Letter: Consider the process when it comes to Bethlehem’s ward system report

Editor, The Spotlight:

On July 11, the Bethlehem Town Board received a report on town governance options, prepared by a Board-appointed Citizens’ Study Committee. Claims have been made to the effect that the section of the report on the ward system of government was improperly edited and that its findings were altered.

As a member of the subcommittee that drafted the section on ward options, I find these claims to be without merit. The ward study was never meant to be anything but a part of the larger report on town governance options prepared for the Town Board and the people of Bethlehem.

Likewise, our subcommittee was never anything except one part of a larger citizen’s advisory group. More to the point, the draft that our sub-group sent to the whole committee early in June was not ready for publication at that time. Several important questions regarding election law and practice had not been answered.

The draft also contained factual errors and a great deal of confusing language. A lengthy editing process was required to prepare our draft for inclusion in the larger report. Neither the draft nor the final report contain any recommendations regarding governance options.

The report does contain basic information that can help town residents understand the options they are given under state law.

I encourage everyone to read the report, which can be found on the Town of Bethlehem’s website.

Steven Elliott


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