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Mayor credits Moravian Village residents for their impact

There are a lot of people in this room that I need to thank.”

Those words echoed several times from Bethlehem Mayor WilliamReynolds to the crowd of nearly 100 residents at Moravian Village of Bethlehem May 3.

After just four months in office, and on the heels of delivering his first State of the City address, Reynolds made Moravian Village of Bethlehem, just one mile from Historic Bethlehem, one of his first community stops where he shared his passion and plan for the City of Bethlehem.

“We were very pleased to have the mayor as one of our first community speakers since the pandemic hit,” said Nancy Disario, a resident of Market Street Cottages at Moravian Village of Bethlehem and co-chair of the Cottage Activities Committee. “One of the main goals of our Activities Committee is to have more educational programming and community speakers.”

For Dr. Lona Farr, a Market Street Cottages resident and co-chair of the Cottage Activities Committee, it was a special day.

“I hope I speak for everyone when I say how grateful we are that the mayor took his very valuable time and made us feel like we are a very important part of the city,” Farr said.

Reynolds, a lifelong Bethlehem resident himself, made it a point to acknowledge and thank the many residents of Moravian Village of Bethlehem who are former educators in the Bethlehem Area School District and several who were Reynolds’ teachers throughout his education, from elementary to middle school and through high school.

The mayor gave a nod to Pat Lowman, a Market Street Cottages resident. Lowman was one of Reynolds’ middle school English teachers when he was a student at Northeast MS.

“I am extremely proud of him but not surprised at how well he’s done,” Lowman said. “He was an excellent student, a very nice young man, and highly motivated.”

For Jack Burke, Moravian Village apartment resident and former principal and administrator in Bethlehem Area School District, it was a proud day to see the mayor, whom Burke has known since Reynolds was in second grade at Thomas Jefferson ES.

“It was great to see where he is at today,” Burke said. “He knows the city and understands the people. I think he will be a very good mayor.”

Burke’s wife, Pat Burke, also a Moravian Village apartment resident, was a reading specialist and head of the reading program at Thomas Jefferson ES, and remembers Reynolds fondly from when he was a student there.

“To think that I know someone since he is five years old that became the mayor,” Pat Burke said. “I am just so proud of him. He really came a long way.”

Reynolds went on to give the residents of Moravian Village a clear picture of where the City of Bethlehem is today and where he and his administration plan to take it.

“There has never been a more exciting time to live in Bethlehem,” he said, as he thanked the residents of Moravian Village once again, for all they have done in their careers and lifetime to make Bethlehem what it is today. “I need to say thank you to you who have built institutions that make my life easier.”

After presenting on the various administrative initiatives that he has put in place in his new role, Reynolds opened the floor for a thorough question and answer session.

One resident asked for the mayor’s administration to allow interested residents of Moravian Village to participate in whatever community initiatives and volunteering that the city might need assistance with.

“At Moravian Village we have a lot of talent,” said Don Quayle, a Moravian Village apartment resident and president of the Apartment Resident Council. “Can you put us to use?”

Reynolds was quick to convey that his administration is ready to set something up for Moravian Village residents to join the cause in helping the community of Bethlehem.

“I look at how active and involved people are that live here [at Moravian Village],” Reynolds said to the crowd. “This should serve as a model for other facilities like this in the community.”

In closing, Reynolds once again gave gratitude to the residents.

“Bethlehem is what it is because of the pride we have,” he said.

“There is no place like Bethlehem.”

Contributed article

Press photo by Jessica Kessler Pat and Jack Burke, both Moravian Village of Bethlehem apartment residents, and former educators in Bethlehem Area School District, proudly stand with Mayor Willie Reynolds at the conclusion of his presentation.