LETTER: Public participation and the April 30 voter referendum

We encourage public input at board meetings, but decisions are not driven solely based on comments at a single meeting. There has been extensive citizen participation of town residents over nearly 10 years who have studied this issue and recommended or suggested this course of action. We make board decisions on behalf of 35,000 citizens, not on the comments at a single Town Board meeting. The balance of evidence and citizen input convinces me that giving the voters a choice on this important modernization and savings opportunity is the right course.

I wish to make one last point on the resolution regarding the April 30 Referendum. Most Board members, myself included, had initially hoped to have several voting sites for the referendum. We thought we could balance cost with the convenience of several sites. However, after due diligence and a careful inspection of state law concerning special elections, issues of cost, complexity and the likelihood of voter confusion on voting locations and procedures moved the board to settle on a single, central site best able to accommodate special election requirements.

Bill Reinhardt, Bethlehem Town Board

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