In a unanimous decision, the Bethlehem town board appointed Patricia Parsons its new court clerk during its Wednesday, June 25, town board meeting.
The current long-time court clerk, Barbara J. Hodom, is set to retire on Friday, July 18, from the post she had held for three decades.
Parsons has already begun training for the position and working at Bethlehem Town Hall.
She is leaving a job as an administrative assistant at Albany County's general services department and said she was honored to be selected by town justices Ryan Donovan and Paul Dwyer.
I'm extremely excited. I've always had an interest in the criminal justice system. At one point I was planning on becoming a police officer, Parsons said of being appointed to the $58,000 a year job. "I'm honored to work for such respected judges as Judge Dwyer and Judge Donovan. I will be learning from the best. Barbara may be one of the best court clerks in the area."
Parsons lives in Delmar and has worked for the county for 35 years and said she approached the town justices about the position once she learned Hodom was retiring. She ran for receiver of taxes on the Democratic line in 2007 against current receiver of taxes Nancy Mendick. Judge Dwyer also ran that year, winning against Daniel J.Persing.
Although the board voted yes down the line, one resident harshly spoke out against the appointment. In addition, Councilman Sam Messina, an Independence Party member who has been openly critical of the town appointment process, said he wanted to make appointments "more competitive."
The five-member town board is made up of a Democratic majority, with Messina and Councilwoman Joanne Dawson as its two Independence members.
Even though Messina voted for Parsons, welcomed her and wished her well in the post, he reiterated his stance on town appointments to his fellow board members.