Leaders take oaths

Six elected officials took the oath of office in Bethlehem Town Hall on Friday, Dec. 28.

Four were re-elected: Highway Superintendent Gregg Sagendorph, Reciever of Taxes Nancy Mendick, Town Clerk Kathleen Newkirk and Town Justice Paul Dwyer.

All were sworn in by Town Judge Ryan Donovan, whose height prompted Sagendorph to stand on phone books to look eye-to-eye with him.

Mark Hennessey was sworn in as town board member.

Supervisor Jack Cunningham, appointed to the office when former supervisor Theresa Egan left to become a deputy commissioner at the Department of Motor Vehicles earlier this year, took the oath of office for his first elected term.

Thanks and commitment to community were the themes of theday, although Sagendorph couldn't resist another joke at Donovan's expense.

I know there are more Democrats than Republicans in town now, said Sagendorph, a Republican, after asking Donovan, a Democrat, to stand. "But, golly gee, do you have to grow them so big?"

Sagendorph thanked his staff, his family, and his life partner, Julie McNeil, who works in the town clerk's office.

Mendick and Newkirk, also Republicans, were very brief in their thanks, and Dwyer, a Democrat, paid tribute to the town police department and the court staff.

Hennessey, a Democrat who works in the state Assembly, acknowledge a string of events that led him to the people who put him in the position of town board member. He thanked his wife, Carie, and two children, John and Elsa.

"Politics is the calculus by which governments emerge," he said. "I look forward to the future."

Cunningham also thanked supporters and family.

"I cannot say how much of a privilege it is to serve as town supervisor," he said.

Cunningham follows Egan as the second Democrat supervisor in about 150 years. He touted the accomplishments since Democrats took leadership, in particular the comprehensive plan passed in 2005.

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