DELMAR: Cunningham is new town boss

At a special meeting on Thursday, April 12, the Bethlehem Town Board voted unanimously to appoint Albany County Legislator Jack Cunningham to its interim supervisor post.

Cunningham, a Democrat, will fill the seat left vacant by former Supervisor Theresa Egan, who left to serve as deputy commissioner for the state Department of Motor Vehicles beginning next month.

Egan, the town's first Democratic supervisor in 150 years, served as supervisor for the past three and a half years, and Cunningham will serve what remains of her term. He has said he plans on running for a full term in November.

Cunningham, a Delmar resident, has been a county legislator in the 34th District since 2004. He will resign from his part-time county legislative seat and his full-time employment at Key Bank, where he serves as a technology project manager.

The town supervisor position pays $99,000 annually. The board, three Democrats and one Independent, voted 4-to-0 in favor of appointing Cunningham.

Before the resolution was passed to appoint Cunningham, the public and the board were given an opportunity to comment on the action.

Albany County legislator Herb Reilly, a Democrat and former supervisor of the town of New Scotland, expressed his support of Cunningham.

I think it's a great shame we're going to lose him in the Legislature, said Reilly, but added, "If you want to get the job done, put Jack in there."

Jared King asked that the board explore alternative options before appointing Cunningham, including not appointing anyone and having a four-member board place Deputy Supervisor Dan Plummer as interim supervisor or promote a qualified town official to the position.

Plummer said he was not in the position to assume the full-time responsibility that the duties of supervisor require and that it was in the best interest of the town to make the appointment of a qualified official immediately.

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