Messina taps Smolinsky for deputy supervisor

Sam Messina has appointed John Smolinsky to the position of deputy supervisor of the Town of Bethlehem.

Smolinsky, a member of the Planning Board, was sworn in on Tuesday, Jan. 5, at Town Hall. He will fulfill the duties of the supervisor's office in the event of Messina's absence, though the deputy cannot cast a vote as part of the Town Board.

I've always kind of believed that government's a team effort and I've enjoyed being a part of it, Smolinsky said. "It's an opportunity to continue to pursue the general goal of improving town government and contributing to improving the Town of Bethlehem."

Messina expressed hopes that Smolinsky's planning experience can be used to serve the town beyond simply acting as his alternate.

"I intend to involve the deputy supervisor and have him participate in new ways and additional ways," Messina said. "John is one of the people who over the past 25 years I've seen really demonstrate a commitment to our community through his volunteer service in many things."

Smolinsky has served on a number of town committees, including Bethlehem Planning Advisory Committee, the Bethlehem Coalition of Neighborhoods, the Board of Directors of Five Rivers and as chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Conservation.

Messina and Smolinsky were both involved in forming the Bethlehem Citizens for Responsible Planning Group over two decades ago. Prior to retirement, Smolinsky spent 33 years in a management position in the state Department of Public Service Commission's Environmental Review group.

"What is important to me is that he's analytical, he reviews things carefully, he tries to advocate about what is best for the entire town," said Messina. I have identified him as someone I can really trust."

Smolinsky said he would retain his position on the Planning Board, and believes he will be able to fulfill both roles.

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