LETTERS: Think twice before giving up vote

— The election this November is an important one for Lysander. The town will be voting in a town board member, Russ Johnson or James Hickey. Lysander residents are also voting for town highway superintendent, Gene Dinsmore or Chris Patrick. We will also be voting on whether or not we want to give up our ability to vote in a highway superintendent in the future.

Our local government has several new members who have some interesting ideas, but good government requires more than good intentions. James Hickey, Melinda Shimer, Andrew Reeves and John Salisbury have all voted to change the highway superintendent from an elected to an appointed position. The intention is that because of the change to an appointed position there will be cost savings while sharing personal with Van Buren and the Village of Baldwinsville. Some of the recent suggestions on shared services and potential consolidation sound like they could have some savings and I believe they do; but my question is, for who?

Lysander has the ninth lowest town tax rate in New York State, as I have heard it said “we are already counting paperclips.” Our town government is lean and efficient. Looking at budget figures for the highway department, the town of Van Buren spends approximately 40 percent more for snow removal per mile than the town of Lysander. With snow removal being a considerable portion of the highway departments annual budget, would creating a union with Van Buren’s highway department make Van Buren more efficient or would the union just end up sharing the cost of those inefficiencies with Lysander?

The village should be looked at in detail as well. I have heard it said that in the next few years the sales tax revenue the county provides to the village will disappear. The loss of revenue could translate into a dramatic increase in village taxes or a decrease in funds available to the village.

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