BETHLEHEM Bethlehem United candidates are kicking off the local election season by holding a series of community meetings around town.
The first meeting was held on the night of Thursday, Sept. 19, at Selkirk Firehouse No. 2 in Glenmont, and was hosted by Albany County Legislator Rich Mendick. Supervisor candidate Fred DiMaggio, who is also the former chairman of the Bethlehem Republican Committee, spoke with residents and took questions from the audience, as did Town Board candidates Linda Jasinski, a conservative, and Dan Cunningham, a member of the Independence Party.
All three candidates are endorsed by the town’s Republican and Independence parties, as well as the Albany County Conservative Party, and are referring to themselves as Bethlehem United because of the mixed political makeup of the ticket. The group came together this spring to work against a referendum to abolish the elected position of highway superintendent and place those responsibilities under the commissioner of public works. The referendum failed 3,086 to 1,969.
“I don’t like the way the town is being run,” said DiMaggio about his decision to run for office. “I think there has been a lack of vision and direction on the part of this administration, particularly with Supervisor (John) Clarkson, and I think this assembled team of a non-partisan coalition is a far better approach to government, instead of the one-party partisanship we’ve seen in Town Hall.”
Jasinski and Cunningham echoed those sentiments, with the former stressing how she is more concerned with how the government is run and not the politics behind it. Jasinski also said her goal is to seek equal representation for the “outlying areas of town.”
“Right now, the Town Board is very Delmar-centric,” Jasinski said. “Everybody is from that area and they don’t even realize that down in South Bethlehem people live a little differently.”