Editor, The Spotlight:
The League of Women Voters of Albany County (LWVAC) supports the efficient and effective operation of government, including consolidation of governmental units to achieve administrative and fiscal efficiency. Each proposal must be evaluated individually, however, through a transparent and cooperative process in which citizens have sufficient information and time to consider and have input into proposed actions.
We find the proposal to change the position of Bethlehem town highway superintendent from an elected to an appointed position meets the evaluative criteria developed by leagues throughout New York state. Namely, the change would make government more efficient and effective by folding the position’s functions into another existing department and reducing the number of independent entities. The change would result in cost savings and reduced taxes and would maintain existing levels of services while delivering them more efficiently. Employees would be treated fairly, since no layoffs are anticipated, and would be provided greater opportunities for advancement within a larger, consolidated department.
Therefore, the LWVAC supports the proposed change. We also urge all Bethlehem voters to participate in the referendum, whatever their position, by voting on April 30 at the Town Hall. It is through an open, democratic process that good government is most assured.
Loretta Simon, co-vice president of the Albany County League of Women Voters