Seriously, the latest merchant led (or is it town Republican) effort to override our majoritarian local government is asking people to sign petitions that will potentially discount and reverse numerous past studies, public meetings and town board decisions over the past four years despite all the transparent processes that have been followed. Are the leaders behind this strategy crying stolen election, demanding recounts, and threatening to storm the town board meetings if they don’t get their way? Perhaps the organizers of this scheme think we are in Florida or Arizona or Michigan where you don’t have to accept decisions that don’t go your way despite all evidence to the contrary.
Exactly who will be personally witnessing the petition signatures as they are being written down? Will a merchant’s store employee be forced to gather these signatures as a condition of his/her employment? Will these petition gatherers ask for proof of residence to ensure the signer is a Bethlehem resident? What authoritative register will be used to guarantee the signators residence? And will these petition gatherers, under penalty of law, sign their name to attest to the validity of the signatures?
A petition strategy that worked a year ago to reverse a decision about a waterslide in favor of a high dive board has little interest for me personally, but the safety of crossing, walking, biking, and driving on Delaware Avenue does. My concern is shared by all responsible users of this road. Paramount is the fact that an elementary school is situated on this very busy state road.
I would hope that sheer greed of certain merchants or the desperation of the political party that is behind this effort is NOT the driving force. Property owners of so many vacant businesses would do well to look at their store fronts and the condition of their properties and consider why they are not attracting renters. Merchants must come to terms with the changes of business models resulting not from COVID19 (businesses on Delaware Avenue were hurting in years prior), but by web based commerce. How any business could consider the slowing down of traffic as a detriment to their commercial appeal is beyond my comprehension. A speeding car on Delaware Avenue is just that – it is speeding to or from work and not to your store or restaurant.
If this petitioning effort is the best that the local republican party has to offer, then you are perfectly in sync with your state and national republican strategies. You are the party of “NO” and I challenge those vying for local office to explain what you do stand for. It certainly does not appear that quality and safety of life and the environment concerns are in evidence.
Finally, last week’s Spotlight editorial calling for more traffic lights on a 1.3 mile stretch of road – you were kidding, right? How about “Calming” the speed to 30 miles per hour and employing speed cameras, traffic speed enforcement and one or more roundabouts? Seriously!
— Ted Smith,