Occupation: Private consultant specializing in environmental nonprofit organizations
Answer: I’ve always supported the communities where I’ve lived, from serving on town committees to organizing my neighbors in Delmar to make National Grid fix neglected power lines that kept leaving our homes in the dark. I’m running for Town Board because I care and I can make a difference.
A: My professional work as a strategic planner involves cutting through politics, personalities, and posturing to identify real issues and find solutions. Over the years, I have also built consensus between deeply divided interests, fought for clean water and a healthy environment, and managed complex budgets. I believe these skills would translate well to the Town Board where I’d work – as I have everywhere – as an independent thinker who represents all of Bethlehem.
A: Delivering Services in a Fiscally Responsible Manner: Our town government plays an important role in our quality of life, including fostering economic development, providing services to senior residents, and protecting open spaces. Bethlehem residents don’t have bottomless pocketbooks, so the Board must be strategic to ensure these services continue to be delivered at the highest level without breaking the bank.
Guiding Residential Growth and Protecting Open Spaces: We must carefully guide residential development to keep Bethlehem from devolving into soulless sprawl. And we must work with interested landowners to protect family farms, wetlands, and other open spaces to maintain the town’s wonderful character.
Operating Town Government Openly and Civilly: Regardless of political parties and beliefs, we’re neighbors and Bethlehem will thrive only if we work together. It’s important for Town Board members to be independent thinkers and to make decisions based on what is best for all residents and businesses.
A: Fiscal Responsibility: (1) Carefully consider all budget changes, as the budget is extremely complex and cost increases in one area usually force cuts elsewhere. (2) Pursue state/federal grants to support projects like sidewalk improvements and solar installation. (3) Work with the Town Supervisor and department heads to support town employees and bolster morale.
Guiding Growth & Protecting Open Space: (1) Push hard for development projects to meet or exceed town standards for traffic control, pedestrian safety and more. (2) Support local farms by implementing the town Agricultural & Farmland Protection Plan. (3) Launch an active open space program that will allow the town to work with interested landowners to protect woods and other open spaces.
Open, Civil Government: (1) Be independent of politics and special interests. (2) Listen respectfully to all sides of discussions, and filter through personalities and posturing to identify the true issues and find pragmatic solutions.