Letter: No conflict when it comes to desire to serve Bethlehem

Editor, The Spotlight:

I would like to thank the many residents I have met during the last few weeks who have encouraged me in my campaign for the Bethlehem Town Board. My conversations with town residents have left me with the sense that there is a great deal of apprehension concerning the financial hurdles our town must work to overcome. I share these concerns and that is why I am running for this office.

In two recent letters to The Spotlight (the Aug. 15 and 22 issues) political operatives supporting my Primary Election opponent have attempted to mislead voters by proposing that my work as commissioner of public works for the Town of Colonie might somehow result in a conflict of interest should I serve on the Bethlehem Town Board. This is simply untrue. There is no conflict of interest with these two positions.

In his letter to The Spotlight on June 27, Bill Reinhardt argued that “(a) candidate’s government experience should be considered an asset.” This is a position on which Bill and I completely agree. My primary reason for running for Bethlehem Town Board is to apply my local government experience so that I can help solve our financial problems. Unlike my opponent, I have worked in the private sector in banking and finance for 32 years, and I have served in local government as Bethlehem town supervisor, Albany County legislator, as well as my current position. I believe these experiences best qualify me for this office.

The voters I have met over the past few weeks have expressed a preference for experienced leadership and an interest in how we can resolve our financial crisis. Many recognize and reject the cynicism that characterizes a “say anything to win” strategy.

I am dedicated to the proposition that we can build a better future for our town by controlling costs and growing the tax base. I have developed a program for addressing these problems which is described on my web site, www.Cunningham-forBethlehem.com. It is my sincere hope that on Primary Election Day, Sept. 13, voters will look past the “politics as usual” sideshow and consider the experience that both candidates bring to the table. Our community deserves nothing less.

Jack Cunningham

Candidate, Bethlehem Town Board

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