Editor, The Spotlight:
I have been saying for years that the apathy of the Bethlehem electorate is beyond comprehension. The recent Town Board elections are a case in point.
Reinhardt won despite the major impression he left us with in both debates was his obsequiousness to the current town supervisor. Almost 1,800 Democratic leaning voters threw their vote away by voting for Cunningham rather than Reinhardt. Even in a presidential election year I heard people say, before and since, that they did not vote because in New York, and Bethlehem, it just was not worth the effort. Lopping off a couple of thousand from the rolls for deceased or moved away that number is around 5,000!
Think of this in connection with this week’s budget vote in the Town Board. A tax increase of 8 percent was approved 3-2 with the majority voters being the supervisor, Kuhn and an unelected board member chosen by the Supervisor. H.L. Mencken said “People deserve the government they get, and they deserve to get it good and hard.” (This is true nationally, too!)
Next year there will be two board positions and the supervisor up for election. The questions are will the Democrats have another cat fight and will the Republicans (or anyone for that matter) field a credible slate of candidates?
The school board budget vote in 2013 promises to provide even more opportunity for apathy. A bulletin from the Teacher Retirement System announced recently that each district’s rate would rise from 11.84 percent of their payroll in the current school year to between 15.5 and 16.5 percent for next year. That is bound to cause even more weeping and gnashing of teeth in our board’s seemingly insatiable appetite for our money. Add to that a bond issue. . . and stir!
Philip W. Carter