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First Annual Message of Archibald Johnston, 1918

Message of Archibald Johnston, Mayor of the City of Bethlehem,
to the Members of Council and Citizens of Bethlehem


Foreword. We, the representatives of all the inhabitants of the City of Bethlehem, which inhabitants comprise a portion of the peoples of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance, meet, for the first time in the history of the Consolidated Bethlehems, to ordain and establish a municipal government, in order that the general, great and essential principles of liberal and free government may be the better recognized and locally applied.

The Municipal Problem. The municipal problem is primarily and essentially one of human welfare. Therefore, a city government is something more than a mere business proposition. We are concerned, as administrators, with the task of securing internal peace, virtue and good order; safety of lives, property and reputation; health and longevity; education, comfort, convenience and happiness for the inhabitants of our communities and relief of the poor. This applies to all alike, naturalized citizens, as well as those who have enjoyed the blessings and comforts of our civil and religious liberty, who have not become citizens or cast their lot entirely with us.

We are charged to perform this service in as high a degree as is consistent with whatever amount of taxation on the people can afford to reasonably bear. We, I say are concerned as administrators; you as citizens, should be concerned to no less a degree. We will do our utmost to perform our duty, and will succeed to the degree in which we receive your co-operation and support. The duties assigned to us, I repeat, are yours no less than ours.


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