Several appointments were made at Bethlehem's organizational meeting Wednesday, Jan. 9, with the selection of Daniel Plummer as deputy supervisor receiving the most attention.
Plummer recently left his position on the town board on Dec. 31 after serving for eight years.
Although the deputy position is traditionally held by a board member, Supervisor Jack Cunningham was quick to point out that Plummer's appointment is not a reflection of the skills of any existing town board member, saying the move adds more depth to the town.
"Dan has been a valuable asset in my job, and he has agreed to do this at no cost to the town," said Cunningham.
Sam Messina, an Independence Party member and a veteran member of the town board delegation, argued that the deputy supervisor position is usually held by an existing board member and asked Cunningham to table the decision of Plummer's appointment to the next meeting. Cunningham then quickly cut off discussion, asking for a vote from the town board for Plummer, who was approved 4-to-1, with Messina dissenting.
"I wanted a dialogue instead of, 'This is the way it is going to be,'" said Messina.
Cunningham said he was unaware that any board member opposed Plummer's appointment until the meeting began. The supervisor also said that two members of the current town board expressed interest in the deputy supervisor's position but did not disclose who they were.
"I discussed all the appointments with all the board members since the beginning of December and no questions were raised prior to this meeting," said Cunningham.
Other appointments questioned by Messina at the organizational meeting included two new appointments to the town zoning board of appeals.
Matthew Watson and David DeCancio replace new town board member Mark Hennessey and Gil Brookins, whose ZBA term expired about a week ago. Messina argued that because of Brookins' experience on the ZBA, he should be allowed to stay on for another year instead of putting two new people in the positions.