Editor, The Spotlight:
The talk coming from the Bethlehem United slate sounds really good. They say we can have our cake and eat it too.
According to Fred DiMaggio (supervisor candidate) our taxes are too high and we have cut back on services too much. Town Board candidate Dan Cunningham claims there was a 15 percent tax cut that he will roll back. He says he’s coming up with a 20-year plan. Oh, and he wants to spend more on police too.
Sounds great, except there was no 15 percent tax hike and it doesn’t make sense to say we can have lower taxes and more spending. That would be great, but it is illogical. No details yet on his 20-year plan. I cringe in horror to think of what they might do if they were elected.
When I went to the public hearings on this year’s (2013) budget, I found out about the terrible financial jam we were in because of many years of bad decisions, the most damaging ignoring the end of a $1.7 million special payment from the Selkirk Cogen plant.
If we want a town leader that believes in telling us what’s real even though we don’t want to hear it, then we have to look to Supervisor Clarkson again. He was willing to make the really tough decisions to keep our way of life intact. He cut spending $1.8 million by cutting jobs as people left for greener pastures or retired. He cutback, but did not eliminate, some services like the hours at the transfer station. Yes, we don’t want to give these up, but think about the alternative. Imagine how high the taxes would have gone if he hadn’t found ways to do more with less.
We received a bonus from his work – the efficiency measures he worked out won a special award for the town. I thank the Supervisor’s ability to look ahead to the future by planning a multiyear budget that ends the practice of spending our financial reserves.
There is no real choice this year if we want to continue to have a responsible Town Government. John Clarkson is the person to lead us again.