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Bethlehem officials take their oaths of office

Short ceremony precedes town’s organizational meeting

Bethlehem Town Supervisor John Clarkson, left, takes his oath of office with his wife and son looking on. Former town justice Michael Katzer administered the oath of office for Clarkson, who began his  second term as supervisor

Bethlehem Town Supervisor John Clarkson, left, takes his oath of office with his wife and son looking on. Former town justice Michael Katzer administered the oath of office for Clarkson, who began his second term as supervisor

— Bethlehem Democrats once again celebrated their election night victory as the former candidates were sworn into office before the town’s annual organizational meeting.

Bethlehem Town Hall was packed on Wednesday, Jan. 8, as five elected officials took the oath of office in a short ceremony. Supervisor John Clarkson, Councilman Bill Reinhardt and Town Clerk Nanci Moquin were all re-elected, while Councilwoman Julie Sasso, Highway Superintendent Brent Meredith and Town Justice Andrew Kirby are beginning their first terms in office.

November was a sweep for the Democrats, which Clarkson said at that time finally signified a united party. The supervisor said on Wednesday that he was eager to hold office for another term.

“One must thank, first and foremost, the voters of the town,” said Clarkson. “We only hold elected office through their action(s), and we only keep it as long as we continue to please them.”

Members of a multi-party coalition called “Bethlehem United,” led by former Republican chairman Fred DiMaggio, had attempted to unseat the Democrats by splitting the town’s Independent votes. The group’s main goals consisted of cutting taxes, lowering the town’s fund balance to provide tax relief and promoting economic development. Some in the group said they might have lost because emphasis was placed on the wrong issues.

Reinhardt said teamwork got him reelected, and he felt blessed for those around him. He also emphasized his focus of increasing green initiatives within the town.

“I’m looking forward to working with everyone in this town to make it the best town it can be and to maintain its character,” Reinhard said.

Sasso said she was appreciative of her family’s support throughout the election, as well as the voters.

“I take this responsibility very seriously,” Sasso told the crowd. “And while it’s probably not very realistic to think I’m going to make everyone happy all of the time, I do want you to know that every decision I’m faced with, I will always think seriously about what is in the best interest of our community.”

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