Bonney started in 1988 as a firefighter. He has been a lieutenant, a captain and assistant fire chief.

A citation read by Evans said Bonney assisted thousands of Bethlehem residents during his fire-fighting career.

Bonney, who was at the meeting, said he was honored to serve the city. He told council no city firefighters lost their lives in the years he worked for the department, but added there were “a lot of close calls.”

He told council “a lot of people don’t even realize we have a paid fire department in town because we usually keep the fires so small. Nobody realizes how effective we really are, how much work we are doing and the number of runs we make.”

A public hearing was scheduled for 7 p.m. March 19 in Town Hall on a proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance that would provide protection from demolition to landmark and historic resources not located within designated historic districts. The city’s planning commission unanimously has voted to recommend City Council adopt the change.

Resident Stephen Antalics told City Council the number of “regulars” who routinely attend its meetings has diminished dramatically because council does not respond to questions asked about issues that should be addressed.

When people in the audience ask council a substantive question, Antalics said, “You are obliged to answer them. That’s your job as a public servant, to serve us. We don’t serve you. We elected you.”

Those who stand to address City Council are allowed five minutes to speak, more than some other local municipalities allow for public comment. And they can actually watch an electronic timer facing them so they know exactly how much time they have left.

Antalics said council once had no time limits on how long the public spoke at its meetings, adding it was up to council “to gavel them down” if they were out of order. He said a 12-minute limit was placed on public comments and now it’s down to five minutes.

He maintained: “Council is losing interest in what we have to say.”