Former Bethlehem Councilman Kyle Kotary reminisces over his time serving the town.
BETHLEHEM As two new Bethlehem town board members are scheduled to be sworn in this week, former Councilman Kyle Kotary said he will positively look back on his eight years of service with the town.
Kotary announced in March that he would not be seeking re-election to the town board and would be stepping down at the end of his term. Democrat Julie Sasso is scheduled to be sworn in on Wednesday, Jan. 8, as will incumbent Bill Reinhardt.
“Public service requires a lot of time, hard work and a strong commitment to your community, but it’s all worth it,” Kotary said. “Representing the residents of Bethlehem was truly an honor, a privilege and a rewarding experience.”
Kotary, who is director for internal affairs, outreach and marketing at New York Health Benefit Exchange, said the decision to step down was something he and his family came to about a year ago.
He said he originally ran for town board in large part because of his father, who had held office for a number of years in central New York. After moving to Bethlehem and taking some time to become more involved in the community, Kotary said, he felt comfortable making the decision to campaign for town board in 2004.
The former councilman said that although a lot of issues arose over the last eight years, he was proud of the many townwide enhancements that were put forth during his tenure, from the parks and pool to the athletic fields.
“We implemented the town’s first comprehensive plan, expanded open space, protected valuable resources, upgraded and replaced aging infrastructure, including our water, sewer and road systems,” he said.
Kotary said he was also happy the town was able to step in as part of a public/private partnership in order to save Colonial Acres and Normanside County Club, calling them “great examples of how a local community and local government can partner to preserve open space, recreational resources and local economic stimulation.”