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Grubb for mayor Former city employee announces primary candidacy

Former city employee Dana Grubb has announced his candidacy for mayor, running for the May 18 Democratic primary.

He outlined his priorities and agenda to friends and supporters in a socially distanced gathering at the Steel Ice Center Jan. 27. This includes re-energizing a demoralized city workforce, reinforcing community development, supporting small businesses and remodeling the Parking Authority.

Grubb retired from city employment after 27 years in a number of offices, including housing, grants administration, and Community and Economic Development. In 1999, he was one of four former officials to create the Tax Increment Financing district and the resulting rehabilitation of former Bethlehem Steel properties on the Southside.

Citing his long experience with city operations and lifetime as a city resident and small business owner, Grubb said, “It is time for a mayor who is not a political insider, someone who will be independent of political expediency, and who will seek only to serve Bethlehem residents and improve the quality of life throughout the community. It’s nobody’s ‘turn’ to be mayor after holding other elected offices. Bethlehem needs someone who will apply common sense and logic to governance, and not default to political favoritism based on campaign contributions or other influential factors.”

With that in mind he will seek to reorganize and streamline decrepit city hall operations tainted by personal agendas. “Far too many residents, developers, contractors, realtors and business owners have expressed their dissatisfaction with a non-responsive city government, and far too many instances of fearful, tense and depressed conditions within city hall have been reported.

“The city workforce is the single most important asset that the public and mayor have: A respected and content workforce will deliver better services.”

Grubb said will create working groups to aid sectors he feels need better service, such as an affordable housing task force and a “small business concierge” to facilitate assistance to “the backbone of our local retail, restaurant, commercial and service sector.”

He also said he’s keen to create a kinder, gentler Parking Authority by bringing it back into city hall. “What’s really disturbing is if somebody has a parking issue in Bethlehem they think, ‘Oh, I’ll go to my councilman or the mayor. And what they get is, ‘Can’t help you, it’s a separate authority.’ If the operation is in city hall the mayor and city council are responsible. It works well for the Water Authority. I think it makes sense to do the same thing so that the public, the business owners, when they have a beef about parking they can actually can talk to somebody about it and something can be done.”

Grubb is a Liberty HS and Moravian College graduate who worked in construction as a manufacturing representative before working for the city, and he said he will not participate in the city pension plan if elected, will provide his own health insurance and will use his own vehicle for city business. “My desire is to be your mayor, and my decision to run is made purely from a desire to solve issues and serve this city and improve the quality of life for its citizens, businesses and visitors.”

For more information, visit danagrubbformayor.com.

Editorial disclosure: Dana Grubb is a long-time photographer for the Bethlehem Press.

Press photo by Nate Jastrzemski Dana Grubb currently has his own small photography business, taking photos at Wind Creek, for the Moody Blues and for the Press.