It will be a busy election year in Bethlehem with four candidates running for two open seats on the town board in addition to the race for town supervisor.
Newly appointed Independent town board member Jo Ann Dawson will face three newcomers including Mark Hennessey, Art Scheuermann and Melody Burns this fall.
In December, Dawson, an Independence Party candidate who is also cross-endorsed by the Democratic party, replaced Tim Gordon, who won a seat in the state Assembly. Upon being appointed, she said she would run for the two-year term in November.
I feel I am becoming more informed and educated about the issues, said Dawson, who believes the balance between open space planning and planned development is one of the town's big concerns.
The two candidates with the highest number of votes will be elected to the seats.
Democrat Daniel Plummer, an eight-year veteran of the Bethlehem Town Board, said he will not seek re-election.
"I really feel like it's appropriate to give someone else their turn," said Plummer, who cited a busy work schedule and three of four children in college as other reasons why he opted against running.
"I enjoy it. I like being active in the town," said Plummer of his service on the board.
Hennessey, also a Democrat, has received the support of the town Democratic Party and the Independence and Conservative parties. Hennessey is currently employed as legislator director for the chairman of the state Assembly Committee on Local Governments.
"I come from a performance evaluation background," said Hennessey, who also worked as policy analyst and senior policy analyst in the state legislature.
Hennessey said holding taxes down and adhering to the comprehensive plan will be a few of his priorities if elected.
"I would like to help improve our senior services and hopefully expand programs for families and children," Hennessey said.