Editor, The Spotlight:
We are writing to express our firm support for John Clarkson as the Supervisor of the Town of Bethlehem.
We have each worked with him and learned first-hand that he is a person of unquestionable integrity. He has broad experience in public policy and understands politics and the art of compromise. He incorporates humor and good will into all his dealings. He is what Bethlehem needs, now and in the coming years, to counteract the bitterness of the recent past and to help us ensure an even brighter future for our community.
John’s state service included budget analysis, economic development, local government policy, and education reform, to mention a few areas of expertise. He would bring to the position of Supervisor a mature understanding of our tax structure and its potential to encourage appropriate growth while stabilizing its effects on homeowners. With two children of his own, he is sensitive to both the quality of education available in our community and the resources required for its support. At the same time, he is also sensitive to those who are on fixed incomes and who, of necessity, question tax increases and demand to thoroughly understand them.
As we learned when working with him, John is able to craft a balance between competing needs and priorities which neglects no party, no position. Such capacity to compromise is a rare skill and is essential in this time of intense partisan politics on all levels of government. Voters should take advantage of Clarkson’s candidacy for many reasons, but chief among them is his capacity for respecting his opponents. There is no one with whom John will not seek to build a strong working relationship. Resulting decisions and policies are much stronger for his capacity to demand consensus of himself and others.
No locality exists in isolation. As the world shrinks, the effects of economic and political realities in one area influence the habits and patterns in others. Every community is tied to regional, state, national, and international interests. Clarkson’s experience at the state level exposed him to regional and broader concerns. It is essential to see our community in its larger context. In some areas, Bethlehem’s efficiency may be improved through shared services. We need to know how to take advantage of state government interest in this area, including new grant and incentive programs.
We would be remiss if we were to support John Clarkson only because of his professional accomplishments and his keen mind. We also support his candidacy because of what kind of human being he is and how that influences his decisions.
His congenial attitude, his objectivity and fairness, and his kind humor were not lost on those of us who worked with him. Whether our work required us to be adversaries or accomplices, John treated us all the same: graciously, intelligently, and respectfully. For these reasons, we would like the opportunity to vote for John Clarkson, and we urge all Bethlehem voters to do so as well.
Susan and Peter Keitel