As Bethlehem’s Supervisor-Elect, I’m writing to thank everyone who participated in the democratic process on November 8th, including my opponents and their supporters.
Election Day was an overwhelming experience for me and my family, campaign volunteers and supporters. Decisive wins in the primaries and general election (greater than two to one) were by no means a foregone conclusion. When the campaign began in June, I was an outsider without any funds, party backing, or local political experience. While I had an appropriate professional background, and had spent four years on a Town Citizens’ Advisory group, I was considered a long shot at best.
But I had the support of friends and a simple plan: go door-to-door talking about the challenges Bethlehem faces, potential solutions, and sketch out a vision for a Bethlehem in which Town government is a leader in shared services and innovation. I spoke directly about our problems, listened to peoples’ concerns, and did not underestimate the engagement or savvy of the voters. Your response is the story of this campaign, and this year it is more than usually appropriate to say that the victory truly belongs to the voters. Bethlehem’s thoughtful voters rejected a fait accompli election and responded to the real issues raised in the campaign. Glossy mailers, negative politics and “robo-calls” could not stem this tide.
My campaign focused on three basic propositions: that Bethlehem should practice fiscal common sense and live within its means, that our Town should be able to create an efficient, modern government that serves as a model for suburban towns across the State, and that we should also be a model for engaging politics and productive civic involvement.
Can’t we in Bethlehem accomplish these goals? To borrow a well-known phrase, I would answer: Yes, we can. However, this won’t happen without your continued involvement. We must ensure that citizens have many opportunities to engage in a meaningful dialogue on Town issues.