With a Bethlehem Town Board seat set to be vacated at the start of 2012, the four known members of the board are meeting with a lengthy list of candidates interested in an appointment to the body, and for the first time, a list of names has been revealed.
Incoming Supervisor John Clarkson has identified eight candidates he’s considering for the position, including former state commissioners, former board members and Bethlehem residents who are active in town government.
All eight, Clarkson said, have told him that they have no interest in holding the seat past 2012, a factor the supervisor-elect has said is important to him.
“These are people who I know of or know well enough that I’ve asked the other board members to consider them,” said Clarkson.
Clarkson said there have been “at least a couple” of resumes that have been submitted to the town in addition to the eight names. He said there may be people who have expressed interest to other board members as well. In all, nine names are now know. They include former Bethlehem Supervisor Jack Cunningham, who announced Dec. 14 that he would seek appointment to the board.
“At some point, they (the board) may narrow it down or they might put another name in there. At this point, the nine are people who have put their names out there,” said Clarkson.
Cunningham’s name is not featured on Clarkson’s candidate list. The incoming supervisor said he would not be supporting Cunningham’s bid, and Cunningham said he would be running for the seat in November 2012 no matter what.
Board members for 2012 include Clarkson, Kyle Kotary, Joann Dawson and Jeffrey Kuhn. The fifth seat is the one being vacated by Mark Jordan, who ran unopposed for a Town Justice seat in November.
Jordan’s term on the Town Board expires at the end of 2013. A special election will be held in November for the right to serve the final year of Jordan’s term. Another election will be held in 2013 for the chance to serve a full four-year term on the board.
One candidate is Ted Putney, a Selkirk resident and former town board member who said he is interested in town government and issues such as open space.
“I just enjoy it. I think I have enough experience to be able to be effective for a year, and that’s what I want to do,” said Putney.
The eight candidates put forth by Clarkson, have all said they have no interest in serving any longer than a single year on the board, according to Clarkson. He has publicly stated that he believes the board should select a non-political appointee who has no interest in serving beyond 2012.
There is also a growing possibility that a public meeting would be held to collect input from town residents.
“I think we’re moving towards consensus that there should be some sort of public forum to discuss this issue,” said Clarkson.
As of Dec. 28, the nine known candidates for the town board seat are:
• Michael Burgess, former director of the state Office for the Aging
• Kevin Crawford, Executive Director of the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal and member of the town’s 2020 Implementation Committee
• Jack Cunningham, former Bethlehem supervisor and current Commissioner of Public Works in Colonie
• Donna Giliberto, Assistant Counsel/Records Access Officer with the state Department of Public Service
• John Hudacs, former commissioner of the state Office of General Services and state Department of Labor, and 2020 committee member
• Christina Kidera, finance specialist for 35 years with state Division of the Budget
• George Lenhardt, former Town Board member (1994-2005), and current chair of the town’s Board of Ambulance Commissioners
• Ted Putney, former Town Board member (1994-97) and member of Bethlehem Industrial Development Agency board
• Loretta Simon, a member of the Board of Directors of the Albany County League of Women Voters