Bethlehem appoints Suzanne Traylor new town comptroller

Let the number crunching begin.

Bethlehem has a new comptroller to replace outgoing Judi Kehoe, who has moved on to a post with the Bethlehem Central School District. The town board unanimously appointed Suzanne E. Traylor during its Wednesday, Sept. 10, meeting at Town Hall.

Although there has been some controversy over the town's appointing practice as of late, especially following the departure of court clerk Patricia Parsons after less then two months on the job, Traylor's appointment was a smooth and celebrated affair.

The town board hailed Kehoe's friend and successor's long and impressive resume as a perfect fit for the town, especially in the midst of budget season. The town has retained Kehoe to work some hours during the busy transition period.

Councilman Sam Messina, who previously put forth a defeated proposal to implement appointment guidelines, said he was pleased with the open and thorough selection process by the town to nominate Traylor.

Traylor is a professionally licensed certified public accountant with more than 20 years of accounting and educational experience. She holds a master's degree in accounting from the University at Albany, where she is an accounting instructor, and a bachelor's degree in business and French from the University of Colorado.

Some of her work experience includes working for the state Dormitory Authority, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the IRS.

As you can see from my resume, my accounting skills are very broad and unique, Traylor wrote in the cover letter of application to the town. "Not that I would be able to fill Judi's shoes, but I do believe I would be able to account for town finances and work well with you as well as the town board."

Messina referenced Traylor's letter while praising her appointment.

"Judi is leaving big shoes, but you only have to fill your own shoes. Your own style will be fine," Messina said.

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