23 Aug 2014
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6 Toss Their Hat in Ring for City Controller

City Councilman David DiGiacinto is one of six who want to replace Meg Holland.

6 Toss Their Hat in Ring for City Controller


Bethlehem City Councilman David DiGiacinto is one of six candidates who have applied to become the new city controller to at least temporarily replace Meg Holland, who to the elected post Tuesday.

The other five candidates, whom City Council will consider for the post over the next 30 days, include two men who have recently been fixtures in the Town Hall gallery for City Council meetings, a former employee of Mayor John Callahan’s failed 2010 Congressional campaign and a name that will have a familiar ring to many longtime city residents.

Robert Pfenning, a retired accountant, and William Scheirer, a retired economist, are the two Town Hall fixtures.

Jason Toedter, who owns a master’s degree in public policy, worked for three months on Callahan’s campaign, researching energy deregulation.

Financial consultant George Yasso had a locally famous father with whom he shares his name. The sixth applicant is Duran Chakarian, a volunteer with ArtsQuest and the Historic Bethlehem Partnership.

Tuesday was the deadline to apply for the vacant post. Council has until March 1 to select a replacement. That person will remain on the job until a special election can be held later this year to pick someone to fill the remainder of Holland’s unexpired term, which was scheduled to end in 2013.

If DiGiacinto is selected, council would then have to go to work to find his replacement. His term on City Council is also set to expire in 2013. DiGiacinto was the Democratic nominee for controller in 2007, but he lost the General Election to Republican Holland.

DiGiacinto has been a vice president at ConAgra Foods Inc. since the end of November when that corporation purchased his employer, the National Pretzel Co., Lancaster, where he had been executive vice president and general manager.

Council President Eric Evans has said that some time this month during which it will interview the candidates and select Holland’s replacement. The date and time of the meeting has not been set.

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