Board fills advisory panel

Former town supervisors Theresa Egan and Ken Ringler will head up a 25-member advisory committee established to examine Bethlehem's current and future needs.

Members of the Bethlehem 20/20 Advisory Committee were appointed by the town board at its Wednesday, Jan. 23, meeting.

The committee has been established to follow up on the townwide Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2005 to guide land use, development and growth. The panel will focus on advising the board in making key organizational and investment decisions.

Egan and Ringler will serve as co-chairs of the advisory committee. Other appointees include citizens, business leaders and former government officials.

The committee will be responsible for providing general advice and guidance to the board in three key areas: municipal infrastructure needs, facility needs and services offered by the town.

There's been a lot of deferred maintenance in town regarding our water system, sewer system and facilities, said Supervisor Jack Cunningham. "The committee will look at the needs of our community and come back and make recommendations to us on how they believe we should move forward."

Cunningham said he expects the advisory group to stimulate a communitywide conversation about the long-term strategic direction of the town government. Town leaders said the initial work of the committee will require 16-18 months.

Other committee members include: Steve Baboulis, Keith Bennett, Jim Blendell, Mort Borzykowski, Steve Coffey, Peter Conway, Joann Cunningham, Lisa Evans, Cathy Griffin, Susan Hager, Terry Hannigan, Richard Kotlow, Jim Lytle, John Piechnik, Ted Putney, Pam Robbins, Patty Salkin, Brian Stenson, Suzanne Traylor, Bert Trombly, Bob Verstanding Jr., Bob Ward, Ann Wendth and Christo Zemering.

The committee will meet regularly over the next year with the first meeting tentatively scheduled for mid-February. At least two public meetings and workshops are also expected to be held during the study period, according to Cunningham. The committee will then submit a report with recommendations to the town board.

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