Jack Cunningham's introduction to politics came in his Bethlehem High School years when he worked on Michael Breslin's first campaign for Bethlehem town judge. Breslin is now running for another term as Albany County executive, and Cunningham, after a three-year run as Albany County legislator, will attempt to win election to his first full two-year term as Bethlehem supervisor on the Democratic and Independence party lines.
It had been my intention at some point to run for this office, said Cunningham, who was appointed to the position by the Bethlehem Town Board in April. Cunningham replaced Theresa Egan, who accepted a position as deputy commissioner in the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
"I considered running in 2003 for supervisor and spoke with Terri and (town board member) Dan Plummer before deciding Terri should run," said Cunningham.
A lifelong Bethlehem resident who grew up in a farmhouse on Elsmere Avenue and attended St. Thomas the Apostle school, Cunningham said he entered the job with no preconceived notions as to what to expect.
"It's an incredibly busy office," said Cunningham, who has now served close to seven months.
"I am amazed at the number of people that come in and talk to the supervisor," he said.
With 32 years of banking and information technology experience under his belt as an employee of several banks, including First American, Trustco, Cohoes Savings Bank and Key Bank, Cunningham said he feels he can help improve the town's current technology infrastructure.
"One of our technology initiatives is the improved online assessment system, where we now interface with the statewide assessment system to access information," Cunningham said.
Another area being addressed in next year's budget is the new online registration process in the town parks department.
"We will be able to accept credit cards over the Internet for payment for parks and recreation programs," said Cunningham.