Editor, The Spotlight:
Bethlehem has a long history of one party rule. First it was the Republicans and now it is the Democrats. To have one party rule, a party just has to be in the majority and vote along party lines. I am a legislator in the Albany County Legislature where there are 39 members, 29 of those members are Democrats or affiliated parties so it is a Democratic controlled Legislature. There is nothing wrong with having a majority as long as the group puts the needs of the constituents first. But it is a political area and unfortunately politics are about control and control often trump’s needs.
In my opinion, a governing body is meant to be made up of representatives who serve the people. A place where differences of opinions can be voiced and decisions made in the best interest of the people. Politics and party affiliation should not play a role, but it does and I think to the detriment of those it serves.
The Town of Bethlehem voters have a unique opportunity this year. We have a coalition ticket made up of a Republican, a Conservative and a member of the Independence Party. Fred DiMaggio is a Republican running for the town supervisor, Linda Jasinski (Conservative) and Dan Cunningham (Independence) is running for Town Board. These candidates are putting party politics aside and putting the people’s needs first. It is commonly thought that Town Hall politics tend to favor central Delmar and that the outer lying areas in the south and north get little attention. As the county legislator from the south end of Bethlehem, I tend to agree with that assessment. Because residents in my part of Bethlehem feel so underrepresented in Town Hall, as a member of the Bethlehem Governance Committee, I strongly supported the establishment of wards so that all areas would have some representation.
The coalition slate of DiMaggio, Jasinski and Cunningham solve this geographic issue. Each of these candidates comes from a different part of the town. Now all parts of the town would be represented by elected officials who have knowledge of their area.
We all want to be proud of our town. Let’s elect candidates who put people before politics. Let’s elect candidates who represent the whole town. Join me in voting for Fred DiMaggio for supervisor and Linda Jasinski and Dan Cunningham for Town Board.
Albany County Legislator, 36th District