BETHLEHEM After serving two administrations over the past four years, John Smolinsky is stepping down as Bethlehem’s deputy town supervisor to place more attention on his new role as planning board chairman.
At the town’s organizational meeting held Wednesday, Jan. 8, Supervisor John Clarkson confirmed he was selecting Councilman Jeffrey Kuhn to take over the deputy supervisor role. Kuhn, who is also chairman of the town’s Democratic party, was then sworn in along with Bethlehem’s newly elected officials.
“I do think it’s traditional in most other towns for the supervisor to chose a member of the board to serve as deputy,” said Clarkson in a later interview. “That’s what it’s usually been in our town in the past.”
Clarkson said he decided to keep Smolinsky on as his deputy supervisor in 2012 in order to provide a smooth transition from the administration of former Supervisor Sam Messina and because he valued Smolinsky’s advice. Now in his second term, Clarkson says he feels more comfortable in his role leading the town. Smolinsky was part of the transitional committee created to help Clarkson in the weeks before he took office.
“I think John was the best choice for the time,” said Clarkson.
The deputy supervisor position is an appointment, but the person selected must still be sworn in as a town official in order to preside over meetings should the need occur.
Kuhn said he was proud to be asked to take over the deputy supervisor role and commended Smolinsky on a job well done.
“I take this responsibility very seriously, and I’ll discharge it to the best of my abilities,” said Kuhn. “We’ve obviously accomplished a lot over the past several years, but there’s always a lot left to do.
Kuhn said he wants to continue to work with the town’s elected officials and staff to “continue to make Bethlehem a model of municipal government” and a town resident’s can look to with pride.