Mayor Panto is in his fourth consecutive term as Mayor. In November 2019 Sal Panto, Jr. was re-elected capturing 82% of the votes and sweeping every ward in the city. He also served two terms as Mayor from 1984 to 1992 when he was elected at the age of 31, the City's youngest Mayor. He is recognized as a highly effective local government leader and is credited with making Easton a cleaner and safer city. During his tenure, he added 11 additional police officers to the force; hired 5 additional firefighters and 2 additional code enforcement officers to achieve his goal of a "clean and safe" city achieving a reduction in crime and violence each year.
Mayor Panto and his team are credited with bringing fiscal stability to the city. When he took office in 2008 the city was on the verge of filing for Act 47, the equivalent of bankruptcy with state oversight. At a time when the nation was experiencing the worst recession since the Great Depression, Mayor Panto and his team have had twelve straight years with no increase in real estate taxes and have had a year-end surplus every year. His financial management has earned the city an increase in its Standard and Poor's rating from a BBB in 2008 when he took office to an A-. At one point during his tenure, the City earned an A+ rating.
Mayor Panto is also leading an economic development program that is experiencing more than $800 million in public and private investment and the creation of hundreds of new jobs in the city. For the first time in almost 5 decades, the city's population is growing.
He was recognized as a leader among local government officials and was elected to the position of President of the Pennsylvania Municipal League (PML) where he still serves as a Past President on the Board of Directors. He was elected to the National League of Cities Board (NLC) of Directors and was re-elected to a second term. Mayor Panto was a Founder of the PennPRIME municipal insurance trust and served as its first Chairman. He is also an active member of the United States Conference of Mayors. He is also a Past Chairman of the NLC Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Steering Committee and has testified several times on environmental issues before Congress and the Senate.
Mayor Panto earned his master's degree from Lehigh University and his Bachelor's Degree from Kutztown University. In May 2011 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Public Service from Lafayette College. As a former teacher in the Easton Area School District, he was looked upon as being one of the finest. During his 16 years out of office, Mayor Panto served in three senior management positions including Chief Administrative Officer of the Charles Chrin Companies: Senior Vice-President of Coordinated Health and Chief Administrative Officer of Strausser Enterprises, Inc.
Mayor Panto has been recognized on numerous occasions for his leadership and commitment to Easton. He is the recipient of many awards and honors; most recently he received the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Government Official of the Year Award; the UNICO Public Service Award; the Henry Jordan Award for the Preservation Pennsylvania Outstanding Local Official. He also knows firsthand the trials and tribulations of owning a small business and the Governor's Municipal Official of the Year Award. With his father, Sal Sr., they opened Sal's Meat Market on College Hill in 1976 and enjoyed more than 28 years of success.
Born and raised in the City of Easton, Sal is married to the former Pam Searles. They have four children and eight grandchildren and live in the Southside neighborhood where they both grew up. Mayor Panto is approachable, listens to the people, and makes people feel genuinely good about their city. With his leadership, Easton is becoming a shining star in the region.