continued Martelle could not identify specifically what he would like to see changed in the budget presented by Clarkson, but said he would like to see an end to bonding for routine maintenance projects like paving roads. He also feels the town’s Industrial Development Agency should have more oversight to prevent the government from funding private businesses.
“The private sector needs to come in and stand on their own to reap the benefits of a sound fiscal policy,” he said. “Bethlehem is a great community and a place where I would say the standard of living is slightly higher than others in the Capital Region. We don’t need to sell everything off to get these businesses in here. It is my belief that ShopRite would have come in no matter what, in order to compete.”
Reinhardt has said his main goal is to promote a green jobs initiative, while Martelle feels more needs to be done to seek out technology-based companies. He is also glad the Town is Board is creating a long-term plan to address Bethlehem’s fiscal situation on a multi-year basis.
“Capital planning is part of my job, and lack of doing so is why we are in this situation to begin with,” Martelle said. “Everyone stuck their heads in the sand and now faced with huge tax increases. And it’s not just town taxes we’re facing, but school and county as well.”
Martelle said if changes aren’t made, the town could be faced with a mass exodus of residents.
“I truly want to see Bethlehem get into a better situation from a financial standpoint,” he said. “We can’t continue to live beyond our means. All parties need to work together for Bethlehem to be a model community.”
As of the beginning of October, Martelle had more than $3,000 in his campaign’s coffers and had reported minimal expenses. All donations to his campaign have been in amounts less than $200.
Reinhardt has so far raised $550, and since the primary has reported no official campaign expenditures. The Reform Democrat movement was previously helping to fund his election bid. Reinhardt is now hoping the Democratic Party proper can help him raise more funds, and said he would continue his grassroots approach.
The general election will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 6.