Occupation: Owner Specialized K9 Detection Service, former town police officer
Answer: Serving the residents of Bethlehem and public safety have always been a priority to me. Ensuring our community is safe and having drug free schools. Diminished services such as leaf pickup, snow removal and roadway paving have also lead to concerns for our motorists, walking and biking public.
A: Working for 28 years in the town has left me better prepared to me to address the challenges of keeping Police costs manageable and structuring the agency to best serve the residents. I have watched as the micromanaging of our police has diminished the force leading to understaffing, overtime, and overworked employees. This is both dangerous to the public and those protecting us.
My knowledge of the town and the residents of me, make me an approachable figure they can feel comfortable sharing their cares and concerns with, which will help ease the disconnection between Town Hall and the public.
A: Of course, keeping costs down and making sound budgetary decisions is of the utmost importance. Doing more with less has become a common mantra and with good reason. Finding ways to accomplish this, while not diminishing the services we have come to expect and deserve is always a challenge, though not an excuse to cut with an axe where a scalpel could be used. Increasing surplus or “rainy-day” funds for unforeseen expenses, though difficult, needs to be addressed, difficult as it may be. Public safety always has been and always will be expensive. Success in this area is not only important to the quality of life issues we face, but for the continued greatness of our schools and for maintaining property values. Creative ways are needed to build revenue, which can assist in with the difficulty providing our police with the tools and manpower to accomplish this.
A: Working closely with the police department, I look to explore the known areas where responsibilities can be shared, fulfilling necessities and requirements without diminishing service or placing an undue burden on the employees. Grants available through the Federal government and homeland security need to be more widely explored and applied to assist in this area. Concerns of drugs in or being transported through town can be specifically targeted, which will lead to increased asset forfeiture and seizures, providing a direct financial benefit. For example, there is ample opportunity on the River Rd./Route 144 corridor with traffic exiting the thruway if this is implemented. Our residents will also be safer as a direct result.
Better and proper oversight of the town will also prevent mistakes such as the costly dumping at the Normanskill, as well as questionable tax breaks that benefit insiders and fail to produce jobs as promised.