Elections are decided by voter participation and candidates depend on a high turnout of their supporters, especially on Primary Day when the representative of a political party is chosen for a particular position. For the most part, a primary is the more critical election because the result determines whether a candidate is on the ballot or whether the campaign continues.
For far too long in Bethlehem the outcome of our Primary elections has been decided by a small minority, typically about 33 percent of eligible voters, taking the few minutes necessary to make democracy work and have their voices heard. Sadly, the silent majority of voters has no say and must live with the consequences until the next election.
Voter apathy over the past eight years has resulted in the election of town officials who approve rampant overdevelopment and the destruction of forests, farmland and pristine areas throughout town that cannot be reversed. The Working Families Party candidates Coffey, Cunningham and Kuhn, a/k/a “Dewey, Cheatam and Howe,” have brought us obscene increases in undeveloped land assessments forcing overburdened taxpayers to sell their property to developers. I implore the silent majority to vote, for a change and vote for a change.
These three have worked for years behind the scenes urging our assembly member and our state senator to introduce legislation allowing a 2 percent Transfer Fee. The seller of a home would be required to pay the municipality 2 percent of the sale price allegedly for conservation of green space even though a fund for that purpose already exists in Bethlehem. When asked about their position on the fee, they will not give you a straight answer. The 2 percent Transfer Fee bill was introduced in January in the State Senate and I urge everyone to contact Senator Breslin’s office and request he withdraw the bill from consideration.
Finally, the pay-for-no-work corrupt behavior of our Albany County Legislator, Joanne Cunningham, in the 34th Legislative District must be stopped. She cannot effectively advocate on our behalf for countywide clean water, protection of the environment, replacement of disintegrating infrastructure, support for the agricultural community, Rail Trail oversight or other smart progressive ideas that we care about in central Delmar and Elsmere when she is not in attendance. She was absent from Legislative meetings of 8/8/16, 4/12/17, 8/14/17, 9/11/17 and 9/12/18 and Caucus meetings of 2/14/16, 4/7/16, 5/5/16, 9/8/16, 10/6/16, 3/9/17, 4/6/17, 5/4/17, 8/10/17, 11/30/17, 1/2/18, 4/5/18, 5/10/18, 7/5/18, 9/6/18, 12/17/18 and 2/7/19.
Vote on Primary Day, June 25, 2019, to end the scourge on Albany County that is Ms. Cunningham!
George T. Harder
Democratic candidate for the Albany County Legislature