To the editor:
DeWitt’s Republican candidates have fabricated two non-existent issues, calling for saving DeWitt’s brush pickup and Police Department. Both accusations are false and malicious, and are being promoted for political purposes by unscrupulous and unethical people. Never have the DeWitt Democrats or I questioned the integrity or existence of the Police Department, nor have we questioned whether DeWitt should be providing brush pickup.
In fact, to the contrary, my Democrat associates and I recently voted to increase the police department staff to 39 officers in September. The only other discussions about police that have occurred in the town of DeWitt under my leadership have been about policing the village of East Syracuse. My position has been and is: that the decision to maintain or abolish the village police force should be decided by the village residents. Should they decide the latter, the town of DeWitt would police the village, just as we do in the rest of DeWitt, as the village residents are DeWitt residents too.
Calling out the Republicans as diabolical and deceitful with respect to brush pickup is equally an understatement. In October of 2012, the Republican majority voted to transfer $142,760 out of the trash district and move it into the highway department to cover some of the costs of brush removal. The town had just accepted a significantly lower bid for trash removal. The Republicans argued we didn’t need to lower the trash bill to residents, and gave the savings to the highway department. The Democrats and I opposed this movement of money because it was not transparent, hides the real costs from residents and inappropriately inflates the trash bill.
When I established the trash district more than a decade ago, I committed to opposing any use of the funds for purposes other than contracting trash removal service. The charge was made then that government would eventually use the monies for its own operation. I am sorry I was unable to convince this current Republican majority that honest presentation of actual costs is in the public’s best interest; but then again, neither are these current deceptive campaign tactics.
Both assertions are groundless, and come from self-absorbed, self-serving, and selfish people who are thinking only of personal political gain. Please vote for my team of Democrats, Joe Chiarenza, Jamie Frank and Karen Rigney for Town Board and allow me to establish an honest government in DeWitt.
ED MICHALENKO, PH.D.