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UPDATE: Mudslide along Normans Kill blocking water flow April 20, 2015
These stories have a common thread: towns do not have the funds to continue all current activities at current levels. The tax cap assures that this shortage of funds will continue. I argue that there are three alternatives to addressing this problem: expand the tax base, reduce spending in all areas that are not contractually or legally required, or reducing the services currently provided.
Historically, the tax base expansion has driven many local communities but the result is often tax breaks for the industries that locale locally and increased infrastructure costs. Without stronger negotiations and oversight, this is a poor choice. The current approach to budget shortages is to try to continue all activities but with fewer funds for each. This leads to slow and underfunded projects causing frustration for all. The third choice of stopping some activities seems beyond the abilities of our political classes.
My position is that the choices should be presented to the citizens of communities with concrete facts that effect each of the choices. Where possible, history should also be provided. Then a meaningful public discourse can be had upfront and not only after the poilicial machinery has decided what to do and open their decisions to the public.
For more information please go to my website www.bethlehemsupervisor.com. I am running for Bethlehem Town Supervisor and my position would drive the discussion of how to cope with current and projected budget funding.
WFP Candidate for Bethlehem Town Supervisor.
Electoral politics Albany style deprives most party rank and file the opportunity to have candidates who represent them in terms of principles and issues. The scenario is roughly as follows: the political party power holders get together and form alliances between themselves. The usual have been Dems and WFP, GOP and Conservatives, with the Independents party a swing group.l This year, it was more blatant. The Democrats and Republicans joined together, leaving the Conservatives and WFP in the cold. Also, individual candidates aligned with parties having conflicting viewpoints in order to garner more votes. This system is candidate focused and not focused on issues and party principles. Mr. Clarkson combines the Democratic and Conservative lines, while Mr. Kotary the Republican and Independent lines. Both are registered Democrats, which would have left three parties without representative candidates. We see candidates straddling party lines and not crossing them on issues.That is why I joined the race on the WFP line. It is time to include all in the political process instead of ignoring the rank and file.
I am running because I believe all rank and file should have a candidate who truly represents them. Here is an issue that does reach across parties lines. I would ask those who feel disenfranchised by their party to join me in protesting politics as usual. Let's join together to retake our political process.
For more please see www.bethlemsupervisor.com.
Many people have asked what my roots are and how I am certain about what I stand for. Let me explain.
I have been asked about how I have come to be who I am and how I know who I am. Here is a partial explanation.
I come from western Arkansas, where by relatives back to the civil war were anti slavery Republicans. My great grandfather and his brothers were scouts for the Union Army and were key in locating the Quantrell gang in MO. This is my activist roots.
My grandfather was a dirt farmer who, with my grandmother, hand milked 30 cows twice a day. They grew almost everything they ate and they shared with the less fortunate around them. As my grandfather once told me. Respect everyone with whom you meet. You will learn from them. I have used that as my definition of cosmopolitan. He also challenged me constantly in terms of making me explain what I know and why I know it. These are my intellectual and value roots.
My father was a small businessman in a very small town in Iowa until I was in my teens. His customers were Irish, German, and Polish Catholics, and Methodists (the only protestant group in the town of 250). This exposure gave me my business biases.
I paid for my college education by volunteering in the army, were I served in the 82nd, 11th, and 10th special forces airborne units. Withe the GI bill as a foundation, I worked two summers in Hooker Electro Chemical plant in Buffalo as a cell cleaner: a union job. I also stacked books in a library and clerked in drug stores. These experiences taught me self reliance.
If you want to know more, call me at 817 2641. I will be happy to chat. Or visit my website at www.bethlehemsupervisor.com
Today's Times Union has made the case for shifting development priorities under an article entitled "Think local when planning." Good advice. It is time for ;the citizens of Bethlehem to be empowered to decide what kind of community development they want and for the political establishment to respond.
My position is that monies spent on site development, tax incentives, and other supports that promote non resident companies to perhaps come to Bethlehem, attention would be better focused on our existing, local businesses, including farms. Look at small successes of the Delmar Farmer's Market. I am certain there are other opportunities.
If elected to the supervisor's position, I would lead the 20/20 committee toward this end rather than continuing with their past recommendations of industrial parks and box stores. For more see my web site www.bethlehemsupervisor.com or my personal site www.rreevesellington.com If you have a quesiton call me at 518 817 2641.
This project has been termed to be a technology park but there is no mention of technology in the first round of building. The only "likely" tenant is a grocery. Commercial office space is listed as important, as retail space. When I hear that developers are "guarded" about who might take space, I suspect the list of people signed up might be sparse.
I have several questions concerning the project and cannot find answers to them. For example: exactly how much of the cost is being underwritten by Bethlehem? What are Bethlehem responsibilities to the maintenance of the site? What are the tax revenue flows from the project to the Town? There is mention of employment but are the construction crews local or from elsewhere? If elsewhere, how does that benefit local Bethlehem merchants? Retail space creates jobs, but jobs that are usually part time, minimum wage, and none to limited benefits. Are these the the types of jobs Bethlehem needs or wants.
I believe it is time to refocus efforts to activities that help existing small business people in our community. An example to have an online index of businesses owned and operated by Bethlehem residents. This list is now a partial one owned and for a charge through the Chamber of Commerce. Also, the Town should look to local businesses as a first choice for services. These are existing businesses trying to make a living and that already contribute to the Town's tax base, employment, and community service. They deserve to be the center of the Town's development efforts.
For more on my Candidacy for Bethlehem Town supervisor, go to www.bethlehemsupervisor.com.
It is time for alternate ways of doing business are introduced into local government. Not only in Glenville but also here in Bethlehem. Given the economic times, we citizens must make choices of what services we want and elected officials must clearly show what legally must be done, what should be done and what is nice to do. These options need to be placed in a public forum for ranking by citizens. This is not difficult.
What is needed are supervisors who can lead in empowering citizens to be more a part of government rather than just voters when they are needed.
I am a candidate for Bethlehem Town supervisor and if elected, I would provide leadership for such changes. I Have done it in industry and university administration. Of the three candidates I am the only one with such broad experience and the only one who would bring fresh eyes to governing. For more information, please go to www.bethlehemsupervisor.com
Congratulations to Mr. Clarkson for his putting the Democratic Machine in its place. However, there is more to this story than just one party being challenged. Electoral politics are still alive and well in Bethlehem. Mr. Kotary still represents two parties, Mr. Clarkson still represents two parties, for after all that is how politics work in the township. However, Mr. Clarkson was offered the WFP line but declined it in favor of the Conservative line. Both men have indicated that they extend the representation of small parties. That means that they would both be well outside the concerns of the WFP and the progressive wing of the Democratic party.
By supporting me for town supervisor, you can cast a vote for independent political parties, whose candidates place party principles above electoral politics. If you want to learn more, go to www.bethlehemsupervisor.com. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want a conversation.
There is still more political reform necessary in Albany County. That is to have the political power in each party to start taking the lead from their rank and file rather than telling them what to do and for whom they should vote. The Democrats of Bethlehem did that but the party seems not to hear. Let['s make the message more emphatic. I am running on one party line, Working Families Party, on one set of clear principles, and believe this is how it should be.
On the other hand, the Convervatives and Republicans do not have representatives that clearly represent their core values. i am asking that you send them a message by voting for the one candidate that believes that all parties should have candidates who truly represent their values and principles. For more information, please go to www.bethlehemsupervisor.com.
Congratulations to Mr. Clarkson on his victory in the Democratic Primary. Also congratulations on his write in victory on the Conservative Party line. Now there are three candidates in the race but 5 parties. Mr. Kotary is on the Republican and Independent party lines. I am on the Working Family Party lines. Running on several lines, each with a differing set of principles has to leave some citizens without a legitimate candidate for their views. That is wrong.
I congratulate Mr. Clarkson for his successful challenge to the Democratic Party but chide hime for his originally seeking the Conservative line to bolster is support. I also chide Mr. Kotary for his trying to garner three lines and suing to keep Mr. Clarkson off the Conservative line.
For those of you who are dissatisfied with the way the political parties do deals and avoid primaries, I would ask you to consider a vote for me as a protest to this long practiced tradition. For more information go to www.bethlehemsupervisor.com
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