Bethlehem Supervisor John Clarkson reminisces about his first year in office and looks ahead to plans for the rest of his term.
Photo by Marcy Velte.
continued In the time since, a group calling themselves Reform Democrats worked to put new members onto the town Democratic Committee and backed Bill Reinhardt for Town Board – with Clarkson’s support. After winning a number of positions on the committee and seeing Reinhardt being elected to the Town Board, the group disbanded.
Clarkson said he feels the politics in town have changed for the good, with it being more about the issues over personalities and “who’s with who.”
“I think that can be the hardest thing, but I think naturally over time we’ll do the right thing and find a consensus,” he said.
Support, for the coming months
Some have wondered whether Reinhardt’s election might clear the way for more 3-2 votes, like the one on the 2013 budget. Kuhn, who is also the newly elected chairman of the town Democratic Committee, said it is within Clarkson’s scope as supervisor to shape the board in order to fulfill his vision for the town.
Dawson, an Independent, said she thinks Reinhardt has his own goals in mind for the town, and will make his own decisions regarding issues and policy.
“He’ll most likely need some time to come into his own,” she said.
For his part, Clarkson said his involvement in the Reform movement had less to do with what’s happening at Town Hall and more to do with the party.
“Yes, I did back that effort, but the idea was to get people to become aware of the Democratic Committee, run for it and participate. ... I don’t concur with the fact that every political move should be about a power struggle. It’s about the issues and the process you want to follow. I am idealistic.”
Outside the party, Bethlehem Republican Committee Chairman Fred DiMaggio commended Clarkson on his first-year performance.