Note: The following opinion-editorial was written in response to an op-ed published by Saucon Source by resident Bill Broun, “Should Hellertown Borough Council Be More Diverse?” which was written following the announcement that applications are being sought to fill a council vacancy. It was shared by Mayor David Heintzelman on his Facebook page and elsewhere in the form of an open letter to borough residents.
After reading a recent Op-Ed in the Saucon Source entitled, “Should Hellertown Borough Council Be More Diverse?” I was disheartened to see our existing Council dismissed as an “all-male, all-white” body and an “all-men’s council.” Are we all white males? Yes. But we are also a council of passionate community leaders regardless of our race, gender or other identifying characteristic or label.
While the members of Council and I share the commonality of race and gender, we also share something I believe is essential–an unwavering love of the town in which we live and the neighbors we volunteer to serve. Our race and gender do not make us more qualified than others–nor should they ever. It is my firm belief that our track records of community service, engagement and leadership are what have driven voters to elect us.
My colleagues and I believe unequivocally in ensuring fair and inclusive practices that promote diversity and make Hellertown a welcoming and safe place for all people. It is my personal hope that we see greater engagement and participation in elections and community affairs by anyone and everyone who believes in Hellertown and its future.
My wife and I first came to this beautiful community in 1984, raised our family here and to this day, I continue to be inspired, impressed and challenged by the people who live here. Every day that I engage with neighbors, I learn more about the unique and evolving needs of our community and expand my perspective on the future. I remain an avid believer that volunteerism and engagement is essential to understanding and serving the community.
As Mayor of the Borough of Hellertown, it is my privilege to serve alongside Borough Council–a talented, passionate group of individuals–to represent every constituent regardless of race, gender, sex, religion, age, disability, political affiliation or any other characteristic or label that defines us today.
I am Hellertown Proud–labeling will never be a positive choice for our community!
David J. Heintzelman