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Berne Town Board member abruptly resigns half-way through term

Sep 24, 2021 5:30 am
Noah Zweifel is reporting for The Altamont Enterprise Berne Town Board member Bonnie Conklin abruptly resigned from her position this week, citing political obstructionism as the reason. Conklin submitted her official letter of resignation, dated September 19, to the town clerk and to the Enterprise editor, as well. “Today in our changing world, I feel politics in our town, state, and [at the] federal level are becoming very challenging,” Conklin wrote. “...Whether it’s social media or face-to-face discussions, the goals are put aside and progress is delayed. I prefer to get things done. When someone is elected to office, let them do their job. Support and encourage each other.” Conklin's resignation was effective September 20, and comes halfway through a four-year term. Supervisor Sean Lyons said he was caught off-guard by her abrupt departure. “I had no advance warning of this and I had no reason to even suspect Mrs. Conklin was thinking of resigning at any time let alone days before a meeting and entering the heart of budgeting season for 2022,” Lyons said. “I am disappointed by this announcement.” Conklin, a Conservative, and Lyons were both backed by the GOP, along with the majority of the town board, except for Joel Willsey, the lone Democrat. This was Conklin's second resignation from the town board. She previously resigned when the board had a Democratic majority. A Republican at the time, Conklin quit in 2013, two years into a four-year term, frustrated over being the only non-Democrat on the board. While Conklin enjoyed majority status this time around, she was not always at ease with her GOP-backed colleagues, taking issue with the decision to limit public comment at board meetings, and voting against establishing a Recreation and Parks Advisory Board. In tendering her resignation, Conklin said she feels she can accomplish more for the town “on a volunteer basis.” Read the full story in The Altamont Enterprise.

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