“If we can get things to work correctly, we will be out of business here in short order,” said Smith.
Members of the group said they are not trying to create a new party but a more open process within the one that already exists. However, at the meeting Bill Reinhardt, a volunteer with the Bethlehem Reform Democrat movement, unofficially announced he would seek the Town Board seat that will be left vacant by appointee George Lenhardt at the end of the year.
Reinhardt is retired from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and currently working on the town’s Budget Advisory Committee, and said he wants to make a difference and give something back to the town.
“I want that something to be a Democratic Party both in principal and practice, not just in name,” he said.
Clarkson said he is supportive of Reinhardt’s campaign, adding he has “an excellent background to be a board member.” The supervisor said he expects to formally endorse Reinhardt at a later date.
The Reform group is attempting to get more town Democrats involved in running for committee seats within their election districts.
There are 31 election districts within the town, each with two committee representatives. Elections for committee seats are held if more than two people petition for a spot. Any vacancies are filled by appointment by the committee chairman.
Smith said the group feels the party could be more informative about when committee meetings are held so Democrats could attend, be more helpful to those wishing to volunteer with the party or run for committee spot and provide a list of who is currently on the committee so part members know who is representing them. Smith said when he asked for more specifics about the committee and meetings, he relieved an email in return that didn’t include the information.