Ray O'Connell has served as mayor of the city since March 29, 2018 when he was elected by City Council to replace Mayor Ed Pawlowski who resigned on March 9. The city's Home Rule Charter required that Pawlowski's replacement be a city resident and of the same political party. Pawlowski is a Democrat. O'Connell was subsequently elected by city voters in November 2019 to serve the remainder of Pawlowski's term which expires in January 2022.
O'Connell is a former two-term councilperson and three year president of council.
Ray has resided in the City of Allentown for over 34 years with his wife, Mary Beth, and their two children, Brendan and Kaitlin (both graduates of the Allentown School District).
The 71-year-old O'Connell is a retired Allentown School District teacher and administrator.
From 1972- 1978, he was an Elementary Teacher at Mosser Elementary School.
From 1978 - 1982, he was the Assistant Principal at Raub Middle School.
From 1982 - 2001, he was the Principal at Trexler Middle School.
And from 2001 - 2007, he was the Executive Director of Secondary Education for the Allentown School District, where he supervised the four middle schools and two high schools in the District.
Ray has been a Member of the Allentown Recreation Commission for 20 years; a Member of the Allentown Human Relations Commission for two years; and has served on the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Board of Directors for several years.