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City first: Women hold council majority

Bethlehem City Council, in a historic shift in the traditional power base, seated three women as new council members while retaining two other women in their seats Jan. 4. This gives women five seats on the seven-member council.

That number has the potential to increase because the council will now begin a search for a candidate to appoint as a new member to replace J. William Reynolds, who is now mayor.

Recently elected Rachel León, Hillary Kwiatek and Kiera Wilhelm took the oath of office, which was administered by Judge Nick Englesson.

On Jan. 6, Englesson administered the oath of office to Grace Crampsie Smith, an incumbent who was reelected. Smith was unable to attend the ceremony on Jan. 3.

León, Kwiatek and Wilhelm join Dr. Paige Van Wirt and Grace Crampsie Smith on the council.

Michael Colón currently is the only male on the council.

Immediately after the oaths were administered, they took their seats at the council table and elected Colón council president. They also elected Smith vice president of the council.

The all-Democratic slate will be working with an all-Democratic city administration.

See photos on A2

Rachel León takes the oath of office administer-ed by Judge Nick Englesson.
Hillary Kwiatek takes the oath of office administered by Judge Nick Englesson.
Kiera Wilhelm takes the oath of office administered by Judge Nick Englesson.
Grace Crampsie Smith takes the oath of office administered by Judge Englesson.
press photos courtesy bethlehem facebook page Mayor William J. Reynolds assumed office Jan. 3, assisted by his wife Dr. Natalie Bieber. The Honorable Abraham Kassis administers the oath.