Letter: Candidate’s government experience should be considered an asset

Editor, The Spotlight:

In his recent letter, Mr. Carter expressed a number of complaints about Bethlehem politics. I applaud him for urging voters to be less apathetic. However I disagree with Mr. Carter regarding his suggestion that “retired state bureaucrats” have little to offer.

Although I have experience as a small rental property owner, as an employee of a private utility company and as a board member of a real estate development corporation, it is precisely my experience working for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) that most qualifies me to run for Bethlehem Town Board.

As senior project manager at NYSERDA I managed and oversaw projects that enabled NYS companies and small businesses to survive, thrive and create jobs through energy technology innovation and conservation. I was the NYSERDA team leader in our successful effort to collaborate with several state and local governmental agencies to keep Beech Nut and several hundred jobs from leaving New York after the terrible Canajoharie flood. Working with researchers at Cornell, I was able to help create a viable vegetable production business outside Ithaca based on Cornell greenhouse expertise and funding I was able to gather from several public and private entities. This facility still produces lettuce that is sold under the Finger Lakes Fresh brand locally in Price Chopper stores and elsewhere in upstate New York. In another NYSERDA greenhouse agriculture project, I helped facilitate the expansion of Shushan Valley Hydro Farm. In other instances, I have worked with small and early stage start up companies, including Environmental C&C, Inc in Scotia, that are developing innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

While NYSERDA funding was important, these companies also benefited from the non-financial support and advice I was able to offer based on my work with many diverse companies and technologies at NYSERDA and my own private sector experience. In addition, as cofounder of SustaiNYSERDA I helped stimulate sustainability measures affecting internal operations of NYSERDA that achieved a variety of energy, water and solid waste reductions while also saving the organization over $100,000.

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