Easton Mayor Announces Reelection Bid
Easton Mayor Sal Panto declared his intention to run again at a dessert and cordials event Thursday evening.
More than 150 supporters were on hand at the Eastonian's Gold Room Thursday evening for Easton Mayor Sal Panto's official announcement that he will be seeking another term.
“I can't believe it's been four years already,” he told the crowd. “Tonight I ask for your time and your support and your vote.”
After thanking many financial supporters by name, Panto credited his staff and city administrators for recent city gains and successful projects.
“In this business of public service, no one can achieve this alone,” Panto said. “Everything's going well. Easton's doing well. It's everyone, not just me. The day I think it's just me, I'm bound to fail.”
Noting the successful revitalizations of the Eastonian and the State Theatre, he said the location of the announcement was significant, but that increased visitor traffic and new businesses were happening elsewhere in the city too.
“The success is not just here or in the State Theatre, but everywhere in Easton,” he said. “We're very fortunate right now.”
Panto said the city itself is doing well financially under his administration, crediting it with a reduced crime rate and a recent increase in Easton's Standard and Poor rating. He also said the administration had maintained real estate taxes while still increasing the city's coffers through careful management.
“To be sure, balanced budgets aren't easy. To have a balanced budget without tax raises is nearly impossible,” Panto said.
Highlighting other achievements during his tenure of the last four years, Panto said the goal of “clean and safe” was largely being achieved. He noted the addition and expansion of street sweeping and an increase in the police department towards those goals.
“We wanted to make sure crime went down as the quality of life went up,” Panto said. “We've added code officers to make sure the city is safe.”
These things have led to an increase in respect for Easton, he said, calling the city “a shining star in the Lehigh Valley.”
Panto made few campaign promises, save one notable one.
“Our administration is willing to take risks (to do the right thing),” Panto said. “I will never ever put my career before what's right for Easton. Because I want to be able to sleep at night because I did the right thing.
“If I stop doing things the right way, it's time to stop entirely,” he added.
Though no other candidates spoke, in addition to ballot petitions for Panto, several other local Democratic candidates' ballot petitions were on hand, including those of Tony Bassil (running for reelection as Easton's controller), Ken Brown (reelection to city council), Jeff Warren (reelection to city council), El Warner (reelection to city council), Stephen Barron Jr. (for county controller), John Morganelli (for county district attorney) and David Wecht.