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Town settles on membership dues

The debate over exactly how much the Town of Bethlehem will pay for its employees' memberships in professional organizations ended with a whimper rather than a bang Wednesday, Feb. 9, when the Town Board unanimously approved a $12,345 list of dues.

That's a $327 reduction from the list the board has considered at its last meeting, when there was insufficient support to adopt the list.

Since then, Supervisor Sam Messina trimmed a memberships to the state Recreation and Parks Society, the American Society of Notaries and the Society of Resource Management.

Councilman Mark Hennessey objected to the late release of the revised dues schedule. It was not included on the meeting agenda or released as part of the information packet made available to the public.

Sam Messina said he didn't have time to review the matter and make the reductions until over the weekend, when the meeting agenda had already been put in place. He brought the matter up under the New Business section of the agenda.

The membership dues became a topic of discussion when several board members at the yearly organizational said the list should be pared down. Including the latest cuts, about $2,500 was removed from the dues the town pays, a roughly 15 percent reduction.""

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