BETHLEHEM Jeremy Martelle feels greater diversity is needed in Bethlehem town government, and that putting a Republican on the Town Board is the best way to provide it.
The Republican Town Board candidate said a growing number of residents are tired of having one party make decisions on behalf of the entire population. He decided to run for an open Town Board position because he feels people who have the talent or ability to give back to their community, should.
“I’ve spent time and time again at Town Board meetings getting frustrated,” he said. “I decided to run so the issues are talked about on the floor and people can have a discussion about them.”
Martelle is running against Democrat Bill Reinhardt, who is backed by Town Supervisor John Clarkson. Reinhardt recently ran aprimary race against former Town Supervisor Jack Cunningham as part of the Reform Democrats movement. Cunningham lost the race by just 33 votes.
Martelle ran for office in both last November’s general election and by expressing interest in being appointed to the seat left vacant by former Councilman Mark Jordan after he won a town justice position. He is a senior aviation planner and project manager for an engineering firm in Albany, as well as veteran of the Air Force. He also serves on the Bethlehem Library Board.
“It’s critical to note, I wouldn’t be an obstruction by just saying no all of the time,” he said. “We need discussion and board members need to work together to achieve a goal for residents to get the services they need, and should demand, based on the services they pay.”
The Republican Town Board candidate is speaking out against Clarkson’s proposed budget, which would levy an 8 percent tax increase. He has also come out against tax incentives for retail businesses. He has touted plans to decrease spending and hopes to promote “efficient community planning” to prevent overdevelopment.