Editor, The Spotlight:
Our Town Supervisor John Clarkson in his re-election bid touts his “results.” But let’s look at his true results.
• Mr. Clarkson attempted to eliminate the elected position of highway superintendent and make it appointed so he could control who was hired for that position. To insure the referendum was passed the referendum vote was done as a special election, off cycle from any other election and was limited to one voting site, Town Hall, in an attempt to keep South and North Bethlehem voters away from the polls. Clarkson had misread the citizen’s sentiment and the referendum was soundly defeated by over 60 percent of the votes.
• The supervisor and Town Board members attempted to pass a resolution in support of the SAFE Act without public comment or hearing. When many citizens came to speak against the SAFE Act the support resolution was withdrawn, but that didn’t stop Supervisor Clarkson and board member Bill Reinhardt from writing and signing a letter of support for the SAFE Act, which was published in The Spotlight. They violated the public trust by taking a position, in their elected capacity, without public input or consent.
• Town services have been reduced. The hours of the transfer station have been significantly reduced. The compost facility had been closed. Only after objections from many town residents did the supervisor reinstate limited hours at the compost facility. These moves have affected many town residents and again demonstrate the supervisor and Town Board lack of sensitivity and understanding of town issues.
• Town taxes rose over 11.3 percent last year. Is it any surprise that this year, an election year with the supervisor running for re-election, that the tax increase was a modest 1.23 percent. In the proposed 2014 budget, however, taxes are projected to increase 2 percent a year over the following three years.
• The Town Board and supervisor enacted a local law against signs that is so restrictive that even not-for-profits, like the Boy Scouts, cannot advertise for their fundraiser.
Can the residents of Bethlehem afford another two years of this type of misrepresentation? It is time for a change to a more representative type of government that understand the needs of the town of Bethlehem residents.
I will be voting for Fred DiMaggio for supervisor, and Dan Cunningham and Linda Jansinski for Town Board. These candidates come from three different areas of Bethlehem and know the needs of the people. They come from three different political parties and will put the needs of the town residents before political allegiances. This “Bethlehem United” slate believes in listening to the people and has been holding meetings across town to answer questions and hear town residents’ concerns.
The Town needs quality people who are knowledgeable, experienced and caring. The town needs DiMaggio, Cunningham and Janinski.