Northampton Press

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Coplay resident considering run for 15th District seat

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 by CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE in Local News

Rene Miletics, chair of the Friends of Bill Leiner committee, has announced the group is engaged in an exploratory effort for entry of Bill Leiner Jr. into the 2018 Democratic primary for the U.S. House 15th District.

The seat is currently held by Republican Charlie Dent.

According to Miletics, in the news release, Leiner has a 20-year career as an elected official. Currently, he is a Whitehall-Coplay School Board director and board treasurer.

Leiner served on Coplay Borough Council for six years. He was mayor of Coplay for 10 years and a Lehigh County commissioner at-large for two years.

He has never voted for an announced tax hike, and, as Coplay mayor, stopped a tax hike, Miletics said, adding, he also vetoed a council budget with a large tax hike, persuading the council to lower the tax increase.

A registered nurse with a specialty in psychiatric/mental health nursing, Leiner is the director of inpatient psychiatric services at Easton Hospital. He is retired from Lehigh Valley Hospital, where he served as the nursing director of its inpatient behavioral health department.

He is a retired steelworker at Bethlehem Steel, where he began his career as a laborer and advanced to a craft-tested machinist class A. At Bethlehem Steel, Leiner was an active officer in United Steelworkers of America Locals 2598 and 2599. He ended his career there as a Grievance Committee Local 2599 member.

Leiner has a 30-plus-year history of community service, according to the news release. He is a member of American Psychiatric Nurses Association Addictions Council, Lehigh County MH/ID Advisory Board, president of American Holistic Nurses Association — Lehigh Valley Chapter, chair of Coplay Scholarship Fund Committee and vice president of Coplay Cemetery Association.

Past volunteer activities include Lehigh Valley United Way board member, United Way volunteer and Coplay Town Watch president for many years. He was a co-chair of Lehigh Valley Hospital Nursing Legislative Committee. His past volunteer activities include working with Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley, Coplay Feral Cat Committee, Wildcat Basketball Camp and Saylor Cement Kilns Preservation Society.

Leiner was a Coplay firefighter, Fireman’s Relief Association treasurer, St. Peter Roman Catholic Church picnic volunteer, Coplay fireworks volunteer and Whitehall’s boys basketball Booster Club president.

He has three associate degrees, one from Penn State and two from Northampton Community College — one of which is his RN degree — a Bachelor in Arts degree in psychology and sociology from Moravian College and a Master of Science degree in health care administration from St. Francis University. He is currently finishing a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at Eastern New Mexico University.

During his career as a nurse leader, Leiner has presented at national and regional conferences on a variety of topics about mental health nursing and recovery from mental illness and addiction.

Leiner has six children and resides with his wife, Cynthia, in Coplay.