills 2. improve the efficiency of trash collection or 3. make the city cleaner. I’m sure they never read Palmer Township’s report on best practices in garbage market design either. They didn’t care that the economics behind single hauler are solid or that other cities save money this way. They voted against it anyway, because they got a couple dozen angry phone calls.
If Bob Donchez or Willy Reynolds gets elected Mayor, you’re not going to have an administration that’s actively pursuing changes to make Bethlehem a better governed, more pro-growth city. You’re going to have a Go Along to Get Along administration that cares first and foremost about ducking controversy at any cost.
It’s depressing. The reason Bethlehem doesn’t look like Youngstown or other dying post-industrial cities is that it’s politicians and civil society were not afraid to take policy risks when the Steel closed. They had confidence in their plan, and enacted it in spite of controversy. That’s leadership – doing what you are convinced is the best thing for everybody, regardless of whether or not it’s popular.
I’m reminded of what Bane’s said while he’s kicking a weakened Batman’s ass in Dark Knight Rises: “Victory has defeated you.” Bob Donchez, Eric Evans, David DiGiacinto and Willy Reynolds are content to laze around in the better world Don Cunningham and John Callahan made for them and aren’t hungry enough to take up the fights that would take the city to the next level of greatness.