Editor, The Spotlight:
The fact that Kyle Kotary’s campaign “war chest” contains over $8,100 is not a confidence builder for us.
Does that make him a better candidate for Town Supervisor? We think not. Kyle Kotary has the backing of the Bethlehem Democratic Committee which can provide clout, influence and legal expertise to obstruct competition from other candidates. Let’s have a fair playing field and see who wins the day.
Regarding Kyle Kotary’s qualifications for Town Supervisor, we cannot support a candidate who has been part of a truly obstructionist Town Board.
This Board is discouragingly similar in fashion to Congressional Republicans in Washington, fighting the leadership on just about every issue, even things that have never been issues for past Town Supervisors. Examples of the Board’s “just say no” approaches include the Supervisor’s discretionary funds, replacement lights at the Town Park’s tennis courts and Town Hall repairs, repairs that, incidentally, would have prevented the catastrophe at Town Hall in the Spring had the funds been approved earlier by the Town Board.
In fact, every initiative, proposal, and idea presented to the Board by Supervisor Messina has been negatively received and summarily rejected by the Board upon which Kyle Kotary sits. We can only surmise that we are dealing with a bad case of “sour grapes” because Sam Messina bucked the party pols by being an independent voice and not one of the “good old boys.”
There is no place for such partisan and petty politics in Bethlehem or anywhere else for that matter. We have witnessed enough of it in Washington and it not only disgraces and degrades our political system but more important it obstructs progress and the ability to help the people and serve the common good.
In John Clarkson we see an individual who has an extensive background in government, especially in management and budget and working on local government issues.
He has been a member of the Bethlehem 2020 Advisory Group and part of its sincere efforts to continue to make Bethlehem a vital and financially sustainable community.
Finally, John is a decent, hard working and civil person. He is open minded, independent, smart and energetic and he is a great listener. One of the reasons John decided to run is that he disliked the uncivil behavior directed at Sam Messina.
The example John gave at a recent house “meet and greet” event was Sam’s inauguration as Town Supervisor and subsequent State of the Town annual addresses, events at which all Town officials should be present. No Town Board member, including Kyle Kotary, showed up at any of those events. John and many others, including us, see that as a profound lack of civil decorum and it reflects badly on our local government officials and in our minds questions the validity of Kyle Kotary’s candidacy.
Please try to attend the candidates’ debate Thursday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall, moderated by the League of Women Voters. It will give you an opportunity to get to know John Clarkson, a Democratic candidate in the primary on September 13 and hopefully our next Bethlehem Town Supervisor.
Karin and Craig Henrikson