Answer: I was approached by town residents to run for Town Board. Resident’s felt they had no connection to town government and that their questions were left unanswered. People had confidence in my ability to get to the heart of their individual problems and help them find the answers.
A: I served 29 years under 7 supervisors. I participated in many years of budget presentations through good times and times of financial struggle. In the senior services department, we managed to keep the budget in line and to explore alternative funding opportunities – always looking for the community connection between services and the people. This department remains a model in the field of aging.
Also, I was reelected to a 5 year term as a trustee of the Bethlehem public library. The board works to keep the budget within range, while accomplishing short and long term goals.
A: Fiscal challenges – Bethlehem is in good shape with high ratings at the end of 2015. The greatest challenge is operating within the budget, providing services, and at the same time keeping a professional and well trained staff.
Infrastructure – the challenges of DPW, Town Hall and Highway Dept. The maintenance of buildings, roadways and sewer/water on a priority system of projects.
Town employees – morale at all levels is at an all-time low. Shortage of manpower from the entry level employees, administrators and police officers struggle to maintain a balance of work and family life.
A: Fiscal challenges – The budget. Need a long range plan to include cross training in all departments, which may include cross pay differential, depending on the task.
Infrastructure – carefully explore future development while exploring all avenues to keep the citizens informed. (Technology, website, Facebook, but for the large population of older residents, phone calls, or a separate written document.)
Town employees – employee morale – understand the workings of each department from the entry level employee to the department managers with independent evaluations.
The credit rating is important, but the employees make the overall rating of the town the best in the capital district by serving the residents in a courteous and professional manner.