"We're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," said Stephen Patterson the regional vice president for the Lehigh Valley of the TD Bank.

He was talking about the nation's economy. He said that of the 8,000 financial institutions in the United States that TD Bank is "doing very well."

TD Bank was the "title sponsor" for the fourth annual Greater Lehigh Valley Mayor's Dinner Oct. 1 at the Best Western Lehigh Valley Hotel and Conference Center in Bethlehem.

At a special ceremony, Michelle G. Young, vice president for public policy for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, announced that the "Mayor of the Year" was Mayor Walter Neidermeyer of Slatington who has been in office for eight years and running for re-election for a third term.

The annual award was presented to Neidermeyer by City of Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan, Easton Mayor Sal Panto, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and Philipsburg Mayor Harry Wynant.

This award goes to the mayor selected by Chamber members who best exemplifies good government practices, leadership, initiative, community involvement and volunteerism and who provides great support to the business community.

Neidermeyer's citation as the 2009 Mayer of the Year lauded him as "hands-on man who leads by example."

He is credited with personally working to build the "Trailhead" – a gateway from walking trails into the community. He was also recognized for his leadership during the "bridge project" the General Thomas R. Morgan USMC bridge over the Lehigh River at Slatington.

Mayor Kay Bucci from Portland received honors as the "best presenter" for making the best short speech about her town.

Callahan said it has "been a great year for the city." He said the opening of the Sands casino has had a positive impact. According to Callahan, more businesses are coming to the city because of the casino.

Allentown's Mayor Ed Pawlowski said that he has continued to focus on quality of life in Allentown.

"We have re-built the police department," he told the audience. "We have redeveloped the old [Excide] battery plant which was former Super Fund site."

Pawlowski also spoke about efforts to re-develop and to improve the quality of life along the 7th Street corridor and the area between Central Catholic High School and Sacred Heart Hospital.

Borough of Catasauqua Mayor Barbara Schlegal told the audience that since getting the George Taylor – a signer of the Constitution – mansion that the borough has made minimal repairs and expect the historic property to open to the public in 2010.

Schlegal also announced that she planned to swear in "Jack" the new K-9 officer.

Area mayors who attended the event: Kay Bucci, Portland; John Callahan, City of Bethlehem; Joseph Capozzolo, Bangor; Elaine Emiliani, Greenwich Township; Richard Fluck, Hellertown; John Horner, Macungie; Henry Kline, Walnutport; Sherman Metzgar, Stockertown; Bill Molchany, North Catasauqua; David Mosey, Bath; Walter Neidermeyer, Slatington; Sal Panto, Easton; Ed Pawlowski, Allentown; Brian Tipton, Harmony Township; Harry Wyant, Phillipsburg.