Editor, The Spotlight:
I have been part of town government- either as an advisory committee member or as an appointed official in 4 town administrations over the last 8 1/2 years. My wife and I are lifetime enrolled Democrats and have worked hard in many capacities to contribute to the betterment of our community for 32 years. Over the years we have come to the conclusion that the Democratic Committee leadership has done more to hinder town government than to advance it. This bothers us deeply and it should bother all Democrats in town. The committee’s divisive rhetoric, orchestrated obfuscation and foot-dragging have not been in our best interest. We have had three excellent town supervisors- Egan, Messina and Clarkson- all working to create a better community and all thwarted, to some extent, by the committee leaders tactics. Bethlehem is simply too good a town to be held back by this old style machine politics.
In the Sept. 13 Primary election, the voters will have a chance to reenergize the Bethlehem Democratic Committee by electing some new members to work with the existing committee toward common goals. A group of committed Dems seeking improvement in our Town Democratic Committee - The Bethlehem Reform Democrats - have already been at your door listening to your concerns, pledging openness and expressing a commitment to work with you and act on your behalf. A fine candidate for Town Board, Bill Reinhardt, has stepped forward and embraced the initiatives of BRD. And the BRD supports Bill Reinhardt’s campaign seeking better Town governance without the political conflict and wasteful, angry rhetoric we’ve seen too much of in Bethlehem town politics.
The voters have confirmed more than once that the current Bethlehem Democratic leadership is out of synch with voters’ aspirations. The current committee leaders’ many years of entrenchment and poor judgment needs to be challenged. Let’s initiate a change by electing people that have the best interests of Bethlehem in mind. And in the case of Bill Reinhardt’s opponent in the race for Bethlehem Town Board, let’s not endorse an official who has a sworn obligation to another town.
Yes, this is only our opinion, but our hope is that you, the Bethlehem Democratic voter, will consider and learn enough about the Bethlehem Democratic leaders that you will form your own opinion
We encourage you to talk to your BRD committee candidates! Talk to Bill Reinhardt! We think you will be energized not only to vote for them but also to be a participant in meeting our town’s challenges and making Bethlehem the best town it can be.
John Smolinsky and Ellie Prakken