Membership dues hot topic at Bethlehem org meeting

"We all do this in our professional lives, no one pays our membership fees for us," said Councilwoman Joann Dawson. "This is exactly what our residents are going through, they're looking at their budgets."

She noted some employees belong to state, local and county branches of the same associations, and it might be worth studying which one brings in the most value.

Supervisor Sam Messina voted to table the item, but he also voiced his support for the list. He said membership dues were already cut back during the budgeting process. Some have already been paid this year, also.

"There's money in our budget for these proposed expenditures," he said.

Beyond the issue of membership dues, there were few, if any, surprises in the organizational agenda. Top town staff will remain unchanged:

Josh Cansler will serve as commissioner of public works; Suzanne Traylor will serve as comptroller; Michael Morelli will serve as director of economic development and planning; and Susan Leath will serve as town historian.

Kate Powers was appointed to another seven-year term on the Planning Board and Anthony Umina was appointed to another five-year term on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Daniel Coffey was reappointed at chairman of the ZBA, and George Leveille was reappointed as the chairman of the Planning Board. Both of those appointments are for one year.

Ryan Donovan was appointed to his second term as a town justice. The rest of the town's elected officials are in the middle of their terms.

Town Board meetings will continue on at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, though there was a brief discussion about moving it later. Official Town Hall hours were set for between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The Spotlight was designated the town's paper of record. ""

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