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Letter: Reinhardt best choice for board

Editor, The Spotlight:

In the Sept. 13 Democratic Primary, Bethlehem voters have many choices to make, but the most important choice for the functioning of town government will be the selection of a new board member. Bill Reinhardt is the right choice for this job.

As town supervisor, I know how important it is for the entire Town Board to put policy above politics. Like me, Bill Reinhardt comes from a professional rather than political background. He’s an energy and utilities expert with private and public sector management experience. Bill’s been civically involved in our community and with a variety of local, statewide and national causes for many years. He’s intelligent and diligent, and someone who always puts principles first.

I’ve gotten to know Bill through his work on the town Budget Advisory Team, and now as a candidate. I can tell you that he is a straight shooter who will never shrink from raising a new idea or challenging colleagues to consider another position, but always in a civil manner. Bill approaches issues with an open mind and knows that every citizen is an equally important stakeholder. He would never link Town Board deliberations to party politics, nor indulge in divisive rhetoric. He has no troubling employment conflicts, associations or hidden agendas. If you get to meet Bill during the campaign, I think it’s likely you’ll want to vote for him.

This election is critical. Consider that during the past eight months, with the benefit of George Lenhardt’s excellent nonpartisan service on an interim basis, Bethlehem has made progress on many fronts. We have a leaner town government, a new ethics code, and an improved budget process with greater public involvement, an explicit fund balance policy and a multiyear planning system. We’ve had more citizen involvement than ever before and more discussion of vital issues in public, made accessible through webcasting and on-demand video of board meetings. Clarified town code provisions on temporary signs are dramatically reducing the usual election year clutter of campaign signs on public roadways and green space.

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