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Allentown City Council President Roger MacLean to act as mayor

He will hold the position for 30 days

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - "I'm just trying to hold the ship straight until we find a replacement," said Roger MacLean.

For the next 30 days, MacLean will go from City Council President to acting Mayor of Allentown, as the city looks to find a replacement for Ed Pawlowski.

"I think the biggest challenge [of being mayor for only 30 days] is just getting everyone to understand, relax, we are going to move forward, we've overcome things in the past, we'll overcome this," he said.

MacLean says he doesn't expect to appoint or hire anyone within the next month but he and council do have to pick an interim mayor. The pick has to be a Democrat and he or she will serve until the 2019 election.

Applications consisting of a resume and a statement stating the reasons you will bring value to the city as mayor will be taken over the next two weeks, with interviews of candidates to follow. The final time for submission is March 23 at 4:30 p.m. The application should be addressed to city council and can be emailed or delivered to the deputy clerk at Tawanna.Whitehead@allentownpa.gov.

After the contentious relationship between Pawlowski and council, MacLean says someone who's willing to work with council will be a big factor in who he endorses.

"I think it's very important for the mayor and city council to get along and communicate. That is what we need to move the city forward," he said.

Could MacLean try and claim the job long term?

Recently, the acting city solicitor issued an opinion that the city's charter basically bars members of council from being mayor until one year after their term ends, leaving MacLean out of the running for the job long term. However, the former solicitor gave the impression it would be OK.

MacLean is keeping his options open.

"It's a challenge I've been thinking of, I haven't made up my mind completely," he said.


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